Quad-City Times

Amazon Prime TV series ‘The College Tour’ films episode on EICC

By Gannon Hanevold, Quad- City Times l I October 18, 2023

Anational television show is visiting Eastern Iowa Community Colleges this week. 

Amazon Prime TV show “The College Tour,” hosted by former “Amazing Race” winner Alex Boylan, is filming a 30-minute educational episode on EICC.

Alex Boylan, host of “The College Tour,” films a stand-up at LeClaire Park in Davenport. Gannon Hanevold

“The College Tour” started in 2020 when Boylan’s niece was undecided on where to go to college. She wanted to see as many universities as possible, so Boylan conjured up a show that makes that possible. And since then, “The College Tour” has shared ten seasons worth of episodes on more than a hundred colleges and universities of varying sizes. 

EICC student Maranda Hickey speaks for her role in an episode of “The College Tour” filmed in the Quad-Cities this week.CONTRIBUTED

From Fairbanks, Alaska, to Jacksonville, Florida, each episode shares some background information on the college’s specialties and history. It also shares stories from real students. 

On the Clinton, Quad-Cities and Muscatine campuses this week, filming started on Monday, with “The College Tour” featuring ten different EICC students from different backgrounds. There are students who are currently enrolled in high school, some who are pursuing degrees online and others who are adults re-visiting higher education. 

EICC student Emersyn Keefer is filmed for an episode of “The College Tour” on Monday. CONTRIBUTED

The ten students featured wrote their own scripts, with the help of EICC’s promotions and marketing team, led by associate director for marketing and communications Johnna Kerres and marketing coordinator Griffin Wagner. 

Kerres said they had over 30 students apply to be in the show. While holding auditions and workshopping scripts, Kerres said they sought to emulate the varied experiences of EICC’s student body. 

The opportunity to be on the show came up this summer, when the crew from “The College Tour” reached out, interested in shooting at a college in the region. For Kerres, who once studied toward a career in broadcast television, it seemed like a perfect chance to showcase why EICC is nicknamed “the community’s college.” 

“We serve a wide variety of people, and this is just a great way to tell our story and really highlight our students,” Kerres said. “They’re the heart of what we do.”

Boylan, who filmed his stand-ups against the Mississippi River in LeClaire Park on Tuesday, said what makes “The College Tour” worth it is knowing he’s helping to make higher education more accessible. That’s why he’s made it a priority for the show to feature schools of all sizes in all parts of the country. 

“We want to increase the amount of high school students going off to higher education,” he said. “That looks different for everyone — we all got different paths, but there is a path.”

Boylan said post-production on episodes typically takes around two months, and there is no timeline yet on when the episode on EICC will be released. But once it is, Kerres and Wagner said they’re eager to share it with students and faculty.