By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — When Jelani Nash of Fort Worth, Texas, received his certificate of admission to Tennessee State University, the usually quiet and shy Nash was emotional. The screen on his laptop revealed the certificate welcoming him to TSU.
“It just felt good and I was very excited,” said the high school graduating senior, as he and his family gathered in their living room in Fort Worth to participate in TSU’s first live virtual Spring Preview Day on April 9.
Like many prospective TSU students observing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nash was among hundreds of other incoming first-year freshmen who had to make their college commitment or receive acceptance letters without having visited the TSU campus.
In all, organizers said more than 300 users, mainly students and parents, connected to the event with questions to admissions recruiters. Many TSU administrators, student leaders, faculty, staff and alumni joined the conversation.
“Welcome to Tennessee State University and our very first virtual Spring Preview Day,” said President Glenda Glover, as she kicked off the live broadcast zoomed from the TV studio in TSU’s Performing Arts Center.
“Good afternoon to our students and to our parents! We are using this virtual format of programming to announce this wonderful Spring Preview Day because of where we are in America today. We have banded together to fight this coronavirus that has gripped our nation. So, the health and safety of you as students and parents on our campus is paramount. As you prepare to start your college careers, we have some exciting things planned for you this fall. We thank you and we are happy to greet you as you take your first step to becoming a TSU Tiger.”
The virtual spring preview, termed “Vision 2020: I see You at TSU,” gave potential students a new and innovative way to learn about the institution, said officials. They included a virtual tour of the campus, student interviews about campus life, meeting academic demands, and what it takes to apply and enroll at TSU. Also, in response to the global pandemic and the closure of various testing sites, viewers learned that TSU is waiving the ACT for students applying for the Fall 2020 semester. Officials say the university wants to ensure that all interested and capable students have an opportunity to be evaluated for admission. However, applicants must still have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and an official transcript to be considered for admission.
Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Alisa Mosley, was among university officials who joined in to tell the audience about TSU’s many outstanding programs, its diverse faculty, as well as opportunities for students to engage in internships, study abroad and service learning programs.
“So, there is really something for everyone here at TSU,” Mosley said. “When you go through those kinds of opportunities you come out stronger and your passion fortified and you are prepared to engage on the local, national and international levels.”
Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment, described the virtual preview as “a different platform, but the same brand of TSU excellence.”
“We are really trying to expand our reach to those who may not be able to come to us,” he said. “So, this virtual preview day is an exciting opportunity for us to reach thousands for the cause of TSU.”
Ashley Janae Edgar, of Atlanta, who has committed to coming to TSU in the fall, also watched preview day with her family. She said the exchange with the recruitment staff was “amazing.”
“It was extremely helpful and very informative,” said Edgar, who plans to major in criminal justice. She received her admission certificate during a visit on campus in November.
For Jelani Nash and his parents, they think TSU is the perfect fit for the incoming freshman.
“We are definitely comfortable with him going to Tennessee State University,” said Jelani’s father, Omar Nash, who added that his whole family enjoyed watching the virtual spring preview.
“Although we wanted him to stay close to home, we have a nice family connection in Nashville. Also, my wife enjoyed seeing the president of the university because she is a sorority sister, and my daughter said the campus was beautiful. This virtual preview is a definite plus for you guys.”
You can watch Virtual Spring Preview Day on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jz98el-MZo
For more information on admission to TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/