A&M Central Texas holds preview day
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Saturday, Texas A&M University Central Texas opened its doors for Warrior Preview Day, welcoming prospective students in the hopes of enrolling more students studying for their bachelor’s and even master’s degrees.
“We are targeting high school and community college students who are interested in getting their bachelor’s,” said Stephanie Stachniak, the associate director of undergraduate admissions and recruitment. “They’ll get to meet with faculty, which I think is one of the big things and they can take a tour of campus. Also, we’ll waive their application fee today if they decide they want to apply for the spring semester.”
Students were greeted by Stachniak along with other staff and student workers, and were given welcome items like T-shirts, tote bags, and a packet for the day, following which they assembled in the Warrior Hall multipurpose room. Also in the multipurpose room was an academic fair, with various faculty were present until noon to discuss degree programs with the prospective students. Stachniak said the university hosts three preview days per year.
There was also an application station in Bernie Beck Hall, where students could complete their applications for the university, along with meeting with representatives from financial aid, the military and veterans services office, the registrar, and the business office. The event also provided campus tours of the facilities.
One of those helping prospective students on Saturday was Anna Kefauver, who is studying human resource management with a minor in marketing at the university.
She is a student worker and said she hopes to be completed with her bachelor’s degree in the fall of 2018. Kefauver has been a student at TAMUCT for about a year after earning her Associate’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Central Texas College, as part of the Warrior Corps Transfer Program.
She has her aim set on working in human resources after graduation.
“I’d like to work in an HR department, in recruitment possibly, and start out in this area,” said Kefauver.
She talked about one of the things she likes about the university.
“I definitely like that they offer student worker positions. I work in the Admissions and Recruitment side, so I get to actually see what I’ll be doing after my degree,” said Kefauver. “I like talking to people and I like helping people.”
In addition to meeting with faculty and talking with current students, those who attended the event heard from Peg Vickery-Gray, provost for the university. She shared with them her own criteria when, as a teenager, she was looking for a college.
“I was sure as an 18-year-old going to college, that my parents would be so upset that I left home, that they would come to visit me every weekend. And so my number-one priority for picking a university was a university that was farthest away from my home so my parents could not come and stay with me. Fortunately, I made a very good decision and it was an excellent school, but that’s not how you should look at universities,” she told the audience.
Vickery-Gray then made her case for TAMU-CT, naming five things for prospective students to consider, the first of which was that the university has the second-lowest tuition in the state of Texas, along with something called the “bachelor’s bonus,” which waives tuition and mandators fees beyond 12 credit hours
“If you’re taking 15 credit hours or 18 credit hours, it’s the same cost as taking 12 credit hours,” Vickery-Gray said. “If you’re taking 18 credit hours, that’s about $1,376 difference in your pocket.”
She also pointed to the quality of the education, a low faculty-student ratio of 13:1, that classes are taught by faculty, not graduate assistants, and also talked about the university’s “top notch” facilities and the fact that the university is student-focused.
“We are committed to student success. We have great student services here, from the writing center, to tutoring services, to career services,” Vickery-Gray said, adding that services can set up to be either in-person, or online.
Lastly, Vickery-Gray talked about parking at the university.
“If you go to any university in the world and ask what the number-one complaint is, it’s parking, or the lack of it,” she said. “We’re very egalitarian in our approach and philosophy. There are no reserved spaces for the president, or provost, student, staff or faculty. You’re as likely to park next to the president as anyone else on any given day. That’s spectacular for a university.
“If you’re looking for a university that is a party school, with 10,000 people at a tailgate party, this probably is not your school. But if you’re looking for an affordable university, very high quality, outstanding faculty-student radio, incredible facilities, and no problem finding a parking place, this is your choice.”
Presently the university has 23 undergraduate degree programs, as well as 17 master’s degree and specialist degree or certification programs.