USC Upstate News

USC Upstate Launches New Interactive Campus Map, Virtual Tours Aid In Recruiting New Students

12- 05- 2008

Spartanburg, S.C. - The University of South Carolina Upstate launched an interactive map of its campus on December 5, allowing visitors to take a virtual tour of its 330-acre campus from anywhere in the world. The map, which can be viewed at http://www.uscupstate.edu/map/, offers visitors written descriptions, oral narration and photographs of every facility on the Spartanburg-based campus. University officials hope to add video segments to the site by fall semester.

This new interactive function to the University’s Web site is key to recruiting prospective and incoming first-year students.

“Today’s prospective college students are highly computer savvy and they will use the Internet to research institutions before ever setting foot on a college campus,” said Donette Stewart, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment services. “This is an added advantage that USC Upstate now has to attract prospective students to take a closer look at our university.”

Stewart also points out that in light of the drastic state budget cuts the University has recently encountered, the interactive map is an ingenious, and cost-saving, way to recruit students to USC Upstate. “In terms of the expense of printing traditional recruitment publications and traveling to college fairs around the Southeast, the interactive map will help us reach a vast pool of potential students that we may not have been able to given our reduced financial resources.”

The addition of the interactive map is just one more attempt to keep the USC Upstate Web site dynamic and attractive to the college-age audience. Nick Catto is the web developer at USC Upstate and also a 2005 graduate. Catto dedicates a tremendous amount of his time in researching the latest trends in higher education Web use, creating user-friendly functions to the Web site, monitoring what applications the USC Upstate students utilize most often, and educating faculty and staff on ways to integrate new technology on their Web pages. In the last year, Catto has enhanced the USC Upstate Web site, making it more enticing for both prospective and current students, by adding several social networking capabilities.

“Outfitting our site with MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and Twitter are just a few of the functions that I have implemented recently,” said Catto. “Not only is this a social networking opportunity for our students but it is also a way for the University to ‘push’ information out to our audiences instead of expecting them to stumble upon our Web site for information,” said Catto.

Staying ahead of the technology curve is a daily task that both intrigues and motivates Catto. “I like to see what’s coming before everyone even knows it’s here.”

The University of South Carolina Upstate, a coeducational, public, comprehensive metropolitan institution, is located conveniently along the thriving economic I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte. USC Upstate is among the fastest growing universities in South Carolina—with a 308-acre campus in Spartanburg, a senior level commuter-campus at the University Center of Greenville, and a planned campus for the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

The University is fully accredited to offer degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Schools of Business, Education and Nursing, and the graduate division. Overall enrollment is 5,000 students, which reflects the diversity of the region with 71 nations represented among the student population.  Additionally, the USC Upstate Spartans were reclassified in 2007–2008 for National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and now compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

For more details, contact Nick Catto, web developer, at (864) 503-5265.