Reaching out to prospective students has been a blast

Tyree Boyd-Pates, student ambassador for the University Outreach Program, welcomes freshmen to orientation at Celebrate CSUB on April 28, 2012.

“When I say C-S, you say U-B! CS-UB!” I repeat the chant over and over as I grab the attention of more than 50 sixth graders. They are here for a tour of campus hosted by me and several other guides from the University Outreach Office, where I’ve worked throughout my five years at CSUB. This is one of the privileges I have serving as an outreach ambassador who sparks interest in and interacts with prospective students who are interested in what CSUB has to offer.

On a weekly basis, we meet groups of K-12 students at the Icardo Center to take them on tours of campus. On each tour, I enthusiastically explain the history of the university. I touch on famous alumni like Stephen Neal (former guard for the New England Patriots who was a champion wrestler at CSUB) and Kevin McCarthy (U.S. Congressman representing California’s 22nd congressional district). McCarthy earned his bachelor’s in marketing in 1989 and Master of Business Administration in 1994.

Next I discuss CSUB’s range of diversity among the student body and commitment to small class sizes. (We boast an 18:1 student-faculty ratio.) I also love to take the students through the Student Recreation center where they are blown away by the two-story climbing rock, three-court gym area, and suspended running track. These things and more are all seen in less than an hour’s time, but it never fails that at the end of every tour, students say, “I can’t wait to get here!”

The University Outreach office exists as a liaison for CSUB to reach out to thousands of prospective students. The office works very closely with students to apply for enrollment, register for classes and file financial aid applications. Prospective students are also advised by Outreach counselors to help with their academic transition and to learn about the academic requirements needed to be accepted into the CSU system.

The university outreach office is an ace in the hole. The office fosters close relationships with high school students and counselors to help them make decisions about academic pursuits. This kind of constant attention makes a big difference in the lives of prospective students. I surely know it did for me.

I met the University outreach team in 2007 when they visited my church in Los Angeles. I was enthralled by their presentation. They were so energetic and excited, that I knew I had to visit this campus. It wasn’t long after that I, myself, went to work for the CSUB University Outreach Office and emceed my first event of more than 800 incoming freshman.

In my five years working as a student ambassador, I’ve conducted five orientations for more than 1,000 new students and more than 150 tours of campus. Working in University Outreach has been a blast! The things that I have learned have shaped my appreciation for education and my drive to see students experience the adventure of college. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that my presentations help play a part in their decision to come to college at CSUB.

– Tyree Boyd-Pates, ’12, BA Communications, CSUB Public Affairs Intern