Admissions Office

Alumni Admissions Volunteer Principles of Good Practice

Responsibilities of an alumni admissions volunteer:

  • Interview prospective students
  • Represent Union at college fair programs in my area
  • Communicate with admitted students to answer questions about Union.

As an alumni admissions volunteer, I agree to:

  • Carry out all responsibilities assigned to the role of alumni admission volunteer and to contact the Admission Volunteer Coordinator if I am unable to do so as soon as possible.
  • Officially join and sign up for opportunities through the volunteer portal.
  • Review the training materials and resources found on the alumni admissions webpage.
  • Create a positive, safe and respectful atmosphere for prospective students.
  • Represent Union well. Always act in the best interest of the College.
  • Represent only Union College (i.e., if I also hold a graduate or professional degree, do not conduct undergraduate interviews for both alma maters).
  • Understand that any information shared by the Office of Admissions is confidential. I will practice discretion with personal information provided to me in this role. I will limit my contact with the student to duties relating to my role as a volunteer.
  • Abstain from volunteer activities when any family members are applying to Union in the application cycle.
  • Abstain from volunteer activities if I work in admissions or financial aid at another college or university.
  • Abstain from volunteer activities if I work as a school college counselor, an educational/college consultant, and/or receive remuneration for services relating to college applications (such as essay writing, test prep, or application review).

Interviews:

The goal of an interview is to allow the student to share about their academic and extracurricular interests and to leave the interview with a positive impression of Union College.

Do

  • Do meet with students virtually. For the health and safety of all, do not meet with the student in-person. All interviews being offered by the Office of Admissions for the 2021-2022 academic year will be virtual. Please arrange an online meeting (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, FaceTime, etc.), or a phone call.
  • Do not record or video the interview but feel free to take notes during the interview.
  • Do be open, positive, and encouraging. This should be a natural two-way conversation. Many of these students have little or no interview experience prior to this. Forgive missteps and encourage their professional growth.
  • Do have fun. This is your chance to bring your Union story to life. Talk about a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time on campus but also keep current with Union and talk about our community as it is now. Laugh. Smile. Enjoy!
  • Do meet with one student at a time.
  • Do make initial contact via email or phone. With the student’s permission, you may exchange text messages with them only after your initial introduction.
  • Do report any potential conflicts of interest and do not interview any students that you know personally. You will be able to select students to interview from the portal so you will be able to control who you interview.
  • Do complete an Interview Evaluation form. The link will be provided to you when you claim an interview.

Don’t

  • Do not comment on the likelihood of the applicant being admitted to Union College. Do not worry about grades and test scores... it's most important to learn about the student's course of study, extracurricular involvement and interests. However, it's OK if a student offers his/her/their GPA, test results, transcript, and/or resume (please send these materials to the Admissions Office).
  • Do not compare Union with other institutions, provide any information about another school or say anything negative about another college. If the applicant has any questions about another school, please encourage him/her/them to contact that institution directly.
  • Do not assume the preferred pronouns the student uses.
  • Do not attempt to answer a question to which you do not know the answer. If you aren't sure of the answer to a question, “I don’t know” is an acceptable response and refer the student to the Office of Admissions, (518) 388-6112 or admissions@union.edu.
  • Do not ask questions about a student's/family's financial situation. If the student asks about financial aid, encourage the student and/or parents/guardians to contact our Financial Aid Office at (518)388-6123 or finaid@union.edu.

There are some topics that may be sensitive to discuss including family, politics, faith community, sexual expression. If a student initiates a topic, you can respectfully add this to the conversation but as always follow the student’s lead in the discussion. Furthermore, if a difficult topic arises during the interview, you can ask the student how he/she/they would like the admissions committee to consider it when reviewing the student’s application.

Union's Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion