Trustees Examine GCC Marketing

Aidan Rutten, Staff Writer

A presentation by Alen Andriassian opened the October board of trustees meeting, which explained new marketing strategies to help boost enrollment and make the process of applying to GCC easier, less stressful and more accommodating.

Incoming students now have the opportunity to receive priority registration by applying early in January. They must then go through an online orientation by February and take assessment tests for math and English by April. After the students meet with a counselor and create a student education plan, they will be able to enroll for the fall semester by June 30. All of this is to create a positive enrollment experience.

This change in the process came about because of the Student Success Act, a revamping of the No Child Left Behind Act. GCC not only wants to make the enrollment process for incoming students easier, but also to have more students with priority registration who can get the classes they need to transfer within two years.

A common stigma concerning community colleges is that because of a lack of availability of classes, people have had to spend three or four years to complete their transfer courses. Incoming students will have completed a student education plan to map out the track they wish to take and the classes they need to do so by the time they enroll. They will now have a better chance to get those necessary classes and transfer out within two years.

Not all students are forced to do this, however, as many may wish to opt for a different pace. Many students work or have other activities and commitments and may wish to take fewer classes per semester.

Another feature is an online, virtual tour of the campus, which will familiarize incoming students with GCC. There will also be a mobile app which people can use more conveniently, which will have features such as push notifications, little messages which remind kids of important dates or deadlines through their mobile devices, to alert people to keep up with their schedule.

Andriassian said that this enrollment process also allows students to be more productive, as they will have put themselves in positions to succeed. Success of the outreach here must be backed up with clear and concise instructions.

According to Andriassian, GCC reaches out to many high schools. They offer application and enrollment seminars, and even allow high school students to take their assessment tests there on their own campus. Shadow days, in which a high schooler follows around a college student through a typical day, are also offered.