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Students share perspective on the impact of tours during campus visits

A tour of the campus might seem boring to students currently attending Oklahoma Christian University, but for some, it assists in their decision to choose this college as their home.

Going on a campus tour can be a highlight of an incoming student’s campus visit. The tours are student led and are meant to be an informative process that helps the new student gets a feel for student life on campus.

“We want the guests to get the student’s point of view,” Administrative Assistant for Admissions Amy Gower said. “We want them to know that, just like our students on campus, they are not just a number.”

Every new tour guide is required to attend a training session.

“We want them to be helpful and be able to answer any questions the incoming students may have,” Gower said. “It’s not just about pointing out buildings. It’s more about campus life and how we interact and fit in and how much you love life at Oklahoma Christian.”

High school junior from San Antonio, Yesinia Gomez attended a Campus Connect visit during the fall semester and said she was very impressed with her visit.

“All the people, like the tour guides and the academic counselors, were really nice and showed me where to go,” Gomez said. “They were very informative and I liked that a lot.”

Gomez plans to apply to Oklahoma Christian, and she hopes to attend in the fall of 2015 if accepted.

“I’ve been to the campus before for camps, and a lot of my friends are planning on going there,” Gomez said. “I wanted to check it out for myself, and I felt really good about it after my campus visit.”

Gomez was impressed that she was able to meet many helpful people during her Campus Connect visit.

“I got to meet the professor for the missions department, and that was really cool because he was a nice guy and very informative about the program,” Gomez said.

Current tour guide Charina Sullins said a positive aspect of the university’s campus visit program is that potential students such as Gomez can meet many different people that will help leave a lasting impression.

“The incoming students get to meet so many people, and by the end of the day they get to know a face,” Sullins said. “I think that’s a very strong point to our campus connect.”

As a tour guide, Sullins helps with many events for admissions during Campus Connect visit days.

“My favorite part of working a Campus Connect Day is probably eating lunch with the potential students,” Sullins said. “I can have one-on-one conversations with the students, and I am able to build a relationship with them even if it is just for 30 minutes.”

Sullins said it is important for tour guides to really love being a part of Oklahoma Christian.

“Showing the incoming students love for the school is the most important part of the job,” Sullins said. “Also, being able to show the spiritual aspect along with the education opportunities is really important because that’s one of the biggest things about our school, and it’s what makes us unique.”

Sullins said the size of the tour group makes a big difference on the outcome of a tour.

“Sometimes the groups are really big for tours, so it feels like it’s harder to get that connection with the students that you would want,” Sullins said. “So it’s nice when the groups are smaller.”

The members of the admissions student staff also house visiting students in their dorm or apartment.

“When we have potential students visiting, some of them like to stay in the dorms,” Sullins said. “They’ll stay in my room, and if they want to go downtown or see something, I’ll usually go do that with them. It’s really cool to see them actually end up coming to school here after you have housed them.”

Junior Caitlin Crockett remembers her campus visit that she took in high school.

“I thought it was a really pretty campus and everyone was friendly,” Crockett said. “I wanted to go to a Christian school, and when I came here for my visit I felt like this was a great Christian environment.”

Crockett said she hopes all potential students are able to learn what student life is like at Oklahoma Christian during their visit.

“I think they should know that everyone here, including the professors, are willing to help with anything, and it is a really good Christian community,” Crockett said.

Gower said she wants all of the tour guides to say why Oklahoma Christian is special to them.

“Students can choose to go to school anywhere, but I want our tour guides to be able to relate that it’s more than just a school – it’s a home,” Gower said. “You’re not just a number or a stat at Oklahoma Christian.”

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