Creating Quality in Higher Education Admissions: Increasing Institutional Effectiveness

Quality in Higher Education

Higher education is a service. Defining quality in a service can be more difficult than defining quality for a product. Quality in service has to do with accomplishing objectives while at the same time satisfying the customers’ perceptions of the service. Delivering quality can be difficult as objectives and perceptions change as the needs for customers change.

Many colleges have departments dedicated to quality assessment and improvement, focused on the institution as a whole. Quality in college admissions is required to make sure the student and school are a good fit for each other. Ensuring the best fit between school and student improves retention and ensures that the student is prepared for the area of study. Students who become part of a degree program is a good fit helps in leading people into a good fit for future profession in the area that the student is pursuing their studies.

Institutional Effectiveness

There is an increased emphasis on institutional effectiveness for higher education. Institutional effectiveness measures the percentage of graduates that receive jobs within their field of study from each institution. The growing concern over institutional effectiveness comes from the combination of high unemployment rates, concerns with student loans, and the national level of student loans.

The use of intuitional effectiveness gives students and schools a qualitative measure of quality among colleges. Colleges can benchmark their institutional effectiveness as compared to similar colleges. When superior results for a similar college are identified; other colleges can study that college as a model of how to improve their own institution. Higher education institutions can become aware of what programs are performing best in placing students into jobs after graduation; the results may indicate an area that the school can give more emphasis.

Quality in Advertising

Institutions can promote quality through advertising. Informing potential students how the college and degree programs attempt to achieve the potential students desires can achieve quality. For example if a student would like to become a mechanic, the school can illustrate how they are qualified to help a student become a mechanic. The advertisement could discuss the background of the college and the instructors. The advertisement could give examples of past students results after finishing the program. The ad could include information about the programs institutional effectiveness.

Colleges can proactively pursue students that are a good fit for the institution through accurate advertisements and promotions. The promotional material can take a bigger emphasis on what career the programs prepare the student for instead of promising career possibilities. Advertisements can be targeted the segment of students that would be ideal candidates for the program with information in promotional material that discusses the type of student the program was designed for.

The content of advertisements are of extreme importance to convey accurate information and set expectations for students and parents; however, where colleges advertise is of extreme importance also. It would be better for Seminaries (graduate school for pastors) should target people that are involved in a specific church or denomination. For the colleges that work with traditional students should advertise among young adults aged 16-20, where as schools geared towards non-traditional students would target an older demographic.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements can assist in ensuring proper alignment between the college and potential student. Admission requirements that help ensure proper alignment can include grade point average (GPA), assessment results, essays, reference letters, or experience. The college needs to understand their typical student and their challenges. Some colleges specialize in helping underprepared students excel through specialized programs to prepare those students for further academic programs and vocational aptitude. The college needs to define whom the school fits in demographic and academic terms.

An essay that requires the student to explain their motivation for applying to the school and why they are a good candidate allows the admissions counselor to make a judgment about institutional fit and at the same time allows the applicant to internalize and express how their goals align with the colleges. Essays can indicate the potential students ability to follow instructions for writing papers and indicate their grammatical ability. The entrance essay can indicate the student’s level of motivation, if the application process becomes delayed by the essay requirement that indicates that the student either needs encouragement, further educational support, or lacks the motivation to the complete the essay in a timely manner.

The GPA requirement can vary among schools depending on the degree and type of school. The requirement varies from a minimum GPA to be able to perform college level work to more specific transcript and grade requirements. The minimal purpose would be to not admit student who appear to be incapable of performing college level work an school policy that closely relates to entrance GPA. Other programs may need to see an overall good GPA in addition to specific grades and types of classes taken, in the case of engineering degrees.

Reference letters help colleges see if anyone will vouch for you and who vouches for you. To ensure proper good institutional effectiveness the school would like to see that the student has already begun to network in the right places or that they are least networked. What a school many times does not want to deal with someone who creates problems everywhere they go and has no one willing to refer them.

Assessment results typically come from SAT or ACT achievement test. Schools that work with older non-traditional students will many times find other assessments because of the time lapse from when the student was in school and when they were last assessed. Although assessment results are important, they are a piece of the whole picture of the student’s ability and fit for an institution.

The experience admission requirement helps ensure that the student has the ability to perform the profession that the school will be teaching. Many degree programs do not have specific experience requirements, however, the experience aspect can be imperative for some degree programs. Several programs that require experience are MBA (Masters of Business Administration), MFA (Masters of Fine Arts), and other specialty programs for both undergraduate and graduate levels.

The admission requirements help the school identify ideal students for the their program. Many times schools find their specific niche appeals to a specific type of student looking for a specific program. Once the student and the programs for the school are identified, the school can create programs to increase the effectiveness of the pairing of the school and the student. For instance if a school specializes in educating underprepared students the college can create methods to help the student through programs, remedial classes, tutoring, and vocational preparation. The schools can also build sections of the needed training into the curriculum of the classes.

Continuous Improvement

The need for continuous improvement in the quality of higher education admissions will help universities to adapt to the changing needs of the school and students. The expectations for higher education have changed over the years to have a vocational emphasis, which merits different assessment of effectiveness than how education was assessed in the past. Quality in admissions will help align the goals for the school and student to accomplish the shared goals. For example the current trend of measuring education institutions by the percentage of graduates acquiring jobs in that should lead Universities to cultivate relationships with employers in the areas that the school specializes in.

