Edmonton post-secondary schools move open houses online amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Heck said virtual open housesoffer real-time interactions with staff as well as provide information specific to the events.

Aimee Hill, director of the office of communication and marketing for MacEwan University, said their open house, which is scheduled for Nov. 7, will feature a 360-degree virtual campus tour. She said it took a couple of months over the summer to capture everything from the school’s corridors to classrooms.

“We really wanted to focus on giving students as much of a sense of what the campus is like because that is one of the things they do like to know,” she said. “What do the labs look like? What’s the theatre look like? What do their classrooms look like? We try and answer those questions with the virtual tour.”

Hill said roughly 5,000 students normally attend their open houses and the goal is to reach at least that many. She said moving online has its advantages, as it allows MacEwan to reach more prospective students outside of the Edmonton area.

Hill said she believes MacEwan will eventually adopt both in-person and virtual open house options going forward.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s open house on Friday and Saturday featured20 virtual booths, a presentation, chat rooms and a self-guided tour of the campus.

NAIT student recruitment manager Angela Finlayson said the material and presentations will be accessible for the next 30 days for anyone to view.

“We’re really excited about what we’re putting together for this year’s open house because we’re not able to do one in person,” she said. “There are certainly some exciting features to these virtual events that we’re excited to have a part for this year.”

Finlayson said NAIT will be hosting other recruiting events in the winter.



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