Worcester State’s Admissions Office staff isn’t letting a global pandemic stop them from giving on-campus tours this summer.
With a lot of creativity and digital ingenuity, they’ve worked around this unprecedented hurdle to offer a self-guided “drive-thru” tour that allows prospective students and their guardians to explore campus from the convenience and safety of their vehicle. While access to buildings remains prohibited, visitors are able to follow a tour map, accompanied by descriptive audio narration that highlights Worcester State’s many features and offerings.
The admissions team hopes the tours will make sure that prospective students won’t miss out on the opportunity to see campus—a quintessential step in the college search process.
The drive-thru campus tour has been established so that families can continue to visit campus and keep the motivation going with their research on pursuing their higher education goals,” says Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions Kirsh Donis. “The college search should not have to stop due to COVID-19.”
“We know that touring college campuses is a critically important component of a prospective student’s college search,” adds Dean of Enrollment and Director of Admissions Joseph DiCarlo, who feels that offering a drive-thru campus tour option was the natural choice for Worcester State.
“We are so fortunate to have a beautiful 58-acre campus that is very easy to navigate on foot or by car. The idea of offering a drive-thru campus tour was a great option to welcome visitors to campus in a safe manner,” DiCarlo says.
Drive-thru visitors begin their tour at the North entrance to campus, where they will be able to pick up their campus map. From there, the tour guides visitors to stop at Coughlin Memorial Field, the Wellness Center, Learning Resource Center, Sheehan Hall, and ending at the Student Center. At each stop, visitors can pull over or park and play the tour audio, which describes in detail the features and functions of nearly every building on campus.
Visitors will be able to “tour” the interior of these buildings later this summer with the release of a student-led virtual tour, which is currently in development. This will allow prospective students to navigate through the interior of nearly every major location on campus from the safety of their computer, phone, or other device.
“The virtual tour is an exciting new way for students and families to experience our campus over the summer,” says Director of Marketing Sarah McMaster. “We expect it to be available mid-July and are excited that this immersive, multimedia tour is student-led, just like our on-campus tours.”
While a drive-thru tour can likely never match the value of having actual Worcester State students guide prospective students around their favorite places on campus, DiCarlo remains optimistic that this new strategy will produce results.
“Although it won’t replace the experience of a more traditional campus tour, we feel it is the next best thing,” DiCarlo says.
Information about the drive-through tour, including detailed maps and tour audio, can be found at worcester.edu/drivethru .