FHSU launches new virtual campus tour

05/16/12 jgm

HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University recently launched a virtual campus tour and interactive campus and city maps providing a wealth of information to prospective students, parents, alumni, community members and FHSU employees.

"From the admissions standpoint, it's a good way for prospective students to see campus life at FHSU," said Tricia Cline, director of admissions and project leader. "It's also a fantastic way for virtual students to interact and feel connected to the university."

The theme-based tour is broken into various aspects of student experience at FHSU, including academics, student life, athletics and student pride, hands-on learning, and internationalization, among others. Students, faculty and alumni share the FHSU story through short videos on each of these themes as well as a substantial number of testimonial videos by students and faculty.

"Before, it was mainly just a map with 360-degree photos of key campus buildings and a few videos," said Suzanne Klaus, university webmaster. "It wasn't as integrative as this one, and overall it just needed to be updated as we upgraded our website."

FHSU launched its new website in December 2009.

"We started the process about a year ago," said Cline. "CampusTours sent a video team out last September, and they spent three days interviewing the committee to see what our vision was, interviewing the students and shooting the film. The new campus tour was then launched in April of this year."

CampusTours builds video tours, photorealistic interactive campus maps, mobile walking tours and custom data-driven multimedia applications for higher education, non-profit and government clients worldwide. With more than 200 completed presentations, CampusTours has developed a reputation for institutional storytelling through creative and compelling multimedia.

"Throughout our early discussions we felt the need to stress our branding of 'Forward thinking. World ready.'" said Klaus. "One of the other reoccurring themes was how affordable we are while still giving our students a good quality education."

"The tour is a visual way to see campus life," said Cline. "Prospective students and faculty are able to meet current students and faculty before they even come to campus. They are able to get an idea of what campus life is and the community that surrounds it because many are far enough away that they can't come visit campus. Alumni and donors can also see what is new and different on campus."

FHSU is also one of the few universities in the country that has developed a specific tour to help recruit prospective faculty, giving them a taste of what FHSU campus community is like as well as sharing a little bit about the Hays community from the firsthand experience of current faculty.

You can view the tour directly at http://tour.fhsu.edu or access it from the university home page at www.fhsu.edu. Because the topics and messages for the prospective faculty tour are different than those directed at students, this tour is hidden from the general tour and can be accessed directly at http://tour.fhsu.edu/faculty.

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