St. Norbert College hosting specialized, in-person campus tours during pandemic

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 1:44 PM CST
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - It can be one of the most important factors in helping a student, and their family, make a choice on where to pursue their higher education.

Over the past year, while most colleges have limited campus tours to virtual only, St. Norbert College in De Pere has maintained in-person campus visits during the pandemic.

Matthew Dahlstrom and his dad drove up from Chicago to get their first peek at St. Norbert College, grateful to be able to see the campus in-person.

“It’s a lot better when you can go in-person, see the school, I know a lot of them are doing them virtually and it’s just not the same when you can actually go around and get a feel for what it’s like to be here,” says Matthew, a high school senior.

“You can do virtual tours, we did one the other day, and it was OK, but it’s not the same as going inside and seeing the actual buildings and see what they have to offer,” adds Scott Dahlstrom, Matthew’s dad.

When COVID-19 hit early last year, it left St. Norbert scrambling as to how to connect with prospective students.

“Really quickly put us in a mindset of innovating and being creative and figuring out how do we really deliver on the promise that we make to families and prospective students,” says Brian Bruess, St. Norbert College president.

With group tours no longer an option, the college turned to one student ambassador guiding one high school senior and their family.

The tours are spaced out over a longer period of time throughout the day.

“And it met with the approval of the college administration and De Pere Public Health and back on June 6th we offered our first safe, in-person, covid-proof campus tour,” recalls Bruess.

Since then, the college has averaged six tours a day, 36 per week and 144 per month.

Those in-person visits are paying dividends for St. Norbert.

“Our prospective students are responding, our applications and our acceptances and deposits are up fairly significantly over previous years and really early in the enrollment cycle, but feels like we’re tracking at record pace,” says Bruess.

Each in-person tour at St. Norbert College ends with a one-on-one visit with a college admission counselor.

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