She was fed up with overcrowded colleges, poor service and uncaring staff. What the Anaheim, Calif., resident really wanted was a homey feeling and a supportive university.
Then Heather Conley saw a TV ad for Washington State University. The ad showed WSU’s world-class research activities, but what really got her attention were the bucolic Pullman campus, the historic buildings, and the warm welcoming atmosphere.
Heather signed up for WSU’s online Global Campus, and discovered that community values can indeed travel over the internet.
“It’s been so easy here,” said Heather, who is majoring in accounting. “The sense of community means I get the same support I would if I were based on campus. My advisor has been really informative, and I knew if I ever had a problem I could just contact someone to get help.”
Heather was so impressed with WSU faculty and staff that in June she and her mother, Janet, flew up to Pullman to visit the campus. They saw the grizzly bears, bought Cougar shirts at The Bookie and had ice cream at Ferdinand’s.
Afterward, they stopped by Van Doren Hall, where they chatted with Heather’s academic advisor, Kathreen Miller, as well as Debbie O’Donnell, director of marketing and student services, and Kelly Newell, director of outreach and program development. Kelly—as if to exemplify Pullman’s small-town feeling—had just watered the flowers on Van Doren’s porch, and was carrying a watering can.
“I came here to get a better connection with the school,” Heather said. “Now I can feel its full effect. I can feel a sense of purpose and know that this is something I really want to achieve.”
Heather’s visit had another powerful effect: She decided to move out of California. She’s transferring to WSU Pullman next year.