Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar
In lieu of traditional campus tours, the Office of Admissions is now offering individual in-person tours for prospective students and their families.
In March, the Office of Admissions canceled all in-person tours after the university switched to remote delivery for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Since the spring, virtual tours and webinars have been offered.
When the Fall 2020 semester began, private campus tours were offered after prospective students requested to come to campus.
Erin Lauderdale, campus tour manager in the Office of Admissions, explained the reasoning behind the resuming of in-person tours.
“We know that people, although they do not want to go to large-scale events, they really want that personal interaction,” explained Lauderdale. “They still want to be able to come to campus. We did get some requests from people who were wanting to visit. We knew we needed to get things back to normal because one of the biggest factors in a student’s decision-making process for college is that campus tour.”
Lauderdale believes that in-person campus visits are one of the most important factors in the college decision-making process.
“It is one of the most important factors in their decision, and visitors want that in-person interaction,” shared Lauderdale. “Students need to be able to picture themselves on campus. They need to see where they would be eating; see where they would be living; see what it looks like on a typical school day.”
The one-on-one opportunities provided by the new tours better align with the values of the university, according to Lauderdale.
“We really pride ourselves on being a place where students matter and are the center of our focus,” explained Lauderdale. “Students are unique individuals who deserve individual attention. Prospective students are now getting to experience that from the moment they step foot on campus for their tour.”
Lauderdale emphasized that keeping visitors safe and healthy are top priorities during the private tours. She detailed what adjustments were made in light of COVID-19.
“All Southeastern representatives and guests are required to wear masks inside buildings, and they are encouraged to do so throughout campus,” noted Lauderdale. “The Enrollment Express Office, where visitors check in for tours, has been set up for social distancing. Plexiglass has been installed around the welcome desks, and hand sanitizer is available for all visitors. Tour guides now have protective Southeastern face shields, which allow for better communication with families so they can hear their tour guide during the tour.”
In addition to these adjustments, changes have also been made to the format of each campus tour.
“The beginning welcome presentation on admissions, financial aid and scholarships has been replaced with something a little more personal,” explained Lauderdale. “When a student checks in for their tour, they now sit down for a one-on-one meeting with an Admissions Counselor to go over the admissions process and other topics like financial aid and scholarships. To ensure that social distancing is enforced, our Admissions representatives meet with visitors in our open lobby area with appropriate space between them and the visitors.”
Though in-person tours are now offered, Lauderdale emphasized that a virtual campus tour and a webinar series are both still available for those who do not feel comfortable coming to campus.
To schedule a private tour, visit southeastern.edu/connect.