Same services with online delivery

illustration of the 2020 virtual commencement
Virtual services benefit students

Same services with
online delivery

Video-based campus tours. Online career fairs. Virtual counseling sessions. Chat sessions between prospective and current students. Online mock interviews. These are just some of the virtual services Miami offered prospective and current students as the coronavirus struck in spring 2020.

And of course, the Class of 2020 graduated in a first-ever virtual Commencement ceremony featuring Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Miami Class of 1969. These virtual innovations were based on the same principle adopted by every office and division at Miami: Serving students to give them every opportunity at success remains in Miami’s DNA and would not be stopped by the global pandemic.

After the coronavirus outbreak forced a transition to online learning and most faculty and staff started working remotely, Miamians rallied to bolster efforts to recruit the incoming Class of 2024 and serve current students.

Virtual commencement in virtual reality

For Commencement in May 2020, Miami partnered with Subvrsive, an immersive innovation studio co-founded by alumnus Austin Mace ’15. By computer, mobile device, or VR headset, graduates and university faculty and staff could join the ceremony, experiencing the traditional pomp and circumstance within a virtual, dynamic, never-seen-before environment where they could interact with each other.

For much of the spring and summer of 2020, prospective students were unable to visit Miami’s campuses for tours and talks with students and professors, so Miami’s Office of Admission took those services to them - online. Current students could not talk face-to-face to potential employers at Career Fair or visit the career center, so Miami’s Center for Career Exploration & Success offered online interviews and counseling.

While professors and students successfully transitioned Miami’s classes to online instruction, Miami innovation took hold with services including video-based campus tours, virtual admissions presentations, online interviews and even a virtual career fair.

Offering personal interaction through video visits

A virtual visit website, MiamiOH.edu/visit, features a video-based tour of the Oxford campus and other features students and families would see if they were visiting in person, including information sessions with an admission counselor with live question-and-answer interaction, one-on-one visits with an admission counselor, and live Q&A sessions with a panel of current students representing all academic divisions.

“We want students and families to have ample opportunities to speak with Miami representatives and current students and to see our beautiful campus,” said Bethany Perkins, director of admission. “During our Make It Miami events for accepted students, families explore campus and meet with faculty, students, and representatives from various departments. Although nothing can replace actually being on campus, we want to come as close as possible to offering that personal interaction with an ability to see campus virtually.”

At the same time, Miami’s Center for Career Exploration & Success offered on-demand career advising, a virtual town hall for employers, and pre-recorded videos on various career-related topics for faculty to use in their classes. Career center leaders supported students with tools to update their professional profiles and learn new skills remotely. For example, the new VMOCK tool allowed students to upload their resume and receive scores on impact and presentation.

“We know that Miami students are qualified for opportunities that are out there,” said Jennifer Benz, assistant vice president in the Center for Career Exploration & Success. “Our commitment is to connect our students with employers and give them the tools they need to succeed. By launching these virtual services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are doing what Miami has done for generations - helping students achieve their career and personal goals.”