COLLEGE STATION, TX — High school students considering a visit to Texas A&M for Corps of Cadets recruiting couldn’t tour campus last year, due to public health restrictions. Now, in-person recruiting has returned.
“For the last 15 months, we’ve had to essentially stop all of our overnight in-person recruiting programs," said Samuell Hawes, assistant commandant for Corps of Cadets recruiting. "We typically do 1,500 overnight visits.”
Hawes explained that although recruiters could still speak to high school juniors and seniors digitally, the sign-up rate experienced a decrease at the height of the pandemic.
“When you have students who need that final check - that test drive, if you will - to see the Corps for themselves, that certainly is going to impact numbers," he said. "And it did, slightly, for 2020.”
Texas A&M senior and Corps first regiment major unit commander Grace Pick assisted with virtual Fish Camp last year, representing the Corps through the camp. Pick said she actually found some positive aspects of recruiting via Zoom.
“I think it’s a good option for people from out of state, because not everyone has the opportunity to come and have that one-on-one experience," she commented. "Being out of state, I think it’s a good option for people who can’t travel for spend-the-nights.”
Still, Pick said a combination of Zoom and in-person visits would be more ideal, as the overnight experience with the Corps is a major part of what first sold her to A&M as a visiting high school junior from Minnesota.
“I absolutely loved it," Pick said. "It was so cool to be able to talk to cadets and be with them, to get to see pretty much a day in the life, to see what you would be able to do and what a daily schedule was like.”
Hawes pointed out that Texas A&M has already received over one hundred sign-ups for this month’s Spend the Day with the Corps’ session.
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