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Admissions offices implement changes to improve prospective student experiences

The admissions office of every college is the first place prospective students see. Because of this, these offices have to be constantly changing to accommodate the new class of students.

Ohio Wesleyan University and Otterbein University are both familiar with this concept.  Since these two schools are similar it is not shocking that their offices are run alike.

One of these similarities is both schools try to match prospective students to tour guides with the same interests. In doing this they help the prospective student connect with someone who is already on campus, and the tour guide can give them better information. 

Julie Weller is the campus visit coordinator at Ohio Wesleyan University. Weller talked about how during the summer the office talked about implementing this change. 

“This year we have made a concentrated effort to make each weekday tour highly individualized with a goal of one family per tour guide. The tour guides do a great job of trying to align the interests of the prospective student with those of the tour guides on shift. We have given the tour guides the freedom to go off script and to show the spaces that best represent the interests of the visiting student.” 

This uniqueness of tours is also seen at Otterbein University. Paul Stelzer is an admissions counselor at Otterbein. Stelzer talked about how their tour is long and they try to focus on the students' interest because they can’t show all of their campus. They try to match tour guides to prospective students as well. 

“We try as best we can to match our prospective students up with guides in similar academic areas. It's a challenge, though, based on availability.” 

While this aspect is similar there are differences when looking at the admissions office. These differences are mainly number based. 

Weller says, “For each tour time we have, and we offer four tours per day, we limit the number of guests that can register to 10 per tour time. With the amount of guides we have on shift, the maximum number of families that each guide would have on tour is about three.” 

At Otterbein these numbers are not the same. Stelzer says, “We do limit the number of students able to register for the group overview presentations to four. If there were four families that registered, we would have, at minimum, two tour guides.” 

Both of these schools enacted these new ways just this past year, so they are not sure how effective these changes are. However, Weller is confident these changes will have a positive impact on the campus.

“The more individualized tours only began in August, however, the survey results and the comments from visiting families have been very positive.”

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