Although the tour guides at the University of La Verne have stayed true to the techniques they have used during previous orientations, La Verne started the spring semester with record-breaking enrollment.
“It is important as tour guides to make a positive first impression on the prospective students,” junior accounting major Nichole Wood said. “We are usually the first and last campus staff the future students see during their visit to La Verne.”
For those around the campus, whether students, faculty members or those passing by, it is easy to see that expansion is taking place on the grounds of the university.
The expansion seemed inevitable, as the La Verne admission staff set a goal of 100 new students for the spring semester.
There are 110 new students joining the La Verne family this spring, surpassing the increased goal of 100 students, according to Chris Krzak, dean of admissions.
The 110 new students are the most La Verne has ever had enroll at one time, and the high numbers also pushed La Verne to its highest overall enrollment in the history of the university, at approximately 1,800 students. Krzak also added that only 73 new students enrolled in spring 2010.
When prospective students are considering attending La Verne, it is very common for them to take a tour of the school with a campus tour guide. Students such as Nicole Wood and Vincent Gonzales take their responsibilities as tour guides very seriously.
Wood, has been a tour guide for two semesters, and Gonzales, sophomore movement and sports science major, has been a tour guide for four semesters.
Being a tour guide carries more weight than most would expect.
Both Wood and Gonzales made it clear that although there is a higher volume of interested students, their tour guide techniques have not changed.
According to Wood and Gonzales, a normal tour starts with introductions, followed by questions directed towards the potential students.
“The questions are structured to learn about the students majors and interests,” Gonzales said.
“This allows us as tour guides to focus more on the buildings the students will spend the majority of their time in.”
The guides discuss the university’s athletics, clubs and campus history, while making their way around the campus.
“I like to discuss student life on a personal level with the students to try and help them with a lot of questions they may feel uncomfortable to ask,” Wood said.
Before the tour is over, both Wood and Gonzales agreed they make it a point to point out the police station, and the fact La Verne has 24-hour campus security.
The tour guides definitely noticed the increase this spring, and found it to be refreshing.
“From doing two tours a week with three to four students, to now doing two tours a day with 10, the drastic change has been exciting,” Gonzales said.
Krzak feels the increase in students is great, but he made it clear it is about more than just numbers.
“Indeed the University of La Verne is recruiting more students, but we are also recruiting better students, as we increase the academic reputation of the campus.”
Blake Humphrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.