HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Colleges and universities are having to rethink the way they engage current and prospective students. At the University of Houston, they've taken the virtual experience to another level.
In an effort to engage prospective students, UH is offering live and self-guided virtual tours. The live tours are guided by student ambassadors who answer questions in real time.
"The best part of the job is the exposure you get to the people that you don't meet otherwise," said student ambassador Veronica Gonzalez. "You kind of get to see campus the same way you would in person, but then, you also have a lot more opportunities to talk about the student experiences "
The tours take students and parents through dorm rooms, past campus landmarks and into libraries. There is a real sense of being in campus, without being on-campus.
"It now makes our campus accessible for people around the world," said Mardell Maxwell, who is the Executive Director of Admissions for UH. "While colleges are trying to sort through what's safe and how classes are going to be offered, I think families are paying close attention and really making some decisions about what's best for their family, what can they afford, how close to home do they want to be?"
Going off to school is scary enough during normal times, but after what we've experienced, it can be even more frightening.
UH president Renu Khator told ABC13 that this is at the forefront of their minds as they welcome new students to campus.
"We'll take care of you," said Khator to incoming or prospective students. "We'll make sure it's a safe environment. That's very, very important."
It might not look like it from the empty lawns and quiet spaces, but UH is still abuzz with activity. The only difference - it's happening virtually on computers and phones instead of in person.
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UH goes virtual with live tours for prospective students