A campus visit is often the most important factor influencing a student's college choice. But not all prospective students are able to visit DePaul in the midst of their college search. The new virtual campus tours
, launched in November 2017, are helping bridge the distance, making it easier for students to explore DePaul on screen while envisioning themselves on campus.
The online tours showcase DePaul’s Lincoln Park and Loop campuses through a topic-based approach. Current topics include places to eat
, residence halls
, career services
, health services
. By exploring DePaul locations that relate to these topics, the tours provide context and storytelling to illustrate the experience of being on campus. The tour website also provides a look at Chicago neighborhoods and attractions
A joint effort between EMM’s departments of University Marketing Communications and Undergraduate Admission, the tours include a mix of video, photos and written content, offering prospective students and their families a multi-faceted glimpse of what the university and city life have to offer.
“Our decision to frame the tours around topics allows us to paint a more contextual and authentic picture of life at DePaul. We want to tell the DePaul story, not give building walk-throughs,” explains Sharon Miller, director of Web Communications.
During the development and conceptualization phases, University Marketing Communications worked with their student EDGE team. As a group of first-year students who had just gone through the college-search process, they provided an important perspective on what prospective students would want to see and learn through online tours.
“The feedback from the EDGE team was so valuable in helping shape the tours through a student lens,” continues Miller. “Students aren’t interested in a building’s historical background. They want to know the best places to eat, what spaces and resources are available to them on campus, and what it looks and feels like to be in the hub of activity.”
At present, the tours explore the Lincoln Park location in more detail, but more video content is in development for the Loop Campus with an anticipated launch of spring 2018. In addition, recruitment emails encouraging prospective students to visit the tour website are being created.
University Marketing Communications has also been working on increasing search engine optimization for the tour website, and is currently in the process of a three-month analysis to monitor user activity. The tour website was designed in such a way that content can be switched or added based on need and user interest. The site is also mobile responsive so users can easily view the tours on any device.
Visit the virtual campus tour website here
, or contact Sharon Miller
, director of Web Communications, for more information.