Staff profiles: Terence Brown
Terence Brown finds Spartans long before they’ve been accepted to attend Michigan State University.
“What I find in the high schools is that a lot of students view themselves as Spartans a long time before they get an offer of admission from our office,” said Brown, senior admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions.
Brown works in recruitment, doing presentations for prospective students and their parents at Michigan high schools and even middle schools and out-of-state college fairs. This academic year, he has been the primary presenter in the admissions room in the Union.
In the fall, the presentations are geared toward prospective students and their parents, but in the spring, the focus is on admitted students.“In each of the last few years, we’ve had roughly 1,000 of those presentations across our entire staff,” Brown said. “We cover a lot of ground.”
Brown also improved the “Ask Admissions” tool on the Office of Admissions website by adding additional information and responses, as well as rebranding and repositioning the tool.
“The goal is to really provide online information that can be accessed anywhere — on someone’s mobile phone, when they’re at home, when they’re online,” Brown said. “When our office is closed, can they get answers to a lot of the questions they would normally ask when they call into our office? The short answer is ‘yes.’”
Brown also chairs a committee that runs an electronic newsletter that is sent regularly to about 900 high school guidance counselors, which updates them on what was happening with the admissions process and introduces them to new programs at MSU.
“They will not only mention these opportunities to the students that they work with, but they’ll oftentimes pass this information along to their parent mailing lists,” he said. “So we’ve got roughly 900 guidance counselors on that list, but we know that the penetration for this particular communications piece goes a lot broader than those 900 people.”
Brown also reviews applications from prospective new freshmen and transfer students. The office anticipates 28,000 applications from prospective new freshman and 3,000 from transfer students this year, he said.
The application process focuses on academic performance in core classes, standardized assessment scores, students’ personal statements and high school activities. Though students tend to put a lot of emphasis on their personal statements, Brown said that personal statements are most helpful when a student is somewhat “on the bubble” in the admissions process.
“Tell us things that we’re not going to see on your transcript, or we’re not going to be able to identify among your SAT or ACT information,” he said. “Tell your story.”