Today I spent my day with approximately another 460 other people at the Victoria Conference Center in downtown Victoria, BC. Simply put, it was a day well spent. The one thing that I was struck with is how some of the panels and keynotes were geared for those in business or marketing. Yet, in so many instances the sentiments are applicable to higher education. Who is our audience? What is our message? Who are we trying to serve? And, how are we using Social Media to do this? Lots of questions.
We are living in a time of a heightened need for recruitment and retention. The old means of catching students will not always be effective for the new breed of students. Particular to BC, there is more competition among the universities trying to get a smaller number of students. How is your university going to stand out?
I think that one way a university is going to stand out–is by the departments. If the students have chosen your campus, what will you do to keep them there? A common theme from today’s events: relationships matter/people matter. How does a department do this? One way is by community building and making the students feel like they are part of the community. How to do this will vary from one department to another, though.