The recruitment of honors students at The Ohio State University: applying realistic job preview concepts to college

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Title: The recruitment of honors students at The Ohio State University: applying realistic job preview concepts to college
Creators: Tyers, Melissa Margaret
Advisor: Wanous, John P.
Issue Date: 2001
Abstract: Realistic Job Previews (RJPs) are any method to give recruits a balanced picture of the job. It can include brochures, videos, or personal presentations that present both positive and negative aspects of the job. RJPs can be used as part of the recruitment process before an offer is accepted or as part of the orientation or socialization process after the offer has been accepted. Since new employees (and college students) usually have inflated ideas of a new job (and new school), RJPs seek to reduce exaggerated expectations. RJP concepts can be applied to the recruitment of Honors students at The Ohio State University in order to better prepare students for the realities of life at OSU, thus proactively reducing turnover (both through students leaving the university completely and through students losing honors status), allowing students to develop coping mechanisms, and providing them with more information so they can make a better informed decision and select OSU. With the implementation of the Academic Plan and its outlined goals towards academic excellence, Ohio State Honors students will be a target of heavier recruitment. Because of the importance of Honors student recruitment, there is potential to try to "sell" Ohio State in an effort to gain as many as possible. However, only providing positive aspects of the university can backfire in higher turnover and dissatisfied students. How can RJP theory be applied to college recruitment? Following the guidelines provided in Wanous's "Installing a Realistic Job Preview: Ten Tough Choices," reviewing the existing recruitment process, and evaluating current students views of recruitment information, suggestions are made to increase the "realism" in recruitment. In order to determine what to implement and how to implement "Realistic Job Preview" theory in the recruitment of honors students at The Ohio State University, two tasks needed to be completed. First, the issues and decisions surrounding the implementation needed to be evaluated and addressed using current methods and the climate at the University. Second, the method of the collection of information regarding current processes and the "reality" of life as an undergraduate honors student needed to be determined (which is actually incorporated in the above). The current process involves students entering three different "queues" in order to learn about the Honors option through the Honors & Scholars Program. Each has a different track, but much of the materials are shared. The current process has been in existence for approximately seven years, with one notable change. It is "informal" in the sense that the steps are not expressly written down anywhere. The Ohio State University Honors Program should adapt "Realistic Job Preview" concepts in the recruitment of Honors students, calling it "Realistic College Preview." Adapting these concepts proactively (before a turnover problem develops) will lead to lower turnover and better adapted students. The recommendations are made as a proactive measure in response to the increased importance of recruiting and retaining Honors students in response to the Academic Plan. The diagnosis was unstructured with information obtained through formal and informal interviews, personal anecdotes, and experiences. The content should be judgmental to reflect "reality" and be intensive, so that the program can still be sold, but students are still given enough information to make an informed decision facilitating self-selection. The chosen presentation medium should be written and one-to-one, taking advantage of the best of both worlds. The message should be delivered by incumbents (current Honors students). The "Realistic College Preview" will be given early in the process in order to optimize the time students have to make informed college decisions. The concepts should be implemented as policy because a study would waste time and money and due to the number of incoming students, would not yield results backing up the suggestions and research. Finally, it is recommended that Ohio State Honors begin tracking the recruitment and retention of Honors students. In addition to tracking OSU results, it is also suggested that OSU benchmark itself against other institutions. Two specific recommendations are made in regards to including peer mentors during recruitment and allowing Honors Ambassadors to share more personal experiences. Other recommendations are made for further research.
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. College of Business Honors Theses; 2001
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