ALBANY -- This week, Albany high school students with their sights set on Valdosta State University will have the opportunity to mingle with graduates of the institution and a few of the university officials they will be interacting with over the next few years.
The school is hosting the 2012 V-State Experience on Thursday evening at Doublegate Country Club on Old Dawson Road.
Attendees are asked to come at 6:30 p.m. with the program set for 6:45 p.m.-7:30 p.m. There, alumni can reconnect with the institution and prospective students can connect with some of the faces associated with VSU.
John Trombetta, director of alumni relations at Valdosta State, said the program would begin with a short presentation, as well as remarks from the university president and him. Officials from the admissions, financial aid and housing offices will be introduced, followed by a short video.
At that point, Trombetta said, future VSU students will be able to chat one-on-one with the alumni about their experiences as students and make sure their financial aid and housing paperwork is taken care of.
"The idea is to get the prospective students there, but to get the alumni to mingle with them," Trombetta said. "The parents get to see what their children will become, and the alumni are not paid to say it like we are.
"Plus, with alumni old enough to have kids the same age, some of them will know each other. It's a credibility that puts the parents at ease."
It can also help to put a future student's mind at ease, especially if there is younger alumni there, Trombetta said. "If they are not much older, they can relate to them," he said.
This is the fourth year the event has been brought to the Albany area, officials say.
"It's an important area for us, and it is a good area for us," Trombetta said. "It's part of our region, and part of our recruiting area."
To give an idea on how important the Albany area is for the school, officials with the VSU Registrar's Office say there are 218 students from Dougherty County currently attending Valdosta State.
On average, there are 15-20 students at the event each year. It is catered to students who have already applied and been accepted. They are generally sent an invitation to the event.
"It is more of a targeted population," Trombetta said.
High school students who are still considering whether to apply can also attend. Alumni are generally invited to the event through a mail-out, the alumni relations director said.
There will be refreshments served. Advance notice of attendance for the event is preferred, but not required.
To register, or for more information, email alumnivaldosta.edu or call (229) 333-5797.