Campus tours attract future GV students

GVL / Archive
GVSU student Patrick Brown leads a tour group around campus.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive GVSU student Patrick Brown leads a tour group around campus.

Morgan Miller

As students take a less-duty workload during the spring/summer semester and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, Grand Valley State University admissions work around the clock to draw in potential Lakers, especially during its busiest months in late July, August and weeks leading up to the May 1 application deadline.

With the increase in number of prospective students and families requesting tours, admissions has increased the frequency of tours in the Monday through Friday rotation from three to five times a day in order to avoid an increase in length, which currently caps off at 1 hour and 15 minutes and usually hosts around 15 or fewer people.

Melanie Retberg, associate director of admissions, coordinates the campus tours and trains the tour guides. She and a group of admissions professionals established the route that visits GVSU’s most popular buildings like Kelly Family Sports Center, the Recreation Center, Fieldhouse Arena and housing units.

“Our campus is very impressive so we’re just trying to show it off,” Retberg said.

Retberg said admissions also takes into consideration guests’ feedback when planning the tours. Although she said that most of the feedback is positive, most families mentioned they wanted to see student life and really enjoy visiting the dining halls, the classrooms, lecture halls, Kirkhof and the different styles of housing. To add to the student life display, a bus route has been recently added to the tour.

Under the front desk management, GVSU student tour guides lead the tours.

Austin Langlois, a junior who has been a tour guide for two years, said student tour guides play an important role in the admissions process. Langlois is one of 14 tour guides this summer, who had to shadow a minimum of at least two hours of tours and study a booklet of GVSU facts to be eligible for the position.

“Facts and information about Grand Valley are important and relevant,” Langlois said, “However, sharing the special memories on campus makes the tour even better. Everyone tells different stories on their tours, that’s what makes each one unique.”

Langlois said all tour guides bring “something special” to the tour. Most of the information the guides tell the visitors comes from working in admissions and just being a GVSU student.

Families can also schedule a “small group presentation” that is offered on certain dates. In the small group presentation, a group of 25 to 30 people led by an admissions counselor to hear about campus life from a GVSU student. A walking tour follows.

Prospective families can also get with the modern times and take a virtual tour of both the Allendale and Pew Campus, created by Institutional Marketing. Out-of-state students can watch videos highlighting meal plans, general education and athletics. The site also allows students to take a 360-degree building tour and view the live campus webcams.

“I’m sure we’re going to use the virtual tour in many different ways,” Retburg said, although she encouraged prospective students to come to campus.

Spring/summer campus tours are offered Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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