Asher approaches Indiana Tech’s enrollment campaigns by studying the individual needs of its primary audiences: The College of Professional Studies (CPS) audience—working adults returning to college—and The Day School (TDS) audience—high school students, recent high school grads, and their parents. With CPS, which represents 80% of the university’s student population, there are further complexities, as Indiana Tech seeks to reach active and former military, master’s, and Ph.D. candidates, and employers considering tuition reimbursement incentives.
So, what methods do we use to understand students across diverse geographic and demographic markets? We often start with focus groups of stakeholders and students to gather student perceptions, motivations, and challenges while also pinpointing opportunities for the college along the path to enrollment.
At this point we have started to build out robust student personas. For example, some TDS students prioritize the ability to develop close connections with faculty for mentorship and networking while others focus on cost, community, and professional development opportunities. In contrast, our CPS audience values flexible scheduling and accommodating faculty who understand the struggles of juggling school and work. By being equipped with this knowledge, we can reach our audiences with the most targeted, relevant messaging.