New visitors center offers warm welcome to UIC

Visitor Center ribbon cutting

Dean of students Linda Deanna and Provost Lon Kaufman celebrate the opening of the UIC Visitors Center. Photo: Julie Jaidinger

First impressions often serve as key moments in careers, social life — and the college search process.

With the latter in mind, the Office of Academic and Enrollment Services has opened a new UIC Visitors Center to serve as a hospitable gateway for prospective students, parents and applicants who come to campus.

Spread over approximately 3,000 square feet in the Student Services Building, the new center has presentation space for up to 80 people, large waiting areas, two offices for one-on-one admissions counseling, and recruitment and outreach staff to provide group and individualized programs.

“The goal was to provide a place where the campus could be better understood and showcased,” said Kevin Browne, vice provost for academic and enrollment services.

“Visitors will get an admissions presentation and campus overview before they go on tour.”

The Office of Admissions’ move from a small presence in the Student Center East visitors center to its own space in SSB will enhance the daily information session, group visits and other experiences offered to visitors, helping them put the campus into context, Browne said.

The close proximity to financial aid, registrar and student support offices provides “one-stop shopping” for the center’s guests, Browne said.

The center will host visitor programs targeted to specific segments of students — admitted, prospective and first-year versus transfers — in addition to joint presentations with other campus units.

Visitors Center staff

Visitors center staff welcome the public. “The visitors center will be a welcoming space that will help the public connect with UIC,” says Oscar Rodriguez, director of recruitment and outreach. Photo: Julie Jaidinger

“Imagine bilingual semesterly admission or financial aid literacy sessions, expanded evening hours on leveraging UIC for success as a transfer student, FAFSA or Common App completion workshops, or displaying student art or an award-winning robotics project,” said Oscar Rodriguez, director of recruitment and outreach, who will oversee the center.

“We will use the space to show prospective students the core of what UIC is and what they could do and become while they are a part of our community.”

Students and parents have a shared interest in finding out what an institution offers academically, socially and financially, but students are also looking for a “feeling they fit,” Rodriguez explained.

“They want to discover if they belong on the college campus during the campus visit,” he said.

“The visitors center will be a welcoming space that will help the public connect with UIC.”

The UIC Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and varied hours on Saturdays. For more information call 312-996-4350.

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