Conclusion

Quality in admissions for higher education comes from proper alignment between the student and the school. This alignment should be cultivated in an enrollment and marketing plan that clearly articulates the unique programs the school offers and excels. The plan should also include the detailed segmentation of ideal students. The increased attention on higher education’s effectiveness comes from marketing schools as one sized fits all for one-sized fits all students. The needs for the alignment will change as the students needs change while at the same time different industries will change.

The difficult part would be to focus on unique programs instead of popular programs. For schools to stand out from other schools they must provide something in a way that another college does not offer. Many schools will want to offer the popular and general education courses to not loose potential students while at the same time they will need to place emphasis on their unique programs.

One of the challenges would be the impression of higher educations view of the admissions office. The admissions office needs to be able to advise schools on issues further than sales and marketing. Specifically, with higher education admissions, academics, institutional effectiveness, and educational rigor are all interconnected. The more emphasis that colleges place on their unique programs coupled with admission requirements that admit the best students for the programs will increase the colleges retention and institution effectiveness numbers. With better retention and institution effectiveness, the school will attract more ideal students, which will create a stronger program. Implementing quality seems difficult in the beginning and requires support from senior leaders. However, the difficulties are worth the results.

What is Available Within Ecommerce Marketing Strategy?

An ecommerce marketing strategy may include many different types of marketing efforts. This will usually depend on the goal you want to achieve with the campaign.

If you are looking to find out what is available to you with an ecommerce marketing strategy then you have many things to choose from. These include new content on your site, article writing and posting, blogs, email campaigns, press releases, and much more.

An ecommerce marketing strategy may include many different things like article writing, content, blogs, email campaigns, press releases, and more. The purpose of a marketing strategy is to announce certain events, create hype about a business, make customers curious, and provide an end result of higher sales. Branding is a big reason that people use marketing to create a name for themselves and their business. There are many companies that you can hire to provide marketing techniques for your company. The wonderful thing about the web is that a campaign is low cost to free. You can perform your own marketing techniques at no cost to you but your time if you know how to do these things. It is usually best to hire someone to help you in order to get the results you are hoping for.

Article writing is common for an ecommerce marketing strategy. Article writing is used for many different things like providing content on the web pages of a website and posting them throughout the web. The goal for articles when used as content is to have integrated keywords that will work with the search engines and for them to be interesting for the users to read. Article writing is very beneficial when used properly. Article writing across the web usually integrates links back to a website so inbound links are present. This works with the search engines also and provides an easy way for readers to check out the company site and see what the business is all about.

Blogging is another form of an ecommerce marketing strategy which people opt for. There are thousands of blogs across the web. The goal is to find relevant blogs discussing products or services offered by the business so you can talk about your business too. Blogs have shown to be beneficial when used as articles, integrating links back to the site, and talking about the business. People actually read and pay attention to blogs and they can be verry beneficial.

Email campaigns are popular uses of an ecommerce marketing strategy when a business wants to announce an event like a sale or special they are holding. This is a good way to reach out to thousands of people at the same time. A small percentage of people will go to the site out of curiosity and click around. This will improve site rank and possibly sales if they make a purchase.

If you are trying to get the word out about certain events and you want to have a big turnout then you might also consider hiring a professional to provide press releases. A press release ecommerce marketing strategy will target the local media. Many customers focus on the media to learn about sales and events in their local area. When you use a press release campaign, press releases will be sent to the media outlets and they will provide the advertising for you. This is a low cost campaign and it is very effective. This type of strategy is used when advertising things like big event sales and any type of event you want to draw a crowd to.

Waste #7 – Failure to Make Advertising Direct Response

In the 21st Century, the investment required for successful media advertising can be very significant. Many business owners try to do a little bit of advertising in the paper or radio or billboard, etc. but find out they don’t get back any return. They become frustrated and upset.

There are two reasons for this frustration. First, there probably isn’t enough advertising going on in a synergistic way that creates results. If the company is advertising on radio, they might need to do newspaper and billboard as well. If they start marketing and advertising on the web, they probably need to do off-line marketing to support it. These costs and investments can become very difficult to maintain. A huge waste of money.

The second reason the advertising falls short is most are doing what is called “institutional advertising” rather than Direct Response advertising. They are sold by the advertising agency that “branding” and “positioning” is important. They are told that if they don’t advertise, their competition will and beat them to the customer. These are both possible true statements. But, not necessarily true.

21st Century Marketing System’s recommendation to small businesses is to make all advertising a direct response. That is, make the advertising create a response of some kind i.e., a lead, purchase or request for more information. That way, the advertising can be measured. It can be held accountable.

Briefly, there are several important elements that should go into every advertisement that makes the ad direct response. These elements include: headlines, sub-headlines, good copy, offer, urgency, reply mechanisms, bonus, P.S., etc.

If a company will follow these rules, the advertising can be tracked and different testing accomplished. Institutional advertising simply tells people that the company is in business and has great service. There is no USP, offer, urgency, bonus, reply mechanisms, etc. Therefore, the company cannot measure results. A big waste.

By implementing direct response marketing into all advertising, different testing can be used to make the same dollar invested return more in leads, sales or even an opt-in E-mail database. Waste (in the form of non-producing ads) are eliminated.

Even with direct response, there is branding and positioning that can be accomplished. At the same time, if there is room in the marketing budget, branding and institutional advertising in and of themselves can be effective. It’s simply the case that most small to medium sized companies can’t afford both types of advertising.