Hennepin Technical College (HTC) was struggling with how to communicate with new students about how to be successful while starting college during the pandemic. With all of the changes happening and updating information that needed to be communicated from the College, it was difficult for students to navigate and find the messages that directly impacted them. The goal was to pull out information that was relevant to students and provide it in a concise manner.


While it was important for the College to have one repository for all updates related to the safety and remote learning, Swim Digital Group (Swim) identified the need for incoming students to have a singular part of information that was specific to their needs. This approach would allow for HTC to communicate how they are committed to student success in a virtual environment, while guiding students through the next steps to enroll. To execute the identified solutions, Swim met with stakeholders within the College to understand how processes and onboarding steps were changing during the virtual environment. Within this discovery, Swim and HTC realized that there was an opportunity to expand the College’s traditional marketing strategies to a more national focus.


The first step was for Swim to create a “Commitment to You” landing page. This was a comprehensive website that explained how HTC was committed to serving students virtually, what services would be available, and how new students could connect with HTC. The goal was pull out information that was relevant to students and provide it in a concise and clear manner. This landing page was supported by a marketing strategy that leveraged the virtual classes for specific programs (including cyber security, emergency medical services, and business) that would have a national appeal to new students. Because all colleges were moving to a virtual model, this campaign seized the opportunity for students to take advantage of HTC’s lower tuition rates and quality faculty without needing to travel to campus. Using email campaigns, text messaging, digital advertising, and social media, Swim was able to expand HTC’s reach instudent acquisition.


HTC saw a significant increase in Summer enrollment when compared to the 2019 semester. Based on the prior year, there was a 29.55% in headcount and a 23.35% increase in FYE enrollment.