Admission Team Works From Home, Welcomes Virtual Connections

Admission team working from home
Admission team member Jacob Elliott enjoys plenty of coffee as he meets virtually with Future Hornets.

It’s been over a month since K’s Office of Admission team has started working remotely; employees have been busy helping students, talking to parents and setting up the best virtual visit experience possible. Just like everyone else, K’s admission counselors have been adjusting to this new normal.

Jacob Elliott, one of the newest admission counselors who works with students from the Southwest U.S., as well as students from Lansing and the Thumb of Michigan, has been crafting his own way of life. “I wake up and immediately get a cup of coffee,” Elliott said. “Nothing has changed on that front — except the size of the coffee cup.” From there, he does his best to deal with his newest coworker, 10-month-old Freddy the cat, whose idea of work time looks an awful lot like play time. When work is done, Elliott is in a desperate scramble to get through the growing pile of unread books on his shelves. “If you need a book recommendation at this point, I’m your guy!”

Freddy Elliott serves as Jacob’s work-from-home coworker.

Early in his remote work process, Elliot realized that physical distance didn’t have to mean complete social distance — social media distance, that is! “I chat with my friends now more than ever,” Elliott said. “I’m all over FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat! I’ve learned if you want to see other people, you still can. I’ve even made a few new friends while we’ve all been craving human interaction!”

While the world is keeping its distance, people are still finding ways to care for and support one another. K’s counselors are no different, Elliott said. “We’ve just extended our deposit deadline to June 1; anyone who is still considering K or is  not sure where they might be headed next year should definitely reach out! We are more than willing to help, even if that means just listening to you and talking through your options.”

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 and Admission

What is the current status of COVID-19 at K?

Please see the most up-to-date information.

What are virtual visit options?

  • We’re happy to meet you and discuss your place at K. Please reach out to schedule a video chat, phone, text or email conversation.
  • Take a virtual tour to explore photos and videos of our beautiful campus!
  • Contact an alum and learn about the K experience from the perspective of a graduate.
  • Ask a student to hear about life at K straight from the source! Current students are available for phone calls, texts, video chat and email.

Will COVID-19 impact admission decisions and processes?

As usual, every application will receive our full consideration. Domestic applications will not be impacted. We are closely monitoring the international COVID-19 situation and will adhere to any guidelines set by the U.S. government. If you are an international applicant with concerns about the application process, please contact our international admission coordinator.

Will COVID-19 impact the timing of admission notification?

Admission notifications will be sent as usual! Please check your “my status” portal.

Will the enrollment deposit deadline be extended?

Yes; our enrollment deposit deadline has been extended to June 1. However, we understand that these are uncertain times. Please contact your admission counselor regarding deadline concerns.

What if I have affordability concerns as a result of COVID-19?

K’s financial appeal process is designed for this purpose.

I’m a transfer student and my current college/university is closed; will you accept unofficial transcripts?

Reach out to Marcus Johnson, our transfer student coordinator, to address concerns about transcripts.

For high school counselors, IECs and CBO partners

I was planning to bring students to campus. What are my other options?

Please take advantage of the following options:

  • Take a virtual tour to explore photos and videos of our beautiful campus!
  • Contact our office to schedule a virtual information session. We’re happy to meet your students and answer any and all questions about your place at K.

Will K counselors be attending college fairs?

Not at this time; K has suspended all non-essential college-sponsored travel. Please contact our office to request college fair materials or discuss K’s presence at virtual fairs.

Study Abroad Trip to France Was Years in the Making

three students on study abroad
Jessie Gougeon ’21, Maddie Jump ’21 and Avani Ashtekar ’21 spent a day working at a vineyard in Menetrol, Auvergne, France.

I had dreamed of coming to Clermont-Ferrand, France, since I was a sophomore in high school. My sister was a junior at Kalamazoo College, studying abroad in this small French city tucked away in France’s volcanic chain.

Most people in France have not even heard of this town, and there I was in Sterling Heights, Michigan,—exactly 4,051 miles away—dreaming of the day I would call it home. I applied to colleges my junior year of high school, keeping my hopes set on K; the day I was accepted I knew I was one step closer to reaching this dream.

Fast forward to 2019: When I arrived in France this September, the first thing that came to my mind was, “I hope I remember how to speak French!” I had six years of French classes, a French department award, and two years of college under my belt, yet looking back, nothing could have prepared me for all the incredible life experiences I was about to encounter abroad.

Cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand
Jessie Gougeon ’21 can see this cathedral from her favorite cafe in Clermont-Ferrand.
City of Clermont-Ferrand, France from study abroad
Jessie Gougeon ’21 had dreamed of visiting the city of Clermont-Ferrand, France, since she was a sophomore in high school.

Being abroad has helped me to grow in so many ways that I never would have expected. I am learning to be more independent, having to figure out situations I have never been in before—from navigating the metros of Paris, to learning the proper French etiquette of dinner with my host family.

I am also having the rare opportunity of using my French language skills all day, every day. This can be challenging; for example, I never knew the word for “blister” in French, and it took about 20 minutes to try to explain to my host mom why I needed a bandage for my foot. Yet each time you are put in a situation where you learn new words and figure out what you need to say, you just feel more and more confident.

I also have had the opportunity to make lifelong friendships that would never have happened without study abroad. I get to live with a French family who truly feels like a second family, meet French students, go on dates with French boys, and even become closer to the students who came with me from Kalamazoo. Coming to another country where you know no one is a huge bonding experience, and now I have best friends from Kalamazoo who I never even knew before this year. We have traveled through Europe together, hiked the biggest volcano in France, the Puy-de-Dôme, and made Clermont-Ferrand into our new home together.

I am about half done with my study abroad program. As I sit here in my favorite café, I can see the infamous gothic cathedral made from volcanic stone and its black hues are still just as shockingly beautiful to me as the first time I saw them. In the distance I can see that the Puy-de-Dôme has snow on its peak, while the city has not yet reached winter. I am so happy I chose to come to Kalamazoo College and to study abroad in Clermont-Ferrand. I am so excited for what these final months in France have in store for me.

Jessie Gougeon ’21 is a Sterling Heights, Michigan, native currently studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand.