|The magazine of University of Houston-Clear Lake
Fall 2013/Winter 2014 | volume 20 | number 1
Preparing for a New Generation
|Rosa Mejia, Daylisha Hall and Robert Melvin were hired specifically to work with the millennials UHCL will welcome to campus in fall 2014|
Robert Melvin moved to Houston to pursue his master’s degree in higher education administration. Little did he know that while pursuing his degree, he would land a job in higher education as an enrollment management counselor at UHCL during such a monumental and historical transition period for the university.
“It matches my career with my passion,” says Melvin, who was added to the Office of Admissions team to work with UHCL’s first incoming freshman class of fall 2014. “I was in the right place at the right time, and it is cool to be part of this initiative.”
For the past 40 years, most of UHCL’s future students came to the university from local community colleges. For instance, in fall 2012, 82.4 percent of the incoming undergraduate students came from community colleges. And while community colleges were not the only place the university found future students, it was definitely the place to start with recruiting efforts. With the addition of freshman students next fall, many new undergraduates will be arriving at UHCL fresh from high school.
Associate Director of Admissions Hope Young realized that recruitment of future freshmen needed to be handled differently and added enrollment management counselors specifically for the millennials.
“The acceptance of freshman and sophomore students at UHCL in 2014 has brought quite a bit of excitement to the institution,” says Young. “In choosing the individuals who will recruit this new population of students, we wanted enrollment representatives who embodied that same level of energy and excitement.”
Freshman Financial Assistance
Are you a future UHCL freshman? Get a full scholarship through college or at least a little financial help by applying for a scholarship created for students like you.
Soar to new academic heights with the New Hawk Scholarship designed to assist with tuition, fees, housing, books and more. To qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
• Rank in top 15 percent of high school graduating class; or
• SAT Score of 1100; or
• ACT Score of 24; and
• Be a Texas resident; and
• Be graduating from high school in the 2013-14 academic year.
Applications are due by Jan. 14, 2014. Students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and complete 24 semester credit hours a year may qualify to receive the scholarship each year.
Melvin and his counterparts, Rosa Mejia and Daylisha Hall, are well prepared for UHCL’s future students. After all, they are part of the same youthful group known as millennials. At 25, and with some experience as a resident adviser in the freshman dorms at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Melvin knows how to approach them.
At 24, Rosa Mejia can speak the millennial language too. Although this is her first foray into the admissions arena, she worked with students while pursuing her master’s degree at Sam Houston State University.
“I was originally planning to get my degree in biology and go to optometry school,” says Mejia. “But I fell in love with higher ed.” Daylisha Hall, 25, is the newest addition to assist with incoming freshman and sophomore students. Hired in September, Hall says she loves sharing the opportunities that await future students.
“UHCL offers a campus that is close to home for many of our surrounding high school students,” says Hall. “We offer an amazing opportunity for these students to be a voice on campus for positive change and to influence tradition by being part of our first freshman class.”
Although the three are at ease in their new roles and are only a few years older than the students they are addressing, they also know that they will be speaking with parents and understand that in order to successfully convince the students, they have to win over the parents.
UHCL Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies Amy Lucas, who at 30 is a millennial herself, studies intergenerational relationships and explains why the transition to adulthood for many young students has been lengthening.
“So many more are pursuing higher education than in the past,” says Lucas. “This is the most educated generation ever.”
“Helicopter” parents have become the norm. The phrase came to fruition in the late 1980s to describe parents who can swoop in to assist a real or perceived issue for their child. UHCL enrollment management counselors have previously worked with parents on rare occasions since, until now, the average age of undergraduate students at UHCL hovered in the late 20s or early 30s (29 during spring 2013). With the addition of freshman and sophomore students, this average age will drop.
“The ‘helicopter’ parents may ask the questions for the students some times, but I don’t mind at all,” says Melvin, explaining that the student will look at the parent and the parent asks the question as if he or she has received the question telepathically. “If I can get the parent in my corner, I almost always win over the student.”
As Lucas explains, “Cultural pressure about how people ‘parent’ has caused today’s parents to compete to be the best parent they can be.
“‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is the old view on raising children. Today, parents are more individualistic about their approach to parenting and are constantly looking for the best opportunities for their children.”
And UHCL enrollment management counselors help them succeed.
“Robert, Rosa and Daylisha have already been successful in increasing awareness, networking with high school counselors and establishing relationships with prospective students and families as we prepare for next fall,” says Young. “2014 is truly going to be an exciting year!”
Maintained By: Office of Communications
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