Our campus tour today

drboobay

I.T.S. University President
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Dec 4, 2003
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The Good

1. There was a pretty big group of families touring today. Bigger than I expected.
2. In our small group that walked around, we had my daughter, a local, someone from the Dallas area, and someone from North Carolina - a young man who traveled here alone for his tour today. Seemed like good diversity from most angles.
3. The overview and the tour was not in any way political either way. It was not focused on how TU can be a great vocational experience for lower income students. It was not PC. It was not True Commitment. But they did note a focus on academic support that was not overplayed.
4. Our tour guide was an energetic and approachable pre-med student who seemed to love being at TU.

The Bad

1. I don't have a lot of "bads" but some things were sort of "meh." There was no mention of having D1 sports as a selling point. No mention of us being the smallest enrollment FBS school.
2. It may have been due to the cold weather (and eventually us walking around campus in the snow) and of course the Saturday choice, but campus was totally dead. It was hard to see a student anywhere. It seemed like a ghost town.
3. When one of the parent asked our guide why she was drawn to TU, all she had was "small classes and getting to know faculty" which is great, but I would have hoped to hear a laundry list from a sales perspective.
4. The look at a dorm room was fine, but not ultra exciting. Neither my wife nor I lived in a dorm ever, so of course it seemed miniscule. Beyond that we didn't get to see any other exciting dorm features and it was dead quiet.

All in all, it was fine but I think it could have been better. I think the admissions staff could sharpen their message before the tour and highlight D1 athletics as a unique plus. Perhaps a short video that makes sure all the biggest selling points before the talk would be good.

Of course, most attendees there were seniors and I think might already have a lot of info, so for them this might just be about seeing the lay of the land. Also, I suspect seeing things midweek would be better.
 

Babe the Blue Ox

I.T.S. Defensive Coordinator
Oct 3, 2001
2,671
2,226
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The Good

1. There was a pretty big group of families touring today. Bigger than I expected.
2. In our small group that walked around, we had my daughter, a local, someone from the Dallas area, and someone from North Carolina - a young man who traveled here alone for his tour today. Seemed like good diversity from most angles.
3. The overview and the tour was not in any way political either way. It was not focused on how TU can be a great vocational experience for lower income students. It was not PC. It was not True Commitment. But they did note a focus on academic support that was not overplayed.
4. Our tour guide was an energetic and approachable pre-med student who seemed to love being at TU.

The Bad

1. I don't have a lot of "bads" but some things were sort of "meh." There was no mention of having D1 sports as a selling point. No mention of us being the smallest enrollment FBS school.
2. It may have been due to the cold weather (and eventually us walking around campus in the snow) and of course the Saturday choice, but campus was totally dead. It was hard to see a student anywhere. It seemed like a ghost town.
3. When one of the parent asked our guide why she was drawn to TU, all she had was "small classes and getting to know faculty" which is great, but I would have hoped to hear a laundry list from a sales perspective.
4. The look at a dorm room was fine, but not ultra exciting. Neither my wife nor I lived in a dorm ever, so of course it seemed miniscule. Beyond that we didn't get to see any other exciting dorm features and it was dead quiet.

All in all, it was fine but I think it could have been better. I think the admissions staff could sharpen their message before the tour and highlight D1 athletics as a unique plus. Perhaps a short video that makes sure all the biggest selling points before the talk would be good.

Of course, most attendees there were seniors and I think might already have a lot of info, so for them this might just be about seeing the lay of the land. Also, I suspect seeing things midweek would be better.
With it being a holiday weekend almost all of the students are away. I here they are having a hard time finding enough players to form a pep band for tonight’s game.

We took the same tour last fall and the very first thing mentioned during the presentation was the football team’s record and ranking at the time.
 
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TU_BLA

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Mar 9, 2012
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Unfortunately, most of the people giving these tours also never lived in a residence hall, with most being in a fraternity or sorority. It misses one of the very unique opportunities at TU of living on campus and in a residence hall (and TU's residence halls are among the best I've ever seen on any campus anywhere and I've visited A LOT). TU's residence life staff has always worked hard at creating a great environment for people to get involved at TU, even after students move to the apartments. I don't know as much about the dining options anymore since there was a major overhaul and the move to SODEXO after I left Residence Life at TU.

