If you happened to take a child on a tour of the University of Pennsylvania last year and you find yourself back in Philadelphia to tour the campus again with a younger child this year, you might find the tour to be quite a bit different than in the past. Indeed the new admissions tour at UPenn focuses less on facts and figures and more on the stories of students. And why? To better engage tourgoers. Telling parents how many books are in the library isn’t exactly going to engender deep thinking and questions. Telling parents about what it’s like to stay in a two-year college house system through the Second Year Experience Program sure can.
UPenn Tours Get More Personal
As reports Gianna Ferrarin for “The Daily Pennsylvanian” in a piece entitled “Penn student tour guides will now focus on personal stories instead of facts and figures,” “The new admissions tour, created by the Admissions Office and the student group Kite and Key, shifts away from the traditional formula that has been instituted for several years. Student tour guides will now focus on personal anecdotes and stories, Kite and Key president and College sophomore Julia Klayman said. Tour guides, for example, explain to prospective students that while Penn is split up into four undergraduate schools, students can still take classes and interact with students from other schools. With the new tour format, Klayman, a former beat reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian, said guides now have more flexibility in choosing how to explain this to prospective students.”
It will be interesting to see if other highly selective schools also shift away from relaying dry facts and figures during tours and instead choose to focus more on the interesting personal experiences of students at the college. Our bet is this is indeed the direction that college tours across the country will head in the years to come.