Strategic Plan Update: Recruitment Technology Tools

Mallory Colton and Abel Zavitz pose with their letters of acceptance with the Geneseo mascot, a knight.

High school seniors Mallory Colton and Abel Zavitz pose with Victor E. Knight after the mascot gave each of them their letter of early acceptance to Geneseo last fall. They both attend Medina High School in Medina, N.Y. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11

Geneseo is continuing to implement the highest priority (Phase I) action items that were identified in the Geneseo 2021 Strategic Plan. Out of a pool of $1 million dollars identified to advance those items, $350,000 was directed to time-sensitive student recruitment efforts. Last September, project leaders in charge of seven other action items shared proposals during a campus forum to secure funding available from the remaining $650,000 fund balance. Based on recommendations from the Budget Priorities Committee, made in consultation with the Strategic Planning Group, President Denise A. Battles allocated various amounts across all seven action items. In the coming weeks, One College Circle will update each funded area.

Recruitment Technology Tools ($154,000)

According to state-by-state projections from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, approximately 205,000 seniors are expected to graduate from New York State public and private high schools in 2019. The number reflects a national demographic trend of declining high school graduates — and underscores the keen competition underway among colleges and universities to recruit, admit and enroll students to meet admissions goals.

To that end, Geneseo’s Office of Admissions will invest $154,000 in a suite of technology tools to augment recruitment efforts through two innovative software initiatives: an interactive student and parent experience that can be delivered across multiple channels, and a financial aid modeling program that will enhance scholarship decision-making and award distribution (to be implemented in the future).

Known as G (for Geneseo) 360 (the name of the software platform), the interactive capability is the next step beyond customized online viewbooks, which have allowed admissions counselors to tailor the publication to the interests of each prospective student. Many colleges have already adopted online viewbook customization — but few are using the latest 360 technology. In this regard, Geneseo is at the forefront of admissions strategy.

G360 is an interactive student and parent experience offered in five different modules throughout the admissions process — from the search and recruitment phases to the yield and enrolled stages, plus one that specifically targets parents. At each point, Geneseo is able to more fully deliver information regarding programs, campus features and “real life” experiences to engage prospective students and their parents.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Meaghan Arena describes the functionality as “the ultimate experience” for students now being recruited from Gen Z, a demographic group characterized by short attention spans and high demand for engagement experiences.

“The G360 platform provides students with an experience unlike any other because it’s interactive, offering videos and features that include fun quizzes and a friend finder,” Arena said. “They’re able to see the experience through the eyes of real students. It provides a “behind-the-scenes” look at what life would be like at Geneseo if they came here — a feeling they don’t get from a tour or brochure or admissions counselor.”

Arena noted that Geneseo enrolls many students from downstate, and G360 gives them a sense of what it’s like to be a Geneseo student if they’re unable to visit the campus. “It’s a very engaging module, and that’s what Gen Z wants — they want it to be interactive, with features that are ever changing and dynamic. This platform really does that,” Arena said.

The Office of Admissions launched the yield module in mid-March for admitted students only; the information and excitement conveyed through the experience is intended to “close the deal” and convincingly demonstrate that truly, “there’s no place like here.”

The parent module was activated the end of March, and the recruitment module is slated for release the end of April.

— By Tony Hoppa