Point/Counterpoint: Tulsa Time allows students a glimpse into their future, helping those on the fence make their choice.
Tulsa Time is a great program for TU. Not only does it get prospective students on campus for longer than a tour or a few hours of info sessions, but it gives high schoolers a chance to ask us college kids for our true protips and opinions on college, no filter necessary. Tulsa Time also provides potential TU students with glimpses into the actual housing units in which they’ll likely one day live.
Last week’s Tulsa Time program saw 104 TU students hosting 232 prospective students. Participants had the chance to go to a TU basketball game, sit in on actual TU classes and spend the night in a host’s apartment or dorm room. In other words, they got a taste of life as an actual TU student.
An overnight program is absolutely essential to any admissions office arsenal. Any college can run daytime programming, giving tours to families while extolling the value of its education on high schoolers. However, allowing visiting students to stay with current ones and sit in on actual classes with actual students is an experience that’s a level above just visiting for the day. Most important, Tulsa Time presents such a complete picture of campus life to potential students that many leave Monday afternoon knowing for sure whether they’ll enroll.
I’m a proud participant of the Tulsa Time program. I still remember my hosts, Philip and Joe. I remember sleeping on their floor in Fisher South after staying up talking about college and life until the wee hours of the morning. I remember the classes I sampled: a macroeconomics course where the professor vehemently encouraged students to read “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and a physics class where I learned about the doppler effect. I remember the Trivial Pursuit games played in the Reynolds Center after attending my first TU basketball game (and seeing my first TU victory). Tulsa Time builds these same memories for prospective students. Any program that can provide such a visceral, hands-on experience surely makes an impact on a student’s school decision.
Did I choose to attend TU because of Tulsa Time? No. But the program gave me a very good idea of what to expect if I decided to come here, and it was an idea I liked. You must understand that the admissions office can’t win everybody. What they can do is polarize the students who are on the fence into either a “yes” or a “no.” A program like Tulsa Time helps do just that. It takes students who are iffy on TU (or maybe even a bit skeptical) and shows them what life here is like. Students have literally nothing to lose by taking part in the program. They get free food, free sporting events, free college lectures, free TU apparel and free information from an army of campus academic sources.
When I hear people complain about Tulsa Time, the argument always boils down to one thing. “Ugh, high schoolers on campus? Such losers. And they’re coming to my class too? Dammit, man, why…” Just hold on. Each and every person enrolled at this university was once a lame high school kid. Regardless of how much you loved or hated high school (or its homeschool equivalent), you went through it. The main negative view of Tulsa Time, that it’s “an annoyance to have losers on campus,” is pathetically weak. Remember that you were likely a loser once yourself. And by choosing TU, utilizing its programs and creating shared experiences with friends that last a lifetime, you’re (hopefully) no longer a loser by the time you graduate. So if our only problem with Tulsa Time is that it brings lame people to campus, I’d say we’re doing a damn good job.