If you are in the campus tour guide community there is almost nothing better than the feeling you get after hosting a visit or event when you know you nailed it. It’s probably similar to what Steph Curry feels after he hits a 3 pointer!
As you prepare for the final month of recruiting the incoming freshman class, here are three strategies to consider that can help make you feel like an MVP when it’s all over:
3 Strategies to Consider for April Tours
- Consider customizing your daily info sessions or interview questions for admitted seniors.
If you have admitted seniors participating in your regular, daily admissions tours, it would provide better engagement for them if you run a parallel info session geared towards their unique informational needs. Logistically speaking, to keep this simple, you can break out and run this session at the same time as your general session and then recombine the groups for the tours. Similarly, if you offer personal interviews instead of info sessions, ask questions and offer information tailored to an admitted senior.
In terms of content (for both interviews and/or info sessions), there is information you can and should provide seniors at this stage of the process that you might not normally share or that they might now be more attuned to. For example:
- Steps they need to take to accept your offer of admissions.
- Explain to them how they acquire their university e-mail, take placement test, register or other technology related information.
- Inform them when your orientation sessions take place (so they can make plans around those dates) and why it is important to attend (i.e. what they will get out of it).
- Suggest to them how they might find a roommate (e.g. social media groups, during orientation) and details they might need to know for their housing application (e.g. insights about themed housing you might offer).
In addition, you might consider having your assigned tour guide take a more active role in an admitted student info session. If you do this, think about prompting your ambassadors to give answers to questions students might be too embarrassed to ask; for example, “How does a new freshman make friends?” You might want to offer the students a way to ask questions (via text or paper) anonymously.
- Make sure you make at least one connection for your visiting seniors.
Visiting, admitted seniors, more than any other visitors, are looking to see if they fit in. One of the best ways to help them is to make sure you connect them with someone who shares some of their same interests or passions. The most obvious option is to introduce them to a faculty or staff member affiliated with their intended major. An alternative that can be just as effective is a fellow student (perhaps another tour guide) who is passionately pursuing the same degree or shares their same extracurricular interests. If you can’t make this connection in person while they are on campus, arrange an e-mail introduction.
A couple of things to keep in mind when pursuing these connections:
- While you might have offered to make an academic connection on your appointment sign up form, some students may not have taken you up on this because it can be intimidating. You should consider asking again when they are on campus and assess their interest (see the next bullet point).
- One quick question you can ask as they check in (perhaps on an intake form or in conversation) is “How strongly do you feel (1-5) about pursuing your stated intending major?” This is important information because it will help you know how to approach the topic.
- Create a few customized post-visit tour evaluation questions for admitted students.
Having admitted seniors on your campus provides you a unique opportunity in time to use your post-visit evaluation to assess parts of your process or operation. While it is a good opportunity, keep in mind this is not the time to administer a full blown, 100 question Admitted Student Questionnaire! Before crafting any questions, carefully consider what it is you want to measure and incorporate a handful of these questions alongside your typical post-tour evaluation. The following are a few examples of assessment goals you may have and questions that could help provide you some answers:
- Goal - Assessing your engagement: “Did you hear from your admissions counselor during the application process? How helpful were these interactions?”
- Goal - Assessing your prospective student portal: “Did you sign up for and use our prospective student portal? What information was useful? Is there other information you would suggest we add to it?”
- Goal – Assessing the impact of your branding: “What are some adjectives you would you to describe our university?”