How Centre College Moved Campus Tours to Mobile with Guidebook
How the Kentucky-based Liberal Arts College sprang into action amid a global pandemic to offer students virtual campus tours
Centre College, a small liberal arts college in Danville, Kentucky, educates 1,450 students from all over the country and around the globe. The college has a deeply engaged campus community where all students live on campus and benefit from a 10:1 student to faculty ratio.
High-touch engagement begins before students even enroll. Centre College hosts spring visit days each year, opening up the campus up to admitted students to participate in tours and to learn more about life on campus. These events are not only important for students, but visit days are also a valuable opportunity for the College to wow accepted students, making Centre College their choice.
As the coronavirus pandemic evolved, it was clear to admissions staff that campus events could not go on as planned. Centre College sought an alternative approach to connect with prospective and admitted students. With quick action, Centre College moved from live admissions events to engaging virtual campus tours using Guidebook in less than two weeks.
Adjusting plans and acting quickly
The admissions department had previously discussed incorporating digital platforms, but when the global landscape indicated that things wouldn’t be going back to normal anytime soon, Lauren Samuelson, a member of the admissions staff, brought virtual tours to the table again. “Not offering students tours is detrimental to admissions,” said Lauren. “Especially for smaller colleges and universities, like ours, admitted student days are when we impress students and drive admissions.”
Once admissions and college leadership saw examples of how other universities are leveraging apps to engage students, they were excited to move to mobile.
“These events are an investment for our college. They are fairly big productions, and as we shift we see ourselves as being smart with our funds. We’re using the money in a different way to achieve the same goal,” said Lauren.
Without live events, the unanimous decision was – let’s go virtual.
A digital tour solution to engage students
Today, Centre College has a robust, engaging Guide to life at Centre College. Along with a comprehensive campus tour, the Guide also helps familiarize students with the surrounding city, Danville, Kentucky.
The Mobile Campus Tour
The Guide enables prospective students to follow along as five current students walk through academic program information, student services, on-campus activities, and so much more. Each of the 24 stops along the tour features an audio Guide accompanied by a set of photographs.
Local Favorites, Activities, and Landmarks
In addition to a tour of campus, Centre College’s Guide also gives students a look at local favorite restaurants, shopping, museums, and more in Danville, Kentucky.
College Contact Information
Prospective students can also get in touch with the admissions office, with any questions they may have, from within the Guide. Additionally, Centre College makes its website accessible from within the Guide.
Reaching students anywhere they are
Now more than ever, students rely on their phones for information. Lauren, a new member of the admissions staff, saw this as an opportunity to jump into mobile and reach students on their preferred platform.
“Mobile really is the way to reach these students. A majority of students come from out of state, they aren’t local. So, making a virtual campus tours app available makes students feel like they are exploring campus from their couches,” Lauren described.
To promote the virtual tours, Centre College is treating its virtual tours much like it would promote live events, rolling out promotion across its social media channels and in direct emails to admitted students. “It’s important to be adaptive during these times,” Lauren said, “though it’s early on, virtual tours on mobile are promising.”
Interested in learning more about mobile campus tours? Schedule time to speak with one of our GuidebookEdu experts!