Using Social Media for Student Recruitment & Retention

Posted on Categories Recruitment and Retention, Technology Integration

At a Glance

Chester County Technical College High School-Pennock’s Bridge Campus piloted the use of a “Social Media Blitz Day” to encourage students to use social media responsibly while promoting CTE and the school.

Overview

Students at Chester County Technical College High School-Pennock’s Bridge Campus (TCHS-PB) were encouraged to share news about their opportunities, accomplishments, and programs with fellow students at their sending schools, their parents, the community, and the world through a formalized “Social Media Blitz Day.”

This initiative was inspired by the TCHS-PB administration encouraging the faculty and staff to think creatively about ideas and initiatives that would have a positive impact on students, faculty, and the community. The Social Media Blitz Day was at first a novel recruitment idea that initiated from one of the instructors who had recently completed an iPad training course. He saw this as a way to directly contact students from around the county about the day-to-day activities at the TCHS-PB.  

Origin / Implementation

In recent years, administrators at TCHS-PB have observed a decline in the effectiveness of traditional student recruiting strategies. Given that today’s youth live in an increasingly mobile and virtual world, administrators knew that they needed to approach marketing in a different manner to harness this social force to learning and showcasing CTE.  

The first step was to form a Social Media Blitz Committee consisting of TCHS-PB administrators, faculty, administrative assistants, communication/marketing staff members, IT staff, and students. In order to capitalize on the “blitz” aspect of the event, the Committee determined to hold a single, one day event instead of spreading it out over a period of time. After several meetings and support from all, the blitz was approved.  

For this project to be successful, multiple preliminary activities were undertaken. The TCHS faculty and staff received training on Facebook, tweeting, and texting. Student representatives from each CTE program attended an assembly where TCHS administration explained the event. The student representatives then went back and explained the event to their respective programs. TCHS administration follow up by visiting each class and providing detailed expectations of the event with the students. 

A permission form was sent to all the parents/guardians detailing the event, guidelines, expectations, and consequences if students did not abide by the guidelines. A sample posting was developed and displayed in each of the CTE programs prior to and during the event. All non-instructional staff were assigned to a CTE program to assist with the oversight of the postings during the day of the event.  

Results / Impact

Based on data obtained from CCIU/TCHS Facebook statistics, approximately 150,000 family and friends were reached worldwide. As a result of the Social Media Blitz Day, nine new student applications came in directly tagged on Facebook.

Administrators report that since the implementation of the Social Media Blitz Day, sending school schools and community awareness has improved, along with retention and enrollment rates.

The Social Media Blitz has become a yearly event and the name has been changed to TCHS Pride Day.

Contact

Technical College High School, Pennocks Bridge

Michael Katch, Principal

Email:  michaelk@cciu.org