Something for everyone: the marketing and promotion of Alabama community colleges

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University of Alabama Libraries

Recruiters and marketers within the Alabama Community College System are tasked with increasing enrollment at their institutions. The methods of accomplishing this goal include traditional strategies as well as new and emerging ones. Unlike personnel at other institutions of higher learning, however, community college recruiters and marketers have a unique mission that shapes their promotional strategies. Community colleges have historically tried to offer "something for everyone" as part of their programming. With limited resources, recruiters and marketers at Alabama community colleges must often decide if providing generic messages that reach the largest number of potential students will provide better results than targeted messages to the many diverse populations historically served by the community college. The purpose of this study was to investigate how marketing and recruiting professionals at Alabama's community colleges promote their institutions. The study examined strategies such as marketing to a diverse group of students balanced with developing focused messages which speak to individual needs. Some questions to consider were: 1. How do college employees collaborate across organizational departments to develop marketing and recruiting messages; 2. How do community colleges utilize formal marketing and recruiting plans to reach potential students; and 3. What are the marketing and recruiting messages being sent by the institutions? This qualitative study examined the experiences and perceptions of key community college employees responsible for the development and practice of marketing and recruiting for their institutions, and currently enrolled students at their colleges. The key employees included the president, public information officer, and recruiter. Additionally, document analysis and a review of social media outlets examined the development and practice of marketing and recruiting at the community colleges involved in the study.

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Community college education, Marketing