In a move to recruit students for the fall semester, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) recently held a virtual open house, welcoming prospective students to experience the institution from the comfort of their homes.
It was the second general interactive open house since COVID-19 hit. Specific program areas such as construction and information technology have also held several successful virtual open houses. In addition, BTVI has partnered with several international schools to host virtual open houses, inclusive of Valencia College, Holland College and Georgia State University. As BTVI has Memoranda of Understanding with these institutions, the open houses provide students with information on credit transfer options.
With the institution limiting in-person classes and restricting access to campus activities because of COVID-19, the recruitment department had to adapt and find a new way of reaching and recruiting potential students without meeting them on campus or in person. Virtual sessions and social media they say have continued to be used extensively.
Irina Key, recruitment officer, said the institution’s recruitment exercises have dramatically changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that they are nevertheless important, as they help build affinity with prospective students, giving direct information to their questions.
“Prior to COVID, we were out in the schools and working alongside organizations such as the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Education, Sandilands and the Public Hospitals Authority. We would have numerous seminars, pop-up events, symposiums, participate in college fairs and much more. After COVID arrived, we began to have virtual meetings, information sessions and open houses,” said Key.
While the virtual open houses have been well-attended, Key prefers to have face-to-face interactions with prospective students and is anxious to return to her normal routine, which included hosting recruitment exercises in Abaco, Andros, Freeport, Exuma, Bimini, Cat Island and Eleuthera.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, BTVI’s president, was one of the key personnel making presentations during the live engagement. Robertson is an advocate for online and distance learning, and is impressed by the amount of prospective students the institution has reached during the virtual open houses.
“We have been able to reach over 200 students with these two virtual open houses. We have certainly been able to use technology to our advantage during these COVID times and will continue to adapt to ensure we are giving our stakeholders a quality product and exceptional service. We remain focused on our students, who are our chief clients, while extending open arms to those who wish to benefit from a BTVI education,” said Robertson.