Tours really need to be more focused on campus activities and campus life. That's what students and parents are there to see and hopefully experience. Most of them know about the majors and academic side of things without ever stepping foot on campus. What they are trying to figure out is 1) Do I fit here? 2) Am I going to enjoy being here for 4 years?

Tours should always include quirky facts i.e. haunted McFarlin, James Joyce collection, Bob Dylan collection, how TU got its nickname, history, traditions, etc. Talk about Lottie and John and why they face each other, talk about THE OLDEST TRADITION still ongoing at TU: The Toilet Bowl. And yes, talk about athletics, talk about TU being the smallest FBS school but also the first school to go to 4 straight New Year's bowl games. Talk about Dr. Phil and Rue McClanahan, and Steve Largent. Things they can relate to. Talk about Tulsa and the new vibrance that is downtown and maybe some of the concerts that are coming, talk about the Gathering Place, Oktoberfest, Brookside and Cherry Street. While people from the Tulsa area might get bored by these things, the folks from Dallas and NC will not be. They want to go somewhere they can not only go to school but have a unique experience.

When I was at ORU the athletics coaches ALWAYS asked me to talk to their recruits about living in the residence halls instead of admissions. The canned tour just usually doesn't go above and beyond the information available on the campus life page.
 
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drboobay

I.T.S. University President
Gold Member
Dec 4, 2003
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Unfortunately, most of the people giving these tours also never lived in a residence hall, with most being in a fraternity or sorority. It misses one of the very unique opportunities at TU of living on campus and in a residence hall (and TU's residence halls are among the best I've ever seen on any campus anywhere and I've visited A LOT). TU's residence life staff has always worked hard at creating a great environment for people to get involved at TU, even after students move to the apartments. I don't know as much about the dining options anymore since there was a major overhaul and the move to SODEXO after I left Residence Life at TU.

Tours really need to be more focused on campus activities and campus life. That's what students and parents are there to see and hopefully experience. Most of them know about the majors and academic side of things without ever stepping foot on campus. What they are trying to figure out is 1) Do I fit here? 2) Am I going to enjoy being here for 4 years?

Tours should always include quirky facts i.e. haunted McFarlin, James Joyce collection, Bob Dylan collection, how TU got its nickname, history, traditions, etc. Talk about Lottie and John and why they face each other, talk about THE OLDEST TRADITION still ongoing at TU: The Toilet Bowl. And yes, talk about athletics, talk about TU being the smallest FBS school but also the first school to go to 4 straight New Year's bowl games. Talk about Dr. Phil and Rue McClanahan, and Steve Largent. Things they can relate to. Talk about Tulsa and the new vibrance that is downtown and maybe some of the concerts that are coming, talk about the Gathering Place, Oktoberfest, Brookside and Cherry Street. While people from the Tulsa area might get bored by these things, the folks from Dallas and NC will not be. They want to go somewhere they can not only go to school but have a unique experience.

When I was at ORU the athletics coaches ALWAYS asked me to talk to their recruits about living in the residence halls instead of admissions. The canned tour just usually doesn't go above and beyond the information available on the campus life page.
Good observations. Pretty much all of this was missing from our tour. If they cannot rely on the students to deliver this type of pitch they really should start with a very short film before the tour that hits on all these facts.

That is why I felt it was a bit blah - a missed opportunity to sell what we have.
 

Babe the Blue Ox

I.T.S. Defensive Coordinator
Oct 3, 2001
2,671
2,226
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Good observations. Pretty much all of this was missing from our tour. If they cannot rely on the students to deliver this type of pitch they really should start with a very short film before the tour that hits on all these facts.

That is why I felt it was a bit blah - a missed opportunity to sell what we have.
The presentations did change due to covid. In 2018, we did get to watch a video about the school before moving out to the campus where we got to go in several buildings.

In 2021, almost the entire visit was outside with no video presentation at all.
 

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