By Hayley Rea--Eagle Staff Writer
Since the pandemic began, seniors and future students at Virginia colleges such as Radford University, Ferrum College, and Roanoke College have seen a change in the way that college tours are administered.
"The campus visit is one of the most important parts when students look for their best fit college. The pandemic has interrupted many college visits but has also provided new opportunities,” Brenda Poggendorf, Dean of Admissions at Roanoke College explained.
Some colleges have had to change the way in which future students tour the college campuses in the interest of keeping everyone safe from Covid.
“Most colleges now offer virtual information sessions and webinars on special topics – very helpful in learning more about colleges from an overall perspective. Many colleges, Roanoke included, reopened our campuses to prospective student visits last summer,” Poggendorf commented.
However, other local colleges have found it easy to continue on with a similar tour plan from before the pandemic with added safety precautions.
“Ferrum does offer renewable $1000 visit scholarships to students as a part of their financial aid award after they come for an official visit. Therefore, we are excited to welcome students and their parents to visit our beautiful campus. We are scheduling in-person visits Monday - Friday at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. On Saturday, we host visits at 9:00 and 11:00,” Edwina Prunty, Associate Dean of Admissions at Ferrum College, said.
However, in the state of Virginia, many local colleges and universities already had practices in place for their tours and visits that worked well with the pandemic.
“We already do things in small groups or one on one with students and their families, making social distancing easier,” Poggendorf explained about Roanoke College's informational tour opportunities.
For some colleges, campus tours are guided by currently enrolled students to offer a more personal insight, which has also led to some transitioning on their part to work around the limitations of the pandemic.
“Through the COVID-19 global pandemic, [me] and [my] classmates learned to adapt to the challenges [we] were presented with,” commented Lauren Singley, a nursing student at Radford University Carilion.
Despite the hardships presented by Covid, admissions counselors are trying to find new ways to interact with students both on and off campus.
“Students may click on the link on our webpage to virtually tour the campus. Throughout the year, we continue to offer virtual programs, both academic and athletic, that give students opportunities to connect with us and receive the visit scholarship,” Prunty explained about Ferrum's campus tour options.
Both faculty and students at Virginia colleges and universities are working to engage future students to provide as much normalcy for their college experience as possible.
“There is nothing to replace that walk around campus and chat with a current student,” Poggendorf concluded.
For more information on Virginia college tours:
Campus Tours Website: https://campustours.com/
Radford University Campus Tours: https://www.radford.edu/content/admissions/home/visit.html
Radford University Carilion Campus Tours: https://www.radford.edu/content/ruc/home/prospective-students/visit.html
Ferrum College Campus Tours: https://www.ferrum.edu/admission/experience-ferrum/visit/
Roanoke College Campus Tours: https://www.roanoke.edu/futurestudent/visit
Campus Tours Walking 360 Tours: https://campustours.com/walkingtour.php