Tour D’Admission bike-riding counselors roll into Beloit College

School counselors from around the U.S. are taking a 218-mile summer tour of Wisconsin colleges.

Garbed in spandex shorts, bike helmets, and CamelBaks, the Tour d’ Admission bikers explored Beloit College campus on June 12-13 and talked with students, faculty, and staff.

Beloit College staff and faculty join the Tour D' Admission school counselors for the ride ou...

Where’s a great place to go to college?

School counselors from around the country are taking to their bikes to find out on a 218-mile summer tour of Wisconsin colleges.

Garbed in spandex shorts, bike helmet, and a CamelBak, Kirk Blackard rolled into Beloit College Sunday night with his fellow Tour d’ Admission bikers eager to see the campus of 1,300 plus students.

They met with students, visited the Powerhouse — a historic power plant turned into a student union — and talked with the faculty of the liberal arts college. Blackard said it’s a unique way to discover what colleges can offer students.

“This trip attracts adventurous counselors who want to see the ins and outs of the school. We live in dorms, check out the food in the dining halls, and meet with professors and students, who all have more time in the summer,” Blackard said.

Counselors on the Tour D'Admission trip stopped at Beloit College to learn more about the great o...

Counselors on the Tour D'Admission trip stopped at Beloit College to learn more about the great opportunities offered.

Tour d’Admission counselors have visited 22 states and logged more than 4,500 miles on trips over the last 16 years. They’ve received attention from “The New York Times” and other media, curious about their unconventional way to visit college campuses.

The 2022 ride, dubbed the “Wisconsin College, Cows, and Cheese” tour, launched from Beloit College Monday morning and now heads to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ripon College, Lawrence University, Norbert College, Carroll University, Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then back to Beloit College. It’s a trip that is two years overdue, thanks to the pandemic.

The riders will average 40-60 miles a day visiting Wisconsin colleges.

College administrators are eager to show these bike-riding, spandex-wearing counselors around. Following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, student recruitment is a high priority.

“Counselors are influencers, and how students and parents find out about schools, so we are honored that they chose Beloit College,” said Kate Virgo, Director of Enrollment Information Systems.

Tony Carnahan, an independent East Coast counselor, said it combines two things he loves: finding schools that are a good fit for students and riding a bike. After a tour of CELEB, Carnahan summed up his experience.

“I learned about the Beloit College’s Career Channels program that is trying to draw connections between majors and what students can do with a liberal arts education after graduating,” Carnahan said.

Jennifer Fetterly
June 14, 2022

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