Along with the rest of college campuses, Mercyhurst had to stop their on-campus tours in mid-March. The Admissions team worked very hard during the months the school was shut down in order to start tours up again as soon as it was safe.
Mercyhurst Ambassadors has started its tours back up as they find it important for prospective students to be able to actually look at different schools to see what type of campus they like. Ambassador president Braeden Barnett recognizes how crucial visiting campuses is for perspective students.
“It is important now more than ever to be sure we are able to engage prospective students, whether it be virtually or in person,” Barnett said. “If we didn’t continue to meet with high school seniors, they would be lost and unsure of what to do when it comes to making their college decisions.”
In order to provide the safest experience possible during the tours, each tour is limited to one family and only three people per family can come, including the perspective student.
Each guest must complete the COVID screening the day of their visit. Additionally, masks must always be worn and six feet of distance should be maintained throughout the tour whenever possible.
When there are multiple tours going on at the same time, each Ambassador goes on their own path so that they do not cross with others.
There has been a consistent amount of in-person tours that have given great feedback to the school. “The positive responses from our visitors have been overwhelming,” Barnett said. “From our virtual events/visits to traditional in-person tours, all families, staff and students have been immensely impressed with the level of engagement we are able to maintain in this unprecedented world.”
Currently, Mercyhurst is not accepting visitors from a “hot spot” state according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. So, for those from a “hot spot” state or anyone who is not comfortable with an in-person visit, there are plenty of virtual options to help get a sense of what campus is like.
Prospective students can schedule a virtual visit in which they will get a virtual tour of campus by an Ambassador, a meeting with their Admissions counselor, and a chance to ask questions.
In addition to virtual visits, Admissions is also offering a variety of virtual meetings in order to get a better understanding of the different activities that the students can participate in at the school.
These meetings include a general Mercyhurst Information meeting, Coffee and Conversation and Academics in Action.
Besides giving tours, Ambassadors have remained resilient in training the next class of Ambassadors. To pledge to become an Ambassador, a student must attend information sessions in which they learn about the history of Mercyhurst, campus services and academic departments. They are then tested on this information and use this knowledge to give a practice tour that is adjudicated.
Though the pledge process will look a bit different this year, Admissions will still be looking for enthusiastic students to take on the role of an Ambassador, and the committee is hosting pledge events in person whenever possible.
From the adaptability of Admissions and Ambassadors alike, it is clear they are passionate about Mercyhurst and ensuring the next generation of Lakers are able to see the campus.