Here’s an idea that might be one for you to tackle…
“Engage” is a vital word for today’s higher education institutions. They must engage prospective students in hopes that they enroll. They must engage students to ensure they complete their education at the institution. They must engage alumni to continue to make donations.
Schools that do an exceptional job at each of these stages reap financial rewards for doing so, but for these schools is there any further engagement that could prove vastly beneficial?
The challenges of engaging different audiences, or phases of students, is a challenge – at best. Typcially, a student profile migrates from one electronic database to another much like a student wandering from class to class. Little, if any, information is retained from cradle to grave. This offers a significant chasm for institutions, yet, few even see it.
As one thread in this blog already discussed, personalized attention is very important. In that thread, the emphasis was on engaging current students with a minor mention about engaging prospective ones. To take that further, what benefits are there if the personal information retained about a prospect, enrolled, and then an alumni was retained and re-used to engage all three groups at once?
Could there be a significant windfall if WMU was able to not only deliver personalized information to prospective and current students, but also to alumni? Certainly, a MBA grad would be more interested in hearing about fundraising efforts for a new building for Haworth College than for an Arts program in disarray.
Now, to really inject something to consider, could there be any significant impact in using that same MBA alumni to engage prospective students interested in your business program? Would having an MBA graduate personally engage this student and/or his parents have any impact?
By embracing a philosophy to engage students (future, current and past) in a cohesive, cyclical strategy, one would think significant benefits could be attained. Thoughts?
Senior Accounts Director, Azorus Inc.