Surveying the Enrollment Landscape

Photo by Marc Campos

Want to get involved in recruiting the next generation of Tigers? Here's how

Greetings, fellow Oxy alumni! We want to introduce ourselves as co-chairs of the Alumni Association Board of Governors Enrollment Committee. As students at Occidental, our experiences in and out of the classroom were transformational. Now as alumni working in education, we have an even greater appreciation for our time spent as students at the College. This gratitude for our experience has motivated us to help support the recruitment of the next generation of Tigers through our work with the Board of Governors.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling impacting colleges’ and universities’ ability to consider race as a factor in the admission process. As our collective understanding of the practical implications of this ruling continues to evolve, the College remains unwavering in its commitment to enrolling students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

As a part of this commitment and in light of the recent ruling, the College has increased its outreach efforts through more high school visits, college fairs, and partnerships with community-based organizations. In fall 2023, the Office of Admission canvassed the world: Admission counselors visited 665 high schools across 27 states and six countries, increasing the number of students they met from last year by 20 percent.

Alumni volunteers and current students have helped the Office of Admission meet the demand of over 1,100 interview requests from applicants. The Office of Admission also successfully hosted 38 students in November in connection with the Tiger Access Program, a fly-in program with a focus on broadening access to students who come from underrepresented groups, and formed new partnerships with community organizations that connect our recruitment staff to a charter school network and prospective veteran students.

The College’s recruitment efforts have been buoyed in critical ways by the alumni volunteer program Volunteers in Service of Tiger Admission (ViSTA). These volunteers are essential to the College meeting the ever-growing demand for alumni to participate in prospective student admission interviews, attend college fairs, and mingle with prospective and admitted students at both the large-scale open houses held in the fall and spring as well as the regional receptions and admitted student receptions held across the country. Having alumni representation in these various forums where they can share their student experience is vital to helping recruit future Occidental students.

We encourage all of our alumni to stay connected with Occidental by registering to be a ViSTA or nominating a former classmate. Increasing the participation of our alumni volunteers is a necessary part of the College’s expanded recruiting efforts.

In addition to these ViSTA initiatives, the Enrollment Committee will launch a call campaign to connect with newly admitted students in the spring. Please reach out if you would like to learn more about the work of the Enrollment Committee and keep an eye out for future columns from the Board of Governors.

Io Triumphe!

Jordan Brown ’13 and Dave Poetzinger ’89 

Jordan Brown ’13 is associate dean of admission at Occidental. Dave Poetzinger ’89 is assistant principal at Los Gatos High School.