Wanted: outstanding students

Jun 26, 2003, vol. 27, no. 5
By Howard Fluxgold

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SFU will kick off its renewed efforts to attract the best and the brightest with an open house scheduled for Oct. 4.

The senate task force on undergraduate student recruitment has recommended that a primary objective at SFU should be to recruit students with outstanding academic potential.

It defines outstanding students as those with high school graduating averages of 90 per cent or greater and college transfer students with an A average. The university budget also includes an increase of $265,000 for student recruitment.

Jeff Macnab, (above) student recruitment director, views the open house as “an opportunity for the university to talk about where it is heading. We know that good students are being bombarded by universities talking about what they are planning for the future. We also know that well qualified students are attracted to universities with a sense of growth.”

Macnab also sees the need for the university to become better known outside the province. The task force has recommended the recruitment of a student body that is nationally and internationally diverse. “We need to be more aggressive with our advertising campaign and we have been given some budget money for that.” He is also planning prospective student receptions in five key cities across Canada and hopes to enlist the help of some of SFU's championship sports teams and recent graduates in the national recruiting campaign.

The task force also recommended recruiting students from a diverse mix of economic, ethnic and social backgrounds and specifically advised encouraging First Nations students to attend SFU. The target is to double the number of First Nations students at SFU within three years.

Macnab says that while the recruitment of First Nations students is still “a work in progress” he is looking to develop a mentoring program and greater use of current First Nations students in recruiting visits to schools and reserves.

Overall, Macnab says his “goal is to recruit talented students because the most accurate predictor of academic success is previous success.” But he also cautions that once recruited to campus, it is important that the university support them throughout their university career. “We need to listen to their concerns and support their growth while at SFU. We need to provide them with good information to make good decisions.”

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