Prospective students are once again able to visit the Ithaca College campus as the college resumes in-person campus tours.
The college began hosting in-person tours of the campus again April 10. The tours are offered to accepted students who have received an invitation to tour the college. The college is prioritizing students who have not previously visited campus but may invite more students as it is able to accommodate more visitors, Nicole Eversley Bradwell, executive director of admission, said. Prior to going on the tour, visitors must complete an electronic screening for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure and comply with the New York State Travel Advisory.
The campus was previously only open to current students, faculty and staff as outlined in the “Return to Campus” plan. Prospective students who are interested in touring the campus can submit a campus visit interest form to be notified when more tours are available.
The goal of the tours is to allow accepted students and family members to experience the college while maintaining the health and wellness of the college community and visitors, Bradwell said.
“We’ve been hearing from accepted students who have never visited campus that they are eager to experience the campus for themselves in a safe way,” Bradwell said via email.
Junior Tsedale Forbes, a co-chair of the President’s Host Committee, said accepted students are allowed to bring one supporting visitor for their tour. They said each tour is limited to four families and one tour guide, and everyone is required to wear a mask and stay distant from others throughout the tour.
Abby Bertrum, an accepted high school senior from Edina, Minnesota, toured the college earlier this month. She said she received an invitation for a tour during an accepted students day event. She said her tour was a one-on-one tour, and her group included herself, her mother and her grandmother.
“My overall experience was fantastic, and just being on campus really made me want to come here in the fall even more,” Bertrum said.
Forbes said tours have been adjusted to fit the New York state, Tompkins County and Ithaca College COVID-19 guidelines. She said the tours have been shortened and are mostly outside, going through as few buildings as possible. They also said all tours now take the same route — unlike how they were conducted prior to the pandemic — and are staggered throughout the day so that no tours cross paths.
Although campus tours are currently only being offered to accepted high school seniors, there are options for online engagement located on the college’s website. Forbes said the Office of Admission offers virtual Q&A webinars and panels for prospective students. They said almost all virtual engagement is open to students of all backgrounds and ages, except for the virtual accepted student social events, which are only open to accepted students.
Bradwell said over 1,760 prospective students attended the Accepted Students Day programs, which include financial aid sessions, an academic and student services fair and social events. The Accepted Students Day programs began in February 2021, and the final program is being held April 22.
Forbes said that as an extrovert, she enjoys engaging with visitors again, and the Office of Admission is ecstatic to be able to invite visitors on campus again.
“A lot of planning went on behind the scenes to make this happen, and if any of it would have caused harm to our campus community, the public health and emergency preparedness team would not have approved our proposal,” Forbes said.
Bradwell said the Office of Admission is excited to be welcoming prospective students to campus and will continue to assess its engagement opportunities as COVID-19 guidelines change.
“Our President’s Hosts and admission team members have enjoyed every moment of welcoming our accepted students to South Hill to see for themselves why Ithaca College is a place we call home,” Bradwell said.
Junior Emma Robinson, a tour guide on the President’s Host Committee, said that she is grateful that the committee has found a safe way to conduct tours that prioritizes health and connection.
“It’s so nice to be able to be connecting in person with prospective students again,” Robinson said. “It’s been such a long time of just webinars and blank video boxes, but to connect with students going through such a difficult time and being able to help them even a little bit is so energizing and a great reminder to me of why I’m in college and what I’m working toward.”