Longwood’s new dean of admissions describes today’s prospective college student as an astute judge of higher education options who knows what he or she wants.
“Students are getting a lot smarter,” said Jason Faulk, a Virginia native who comes to Longwood from the University of North Texas-Dallas, where he served as director of admissions. “More of them are asking themselves how the schools they’re considering fit with their personality and future plans, and what support systems are in place to help them along the way.
More [prospective students] are asking themselves how the schools they’re considering fit with their personality and future plans ....Jason Faulk, Dean of Admissions
“You have to put students at the forefront of everything you do,” he said. “If you write a policy or procedure and it doesn’t have a student focus, you just wasted lots of time and money. Sometimes we forget that we’re here for the student.”
In his five years as admissions director at UNT-D, Faulk led an effort that resulted in a three-fold enrollment increase, from 1,000 to more than 3,000 students, while retention rates rose annually. On the surface, the fast-growing urban university seems a far cry from Longwood’s stately, historic campus, but Faulk sees more similarities than differences.
“A lot of the student support we had at UNT-D was great at really helping our freshmen navigate that first year and build a plan for success and graduation. What Longwood has in place is much the same,” he said.
Faulk joined UNT-D as an admissions counselor in 2012. His energy, quickness to learn and aptitude for taking on bigger challenges became apparent, and he was named the director of admissions in just a few months.
“Jason is really quite an extraordinary person, whose vision of a successful admissions department lines up with our initiatives at Longwood,” said Dr. Jennifer Green, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. “In the past five years, we have shifted our approach to building classes made up of students who fit the Longwood culture and whom we can help be successful. Jason’s demonstrated not only a commitment to that principle but also an ability to be creative in how we go about accomplishing it. Add the fact that he grew up in Virginia and has an understanding of the special dynamics at play in the state, and he is the total package.”
Faulk was born in Suffolk, the son of a peanut farmer and a staffer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He and his brother, both star track athletes in the rural southern Virginia town, became the first members of their family to go to college. Faulk ended up at Morehouse College in the heart of Atlanta and then earned a master’s degree at Troy University. Prior to joining UNT-D, he taught high school and worked for a charter school system in Dallas.