In early 2018, Amarillo College (AC) identified that there needed to be changes made in how students were being communicated to. As the executive team was creating strategies to reach the College’s completion goals, they decided that one area of improvement was how communications and technology were being used in order to recruit, convert and retain students.
Prior to purchasing new software and technology, AC engaged Swim to analyze the existing process and communications to create recommendations for solutions that could include new software. Swim worked with a cross-departmental team to map the current onboarding process, identify gaps and build the stakeholder’s ideal process for the student experience. During this exercise, Swim also worked with the team to identify what was required to fully execute the ideal process, including an organizational restructure, a CRM and a new communications plan.
Based on the re-engineered process map, there were defined responsibilities of different departments throughout the student life cycle, the frequency and modality of communications, and messaging of each communication to ensure that each phone call, email, text message or direct mail was timely, relevant and personal to the student.
From this, Swim was able to create a set of requirements that the executive team and IT department could use to pick a software system that could execute the ideal process, as defined by the internal stakeholders. This allowed for AC to put its student’s first and make decisions that were laser focused on creating a student experience that would help students persist to graduation.
As the IT department used the requirements rubric to select the appropriate system, Swim wrote and designed the communications that would be disseminated to prospective students and applicants using the re-engineered process and new CRM system, which was live in Fall 2019.
Since implementing the communications plan through the CRM in preparation for the Spring 2020 semester, Amarillo College has seen a 13% increase in new student enrollment.