Guidance counselors, parents and teachers have the opportunity to encourage students to take college campus tours when they are juniors or seniors in high school. Taking an organized tour of selected campuses will inspire students to set goals for higher education while completing high school.
College tours go deeper than just a glance at facilities these days. Student groups have the chance to meet administration, faculty, other students, ask questions and even participate in campus activities. College tours are a wonderful educational travel experience appropriate for high school students on the college track.
College tours can be created for any region in the United States. Some may be arranged with a theme such as black college tours, state college tours, or Ivy League tours.
I’ve put together a sample itinerary of college tours in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area. Many of the nation’s finest and oldest universities are located here and are prestigious and offer a first rate education. I have selected: Howard, George Mason, Georgetown, American, and Morgan State Universities as college campuses on this particular tour. Group leaders involved in planning should allow three to four days for this tour so students can spend time at each college.
Located in the heart of Washington D.C., this age old institution, Howard University is known for turning out MBA’s, graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences (established in 1867), and medical doctors and specialists. Howard University also attracts a large African American population. Many famous African American students are alumni of Howard, including Alaine Locke, David Blackwell, and Arthur P. Davis.
George Mason University
With the main branch in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University offers close proximity to Washington D.C. on a contemporary, suburban campus with multiple locations. Known for the school of Law, Department of Economics and distinction in Writing Across the Curriculum, George Mason University is dedicated to serving Northern Virginia. Alumni of George Mason include Nobel laureates in Economic Science, James Buchanan (1986) and Vernon Smith (2002). In the 1930s, the city of Fairfax granted the University 150 acres of land and George Mason serves over 30,000 students today.
Georgetown University was established in 1789. It is one of America’s oldest higher educational institutions. Georgetown is an inner city university with many historic buildings just off Canal Road NW in Washington D.C. Healy Hall is the centerpiece of campus and resembles a neo gothic structure. It houses the administrative offices as well as the Riggs Library and Gaston Hall, a 700-seat convocation center where domestic and foreign dignitaries have spoken. Touring Georgetown University students learn about the distinguished history of Washington D.C. Some of the more famous graduates of Georgetown include MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell, actor Carl Reiner, and Washington Nationals executive Michael Shapiro.
American University has a great deal to offer students wanting to make an impact in politics, public service, the arts and global affairs. This university is also situated right in Washington D.C. American University only permits student group visits in January, February, May, June, July August and September. Tours must be scheduled in these months. American University is an internationally renowned school known for its diverse curriculum and student body. It is a must see destination on campus tours of the Washington D.C. area.
Morgan State University
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Morgan State is designated as Maryland’s Pubic Urban University. It caters to a diverse student body and has always historically served the black college population. Carnegie Hall, the central academic building, was funded by a grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1915, and is one of many historic buildings on campus. Morgan State is located close to center city Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor and many ethnic neighborhoods. High school students on college tours may enjoy lunch or dinner in Baltimore and/or a trip to the Baltimore Symphony or another cultural venue while visiting Morgan State.
This short list of universities in and near Washington D.C. is by no means comprehensive. I’ve designed this college tour to offer students insight into some of the historic institutions in the area. These universities have helped shape the individuals who influenced our nation’s history, politics and culture.