RHB on the Slate Stage: Strategic Campus Visit Portals

Many of us are currently immersed in making plans to welcome visitors back to campus. We know that especially for institutions with a sizable residential population, campus visits are a key tool for recruitment and yield, and we’re continually striving to make these experiences more personalized and impactful for their prospective students. But managing all those details, from tour guides to class visits to individual appointments, can require a significant time investment for our staff—that is, unless we get strategic.

On June 7, 2021, RHB Integration Consultant John Michael Cuccia and Rice University’s Suzanne Patton spoke to the Slate community about this as a part of the Slate Innovation Festival. On the Slate Stage, they shared how Rice has utilized internal-facing portals to make onerous campus visit processes more seamless, transforming labor-intensive projects into ones that are set-and-forget. By combining elements like forms, entities and datasets, Rice has been able to eliminate constant exporting, sharing and re-importing of visitor data between Slate and other campus constituents, and by harnessing the power of portals, the school has benefitted from both a time savings and the opportunity to crowdsource an impact on the student visit experience that would have otherwise been impossible.

In this presentation, Rice University utilized three portals to create better experiences for campus visitors:

Overnight Host Matching Portal

This portal allowed a committee of current students to receive portions of campus visit registrations and to match visiting students with current students for an overnight visit. Visitors arrived to campus with hosts who knew their name, interests and what they wanted to see and do while on campus and more, creating a remarkable first and lasting impression for those prospective students. Internally, this eliminated exporting and importing data between systems, instead keeping it all in Slate.

Internal Class List Management Portal

With this portal, staff loaded a list of classes that visiting students could attend during their campus visits and then allowed university faculty to control and update that listing directly. This allowed faculty to easily manage their class availability so that prospective students would only be able to attend class on days that were appropriate for visitors, and it shifted the manual work of one person maintaining a list to all faculty contributing to list maintenance.

External Class Visit Portal

Visiting students used a public-facing counterpart portal with filters that allowed them to find classes matching their interests so that they could include those in their campus visit plan. This system provided a dynamic way for students to find classes to visit that aligned with their schedule and academic program without requiring significant schedule management by staff behind the scenes.

You can learn more about the opportunities that campus visit portals can offer by downloading the slides and watching the entire presentation. Want to explore even more use cases for Slate portals? Check out our post that covers some of our favorite portal functionalities. And if you’d like to explore how RHB can help you use a portal or two to take your Slate instance to the next level, reach out to us—it’s one of our favorite things to talk about!

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