Each month the Experience Team from TargetX will share with you a Campus Visit Tip, Trend and Talk. All of the “three T’s” are designed to give you a bit of insight into the work we do, the people we work with and the places we pull our inspiration from. Here is this month’s “Tip”.
Open up a newspaper and you are bound to see an article that questions the value of higher education. Heck, this morning on the Today Show there was an entire segment on it. The articles and stories all ask the question “is college still worth it?”. It is the question on the minds of most families as they come to campus for a visit or an event. Just last week I was on three campuses conducting visit consulting work and some version of this question came up on each one.
Sometimes it was as subtle as asking a student guide, “What are you doing after graduation?” but other times it was as blatant as standing up during a Q&A session and asking a panel of students and faculty, “What is the value of paying for an education here versus not going to college?”. Families want to hear about the value of your institution. We all know that graduates from college make, on average, one million dollars more over their lifetime but we aren’t telling that story to families.
Outcomes are one part of this puzzle that help to justify value. In the business world, it is the return on investment (ROI). Families are thinking, “If you want me to pay thousands of dollars for my education, show me what I am going to get out of the investment.”
The problem is that most campus visits and event programs don’t talk about what graduates are doing once they leave campus. You need to reveal what companies graduates are going to work for and what graduate schools they are moving on to. Most campuses I visit during my work don’t do this well…if at all.
Recently, I had a chance to see (yes see) a school that is revealing these outcomes well. I was in Sarasota at Ringling College of Art and Design and right outside of career services they have used the Wall-Estate (that is a Trentism) to reveal where graduates are currently employed and what companies come to campus to hire graduates.
One of the things I like about this display is that there are names everyone has heard of but also some non-household names who are leaders in a particular industry. As a student, if you are interested in certain programs, you will know some of the less familiar names.
How are you revealing outcomes during your campus visit? Is there a way that you can use your Wall-Estate to better reveal those outcomes?
TargetX Campus Visit Consultants have worked with hundreds of colleges and universities to make their campus visits memorable, authentic, and effective. They blog regularly about their experiences within the campus visit and the greater business community.
Read more about our authors. Trent serves as the cXo, Chief eXperience Officer at TargetX. He understands the importance of the campus aesthetic and its effect on visiting families and current students. He is passionate about involving the entire campus in the admissions process; he believes that the job description of each member of the campus community should include recruiting students.
Trent is a graduate of Elon University and a member of TargetX’s Experience Team in Atlanta.