Centre College’s Admission Office recently added a virtual campus tour through Guidebook, an innovative way to help prospective students connect with, see and experience campus from afar.
“Guidebook is very user friendly and keeps a lot of information in one place,” said Admission Counselor Lauren Samuelson ’16. “It’s free for students and families to download, and it can give you a physical sense of what walking through campus feels like. It’s also nice that you can see a variety of photos of campus throughout the year to get a sense of what different seasons feel like at Centre.”
In order to take the campus tour through Guidebook, individuals need to first download the Guidebook app, then search for “Centre College” and download Centre’s Guide. From there, the campus tour will open and individuals can select “Begin Tour.”
“At each stop you’ll see information and photographs from that point of campus,” Samuelson explained. “To listen to the student tour guides, you can play the audio to listen along at each location. There are also photographs that you can scroll through as you listen to the student tour guide. To reach the next stop, you’ll click through the ‘next destination’ and ‘I’ve reached this stop’ button at the bottom of the page.”
Samuelson recommends listening to audio at the different stops to hear from the five tour guides who recorded sections of the tour.
“Each student has a unique perspective of campus, and you can read more about our incredible tour guides at the ‘Meet Your Tour Guides’ tab,” she added.
Associate Dean & Director of Admission Pamela Baughman said they are excited for individuals to learn more about Centre through this opportunity.
“Families are trying to make important decisions during this uncertain time,” Baughman added. “Our goal is be as helpful as possible, and Guidebook provides an exciting and accessible platform for students. We have a beautiful, picturesque campus which serves as a home for members of our tight-knit community. This option is a wonderful way to introduce the warmth of our campus community and the benefits of a Centre education.”
Samuelson said the virtual tour is just as detailed, if not more, than a regular on-campus tour.
“It goes through each stop of a regular campus tour offered through the year, and we tried to share each corner of campus,” she added. “We are also adding more tabs to our ‘guide’ to showcase focused information about Centre, including athletics, study abroad and residence life.”
Highlights from the virtual tour include Old Centre, The Flame, Center for Global Citizenship, Center for Career & Professional Development, the Norton Center for the Arts, Campus Center, Diversity at Centre and Residence Life.
There are additional tabs on the app that include information about Danville and local recommendations to see more about what is available off-campus.
“It’s incredibly important for Centre to have a strong online presence right now,” Samuelson said. “Our spring calendar is normally full with opportunities for students to come and tour campus. And for a place like Centre, that truly is a full campus experience—being able to see and understand the College is really important.
“It’s very beneficial for students considering Centre to be able to see and hear more about campus from home in this season,” she continued. “We hope that this mobile tour, along with other virtual initiatives coming from our admission office, will help students understand how special and personal of a place Centre is.”
With students coming from nearly every state and numerous countries across the globe to attend Centre, Samuelson said it’s understood that choosing a place like Centre really depends on personal fit.
“This mobile tour is a way for us to share our campus so that students can visualize themselves both fitting here and making a difference,” she added. “Centre is a very student-focused campus, and it was exciting to have current students lead this tour virtually, from their homes all over the U.S.—Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey and Tennessee—because their voices matter most. Each of the students who shared on the Guidebook app have all contributed positively on our campus, and I hope that students who take the mobile tour can see themselves in the experiences they shared about.”
The Admission Office hopes that, by being able to share campus in more ways, they can help students become even more excited about Centre in the days to come.
“I do think this resource will be a help even in the days after COVID-19, as planning a visit to campus can be costly and time consuming,” Samuelson said. “We hope this resource can help students learn more about Centre and become excited about our community and the experiences they could have here from their own homes before even visiting campus.”
Samuelson advises prospective students to reach out to their Admission counselor if they have questions. The Admission Office is adding more sessions and opportunities for students to learn about Centre and get their questions answered. They are offering zoom chats and are also pairing current students and faculty with prospective students to help with the decision, as well.
“In a time like this, it feels like everything is constantly changing, but at Centre a lot of things at our foundation are staying the same—our appreciation for learning, community and for each other,” she concluded. “And for students that see themselves in that type of enriching campus experience, we hope that our virtual and mobile options will help them see that fit from afar.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 2, 2020