‘ED Talks’ podcast series launches as new tool in undergraduate recruitment

Brittany Wereminski
Brittany Wereminski

Brittany Wereminski has a new tool in her work to bring students to the NIU College of Education.

Jumping on a suggestion from Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education Chair Todd Gilson, Wereminski launched a series of podcasts titled “ED Talks.”

“Todd brought up the idea: ‘Hey, we have so much content to go over with students. What if we were able to do some sort of podcast?’ I was totally on board,” says Wereminski, the college’s coordinator of Recruitment.

“Last year, we did the phonecasts where students were able to call in and get their questions answered, but at this point, there are just so many virtual events going on that we’re kind of competing,” she adds. “I really hope this is a way, moving forward, that we’re able to connect with students outside of offering in-person events.”

Podcasts allow prospective Huskies to listen whenever is convenient, she says, with a commitment of no more than 10 minutes. It’s also a familiar format for high school students.

Wereminski is promoting the “ED Talks” podcasts via emails sent to admitted students and their families.

The series kicks off this week with two episodes; one with Gilson talking about undergraduate majors and minors in KNPE and the other with Jennifer Johnson, the college’s director of Teacher Preparation and Development, covering licensure programs.

Upcoming installments will feature the voices of current students, says Wereminski, who’s already recorded two for posting later this spring.

“Ready, Set, Teach!” interviews current licensure students Cassandra and Kaitlyn “about their journey at NIU so far. Tune in to hear about the support they received and professional connections they’ve established!”

Future KNPE students, meanwhile, will receive links to “Ready, Set, Go!” to hear about NIU’s Kinesiology, Physical Education and Sport Management programs from Elizabeth and Rafael as they relate their experiences in the department and “discuss their favorite classes, why they chose NIU and more!”

Next on Wereminski’s recording schedule are conversations with current students about their extracurricular involvement with the college – “Ready, Set, Go!” touches on the Exercise Science Club, for example – as well as interviews about their activities on campus outside their majors.

“It’s a great opportunity to get our current students involved,” she says, “because I think that’s another piece of overall engagement that they might have missed out on over the last year.”

Once the first five podcasts are released, Wereminski will assess the response and determine whether it’s worth building the initiative for another round of episodes.

“This is definitely something that’s different and creative,” she says. “I think that if students are engaging, then it’s a great way – especially during the summer – to continue engaging win them. Even if they say in May that they’re coming to NIU, there are still several months where we need to foster that connection with them.”

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