CHADRON — Recruiting students to Chadron State College is continually evolving and the use of data is an integral part of that process.
Several software systems are woven together to provide the CSC Admissions staff the data needed to develop relationships with prospective students, tell the story of CSC and answer questions while explaining how students can be involved on campus, according to Lisa Stein, director of Admissions.
“Data is huge. It helps us target and recruit students whose interests specifically match the college. This is important because recruiting is the first step in retention,” Stein said.
The Enrollment Management Platform (EMP) is used to send prospective students information related to their interests and reminders to complete tasks such as applying for housing and scholarships. Each student who requests CSC information through an online form, college fair, high school visit, ACT results, or other avenue, receives a custom Personal Uniform Resource Locator (PURL) through EMP.
Basic information about the student’s major and extracurricular interests is provided on the PURL. Each student can further customize their PURL by providing CSC with their qualifications for scholarship opportunities and saving links to CSC news on social media.
"For example, if students express an interest in service learning, then we send them a story about The Big Event so they know they can feed that passion at CSC,” Stein said. “EMP is robust. It’s a very important piece of what we do. The volume of communication it handles for us is amazing. It would not be possible for our staff to manually send that many messages. We want to keep talking to them until they walk in the door in August.”
Through EMP, Admissions representatives can also track their interactions with each student such as a college fair, a high school visit and a campus visit. The representative can also add notes so that future conversations with prospective students can be more useful and pertinent.
Hobsons’ Naviance is a new platform provided in many regional high schools so students can search for colleges that match their criteria. If they express interest in CSC, they receive information.
“Whenever students click on a link asking for more information about CSC, it’s like they are raising their hands. We respond to their questions as quickly and accurately as possible,” Stein said.
Cappex is a third online tool Admissions uses. It is available to any student on their home computers or mobile device. It contains a large database of scholarships based on the information in the student’s profile such as majors and sports.
“It is important to use both Naviance and Cappex because seeing CSC on both platforms builds awareness and reinforces engagement,” Stein said.
A fourth database is hosted by the National Research Center for College and University Admissions. Students who specifically express interest in CSC through this database are contacted and given the opportunity to see if the college matches their interests.
“The cost of college matters, but so much of the decision is emotional. These data systems help us meet their expectations as they make their college decision,” Stein said. “The better fit students have when they enroll at CSC, the more likely they are to persist.”
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator