• Sarah Yecke

Fostering K-12 Engagement with the University of Michigan & Wayne State University

As state funding for public institutions decreases while tuition prices increase, enrollment management feels the pressure to recruit potential students earlier and with more engaging activities. And now, exacerbating these stressors are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Perhaps the most effective recruiting tool is the variety of programs and camps on campuses, geared toward students’ interests and often interwoven with the surrounding community. These early experiences plant seeds of a college-going mentality in families and students, primarily for a university close to home, but also providing a connection point with out of region institutions. Having a centralized presence online imparts a view into the full breadth of what an institution offers. This is where InfoReady Engagement Hub comes in.


In a recent webinar, program managers Chloe Lundine (Wayne State University) and Marissa Taylor (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) shared how the InfoReady Engagement Hub (Wayne State Youth Programs and U of M’s Youth Hub) has become a centralized resource for advertising and facilitating registration for their K-12 programs. As Marissa notes, their goal was “creating a single place for parents, educators, and students to continuously explore the K-12 opportuniies available across the university.” Chloe and Marissa shared their vision, successes, and strategies for creating and maintaining this invaluable resource on their respective campuses:


Vision

  • Make it all inclusive. As Chloe stated: “Our vision was to create a simple to use, easy to navigate, ‘one stop shop’ for parents and students.”

  • Increase impact and purpose. Both hubs feature resources for a variety of audiences, including students, family members, teachers, counselors, and K-12 professionals.

  • Create a common application. Utilize one form for similar programs to make the process easier on registrants. The same sign up form can be linked to multiple tiles, each with its own details.

Successes

  • High levels of engagement. At U of M, Marissa shared that they “have an Admissions email that goes out to prospective students about summer programs, and Youth Hub is typically the #1 clicked link.”

  • Integrated registration and payment processes. For Summer 2021, a majority of Wayne State’s camps will include both components all within the site, increasing the effectiveness of their central solution.

  • Early growth. Both sites saw an increase in opportunities advertised and user interactions between years one and two.


Strategies for Common Challenges

  • Directing traffic to the site. Chole acknowledged the challenge of making all potential users aware of the site: “Our solution is making sure we connect more closely with school counselors, school districts, and community organizations.”

  • Including all events and resources. Creating close relationships with administrators across campus helps ensure as many opportunities are included as possible and program details are kept up to date.

  • Establishing administrator and applicant buy-in. The application form needs to be easy to build and easy to fill out. Marissa relies on pre-created workflows to accomplish both: “We have these fantastic program templates that help our administrators go from beginning to end within a couple of days.”


We want to thank Chloe and Marissa for sharing their experiences using the InfoReady Engagement Hub to advertise and facilitate their K-12 programs on campus. Click here to view the webinar recording.

Want to learn more about InfoReady or share your story with us as a Peer Spotlight? Contact info@inforeadycorp.com.


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