Morehouse College uses new Augmented Reality campus tour to recruit potential studentsImage of prospective student using Morehouse College's new AR campus tour. Credit: Aetho LLC/Morehouse College
With this platform, the Historically Black college can provide prospective students a tour of the campus and have personalized meetings with admissions counselors without leaving their homes.
By Allison Joyner
Morehouse College has teamed up with tech company Aetho to create a 3D, fully interactive online version of its campus to enhance the admission experience to potential students who may have financial difficulties traveling to the westside institution.
Morehouse Vice President for Marketing, Communications and Admissions José Mallabo thinks the “augmented reality (AR) platform for Morehouse is the second-best way to visit campus without having to come to campus and students and families can have one-to-one interactions with our counselors in real-time.”
Augmented reality gives an interactive experience of a real-world environment where objects, like Morehouse’s campus, are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information.
Mallabo approached Aetho to use its Beame platform to create the tour.
The program is run by Verizon 5G Edge wireless services and uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wavelength for storing the network.
“With 5G and multi-access edge (MEC) computing, we saw material performance improvements in retaining nearly instantaneous co-presence, which helps bring the extended reality (XR) experience to life,” Chief Executive Officer for Aetho said in a statement.
With children now being born in the digital age, Mallabo told SaportaReport that changing the school’s recruitment technique is necessary for enticing students to gain their interest.
He knows that mobile devices are the primary form of communication for young Black men today and because of the socio-economic demands of having multiple devices in a household.
With the development stages that started in January 2020, Mallabo did not know the need for a recruitment tool like this after the spread of COVID-19, which caused the campus to close midway through the Spring semester.
Having all of the admission counselor’s meetings for the school’s largest freshman class being held virtually, he realized the importance of having an alternative platform in this new day and age.
The tour helps the counselors engage and connect with the likely student and builds an ambition to apply afterward.
The campus tour includes some well-known landmarks like Morehouse’s oldest building Graves Hall and the statue of alumnus Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., located in front of the King International Chapel.
The tour also includes local spots the students may visit while enrolled in the institution like neighboring Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Centennial Park and the Georgia Aquarium and features artwork from the High Museum of Art in Midtown Atlanta.
The school noted to SaportaReport that they are one of few if not the only- higher education institution using AR/VR for admissions and recruiting purposes.
An “interesting year” for him and his recruitment team, Mallabo is adding the AR tour to their digital toolkit and Morehouse will use it as a foundation for their new mobile website that launched in November 2020.
Morehouse has received over 16,000 prospective student inquiries from over 40 states and many countries for the Fall 2022 semester.
The AR tour will begin later this month. To schedule a virtual visit, go to their website.