Touring The Ship | Beaufort County Now | Students, parents visit ECU for open house

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Jules Norwood.

Alyssa Marshall talks about the ECU College of Education with a family. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

    Hundreds of prospective East Carolina University students, along with parents and friends, visited campus Saturday for Fall Open House 2021, which marked a return to in-person visitation following last year's virtual open house event.

    "I just want to learn everything about the campus," said Seth Dunn of Charlotte. "I know the football team is good; I know mostly about sports."

    Dunn said he's primarily looking at the College of Business and is interested in accounting and sports management.

    Visit ECU

    Missed the open house? You can still visit ECU in person or virtually.

    Open house participants had an opportunity to speak with representatives from academic programs, student services and campus resources during an academic and college resource fair in the Eakin Student Recreation Center. Students interested in cheerleading met with current ECU cheerleaders at one table, while another featured a working robot. ECU dining, transit and campus living were all represented, along with dozens of colleges, schools and departments.

    It provided a great opportunity for students like Gianna Losito to get a sense of the school.

    "We're still trying to help her figure out what she wants to do," said her father, Gerald Losito. "We're a little early because she's still a junior in high school. We want to make sure she sees the campuses and what schools have to offer."

    The event also included campus tours led by ECU Ambassadors, and populars stops like Joyner Library and the Main Campus Student Center were open for exploration.

    David Bucci, academic advisor and executive director of the College of Engineering and Technology's Student Success Center, said the in-person event provides an experience above and beyond the information students can get on a website.

    "You have to hear some of the stories, you have to hear from the different colleges, you have to hear from the advisors, from the students, about just what makes ECU special, what makes the program special, why they should be here," Bucci said. "They can ask all the questions; they can talk to multiple people. If they want to find out about careers, if they want to find out about financial aid, if they want to find out about student employment, or maybe they're exploring five different majors, they can do all that here.

    "You can get a week's worth of emails and phone calls and contacts ... in one quick visit."

    Maegan McCrary said she doesn't know much about ECU, but she's interested in learning all about it. "I'm really interested in the sports studies program, and I just went to the hospitality table, and that was interesting," she said.

    Outside the rec center, the ECU Marching Pirates and the cheer and dance teams set the tone for the day, giving visitors a taste of the Pirate experience.

    Mason Jones of Charlotte said he wanted to learn about the college experience at ECU since he already has a friend attending. A percussionist, Jones is interested in the School of Music and the engineering program.

    Breakout presentations provided more detailed information on admissions and financial aid, choosing a major, campus living, transfer and Pirate Promise enrollment, and the Honors College. One panel provided an opportunity for visiting parents to connect with parents of currently enrolled students.

    Like Jones, Raleigh's Ella Snapp said she already knows some current Pirates and has heard good things.

    "I want to learn about what majors and what minors would fit best together and also just wanted to see what stood out to me because I'm not really sure what I want to major in yet," she said. "So it's really great talking to all these professors to hear about their point of view and why they love doing what they do, and it's really getting me interested in specific things and kind of pointing me where I want to go."

    For academic programs and campus resources, it's an early opportunity to get in front of students and let them know what's available.

    Reide Corbett, dean of Integrated Coastal Programs, was spreading the word about a relatively new opportunity for students to spend a semester at ECU's Outer Banks Campus.

    "We've done some information sessions and other outreach, but this is the biggest event we've been a part of, so it's pretty exciting to talk to students and let them know about Semester at the Coast," he said.

    Dr. Allen Guidry, interim vice provost for academic affairs, said he was thrilled with the turnout. More than 800 prospective students, most with a parent or two in tow, participated in the open house event.
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