West Virginia University has rolled out a New Student Communication Portal to enhance and personalize the admissions experience for prospective students.

With a few clicks of a mouse, future students can get information, apply online, check the status of their applications and schedule campus visits.

The Web portal, a joint project of Enrollment Services and Institutional Advancement, complements the current University Web site and may be accessed athttp://admissions.wvu.edu.

At one centralized location, future students will enjoy an admissions experience tailored to their individual interests, WVU officials said.

WVUs New Student Communication Portal gives us the ability to be more personal in our communication with prospective students by responding to specific interests they have in particular academic programs or extracurricular activities,said Russ Dean, senior associate provost.This will substantially enhance the current recruiting materials we use which are more general in nature.

Future engineering majors, for example, will see profiles of engineering faculty, students and alumni and news stories pertaining to engineering,explained Cathy Orndorff, director of Web Services.If they indicate theyre interested in service organizations, they might get an e-mail newsletter about campus service organizations.

With the Web portals capabilities, students will be able to learn more details about WVU s 170-plus majors, 300 student organizations, academic excellence and many research opportunities, added Content Writer Sarah Gould, who has written more than 140 student, faculty and alumni profiles for the project.

We have everything in one place so the resources are at the users fingertips,Gould said.Based on the information we get from users, we can begin e-mail �€~conversationsto help them determine if WVU has what they are looking for.

We have the capability of e-mailing very specific groups by state, major, extracurricular interests, etc.,Orndorff added.We could, for example, send an e-mail to let New Jersey residents know about a recruiting event in their area.

Brenda Thompson, assistant vice president of Enrollment Management, has been working with Web Services to develop the communications portal during the past 18 months. She said it raises the bar on recruiting, targeting increasingly Internet-savvy students.

This communication portal is a major breakthrough for WVU in the electronic recruitment of prospective students,Thompson said.Its the wave of the future.

Web Services, a unit of Institutional Advancement, and Enrollment Services jointly operate the New Student Communication Portal. The work of these two units on the Universitys Web site was recently recognized by the National Research Center for College&University Admissions.