Principal Delighted with Online Open Event
Principal, Andy Grant, has been overwhelmed by the support for Gosport’s Further Education centre, St Vincent College, shown in the success of its first online ‘Open Event’ of the academic year.
Having spoken to The News earlier this month about his disappointment that the usual college Open Evenings could not be carried out due to the Coronavrius pandemic, Andy was heartened when he learnt how many people had clicked, scrolled and downloaded information through the college website’s ‘Open Event’.
‘At the start of the academic year, we were hoping that we could welcome prospective students to the college at a social distance and with all necessary precautions,’ Andy explains. ‘When the decision was made that this would not be possible, it was completely understandable – safety comes first – but nonetheless disappointing.’
Staff immediately sprang into action and created content for an online, three day ‘Open Event’ which launched on 13th October and featured videos from students, online campus tours, course information and Post-16 career guidance.
‘I cannot speak for Principals at other colleges, but even when I saw how impressive the online pages were, I felt an element of anxiety about how the public would respond to this new way of opening our doors,’ admits Andy. ‘Now, however, I am immensely proud of everyone who worked so hard and showed me there was absolutely no need to worry.’
The Open Event page of the website received over 860 visitors, racking up just short of 4,000 page views and, most crucially, generated the same number of applicants as the equivalent Open Evening in 2019.
‘People really got the message and responded so positively to our move online,’ says Andy. ‘We had a phenomenal increase in bookings for personalised tours – something that will be hugely important this year – from pupils attending schools across Gosport and further afield.’
Personalised tours of the college, which are taking place outside of core teaching hours, mean new students and their families can be shown round the college by a member of staff, focusing on any areas of particular interest.
‘We are really pleased that people are making the conscious effort to come and safely see the campus, meet us in person and learn about all our community can offer.’
For those who missed the Open Event this month, another will be launched on Wednesday 18th November.
‘Educational establishments have had to prepare for so many different scenarios in the past six months, then adapt, change and respond accordingly, it is easy to lose sight of the support and value we have in the community.’
‘Along with the reinvention of our Open Events, we have launched new online learning courses for adults and are liaising with partners such as Gosport Borough Council and Job Centre Plus to develop our new ‘Work Skills’ provision for both individuals and employers to access.’
Andy Grant – Principal.