Tour guides: liaisons between College and prospective students

Student tour guides at Ripon College serve as liaisons between prospective students and all things Ripon College, and they play a key role in the admission process, says Paige Kane, campus event coordinator/admission counselor.

“It is no secret that prospective students are much more likely to choose a school that they have visited during their college search, so the campus visit experience is very important,” she says. She adds that the goal is for every student to have their own individualized experience.

“Campus tours are always led by student ambassadors, which allows visiting students and families to see the College through the eyes of a current Red Hawk, which provides an authentic look into the Ripon experience,” she says. “While every interaction adds value to each visit, most of us go home at 5:00, whereas our student ambassadors live, eat, breathe, sleep and study on campus and are always eager to share their stories.”

Student ambassadors gave 80 individual visits to campus during the month of October, alone.

Brendan McCoy ’17 of Peosta, Iowa, is one of myriad tour guides on campus. He says he became a tour guide because “it sounded like a fun job on campus.” McCoy had known several people already working in the Office of Admission. So, between them and his established relationship with Kane, McCoy knew the admission office was where he wanted to work.

Being a tour guide is not an easy job. Students who decide to join the admission office must go through a detailed training process. Every tour guide learns and memorizes the designated walking path as well as the script that explains the significance of each stop on the tour.

McCoy says his favorite part about being a tour guide “is being able to share my personal experiences that I’ve had at Ripon with prospective students.” He says the question-and-answer relationship between a tour guide and prospective student bolsters a successful visit. While on the tour, visiting students can openly discuss items such as dorm living, campus dining and student activities with their tour guide.

The most commonly asked questions are, “What is there to do in the town of Ripon?” and “What have your favorite classes been?” McCoy says. This open dialogue with the tour guide is helpful for prospective students because it allows them to personalize their visit.

McCoy says he doesn’t like giving a tour when the weather is bad, but being a tour guide can always be rewarding. He says he enjoys his job because he can explain Ripon to people who might not have any idea what it’s like to go here and why it might be their next home.

“I like being able to mention things that not many other schools have,” he says.

To schedule your own campus visit or campus tour, click here.

Lauren Hince ’18
Blaine, Minnesota


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