Lees-McRae Open House Guide

Your guide to a successful college Open House

Lees-McRae will hold its second Open House of the academic year for all students on Saturday, Nov. 13. Open Houses are the best way to get to know a college before you commit. You can tour the campus, talk to faculty members, learn about the available classes, check out the residence halls, and ask yourself, “Can I picture myself as a student here?” 

That’s a lot to accomplish in one day, which is why we put together this Open House guide. Use this information to decide if attending an Open House at Lees-McRae is right for you, and how to maximize your time once you get here. 

Why attend an Open House?  

An Open House only lasts a few hours, but it can teach you everything you need to know about a potential college.  

“This is your chance to fully experience the campus and student life, which will help you understand what your future years at the college will look like,” says Admissions Counselor Brandy Banner.  

The college experience goes beyond the classes you take and the extracurriculars you pursue. You might want to know how long it takes to walk from your residence hall to the dining hall, or to the different academic buildings. You may want to learn about Counseling Services, Career and Life Planning, and the advising resources available to students. And even if you’ve heard about the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, the state-of-the-art Hart Simulation Center, or the 70-acre Elk Valley Preserve, nothing compares to visiting them in person.  

Amanda Merritt, the director of admissions, says, “Think of Open House like your first date. You’re both there to get to know each other and gauge if this could be a long-term thing. Eat in the dining hall. See how faculty and staff interact with students and hear directly from current students about their experiences at the college. If something ‘clicks’ at Open House, maybe you will want to come back!” 

An Open House is your chance to ask any questions you might have and meet the people who will be on your side throughout your time in college. If you have an idea of what you want to study, you can talk to faculty from that program, including the dean of the school, to find out what to expect. If you’re undecided on a major, you can get a full overview of all the possibilities. As a college student, your education is in your hands, and an Open House is where that starts. 

Tips from the experts 

After hosting and attending many Open Houses over the years, our Admissions team members know how to make the experience as successful and valuable as possible for the students. Follow their advice to get the most out of your time at a Lees-McRae Open House.  

Prepare a list of questions about the college 

When it comes to picking a college, what matters most to you? Do you care about class size, or the types of activities on campus? How involved in clubs and student groups do you want to be? Do you want to mostly stick to your major classes, or do you want to study a wide variety of subjects?  

Think ahead of time about what you want to get out of your college experience and what your ideal school would offer. The Open House will have many faculty and staff members happy to answer your questions and help you figure out if Lees-McRae will meet your needs.  

Arrive early 

Another way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to give yourself plenty of time. Vice President for Enrollment Management Kevin Phillips recommends coming early so you get the full hour and a half to visit the information tables and get to know the college. Arriving early to the Open House allows you to process being on campus and get your bearings, and lets you spend more time talking with faculty and staff and getting your questions answered.  

Don’t feel like you must know everything already 

Merritt says, “It’s OK to be undecided. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to study, you know what you like and you don’t like about your current living and learning environment. Build off that and ask the college representatives questions about the academic and extracurricular things that are important to you.” 

You aren’t supposed to leave the Open House knowing everything there is to know about the college—you just need to learn enough to decide whether you can spend the next few years here. Once you’re a student, you will have plenty of time to finalize your major, your class load, your extracurriculars, and your plans for after graduation.  

Don’t be shy 

To get the full Open House experience, you need to talk to people. There will presentations from faculty and other campus departments, but how you spend the rest of your day is largely up to you. Banner recommends speaking with the coaches, club representatives, other students, and professors and immersing yourself as much as you can in the campus. Take that list of questions you prepared and look for the answers. Only you know what you need your college experience to be, so don’t be afraid to get specific with the faculty, staff, and students at the event. They want to help you!  

Wear the right clothes 

November weather in Banner Elk can be tricky, so prepare for both sunshine and the possibility of rain or snow. Mornings are generally chilly with the day warming up later in the afternoon. You will have the opportunity to tour campus and the nearby facilities, so wear comfortable shoes. If you plan to visit the Elk Valley Preserve, wear closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  

The college selection process can be daunting, but attending Open Houses will make your choice a little easier. Plus, you’ll get to spend a fun day on a beautiful campus! 

Ready to learn more about Lees-McRae? Register for the Nov. 13 Open House

Already registered? Review the schedule

By Emily WebbNovember 05, 2021
Campus Life