NC State’s Enrollment Management and Services keeps parents, students and visitors connected to the university in a variety of ways. From open houses to admissions collateral and more, many people enjoy the end results of hard work behind the scenes.
EMAS “works across the student life cycle, from identifying prospective students, through graduation, and beyond.” The division oversees campus visits, Community College Collaboration (C3), the Goodnight Scholars program, Parents and Families Services, Pre-College Programs, Registration and Records, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Student Services Center, Summer Sessions and Undergraduate Admissions.
Teamwork Comes First
“We serve all students, from recruitment through graduation,” said Angela Brockelsby, associate vice provost and director of communications, marketing and outreach for EMAS. “We’re at the forefront of bringing the most well-rounded group of students possible to campus, but we’re also engaging with them and their families throughout their undergraduate careers to support their academic success.”
Ensuring a solid first-year class starts well before prospective students even apply for admission. EMAS staff travel to high schools throughout the state to talk to students about how they can Think and Do in a few short years.
“Recruitment is definitely a team effort,” said Natalie McCook, associate director of communications and outreach for Undergraduate Admissions. “We begin heavily recruiting students their sophomore year of high school and communicate consistently with them over the next two years to encourage them to apply and enroll at NC State.”
One result of EMAS’ team effort is NC State’s annual University Open House, an opportunity for prospective students to informally tour the campus and learn about academics and campus life. This year’s University Open House will take place Saturday, October 19 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Recruitment efforts aren’t without challenges, as connecting with prospective students requires creativity and the ability to connect through constantly-changing technological trends. Some projects the EMAS team is working on include revamping the current course catalog with a focus on recruitment and partnering with NC State DELTA and University Housing for a new 360, virtual reality campus tour.
EMAS also utilizes Slate, a customer relationship management platform that streamlines the student recruitment and application process. This gives the division the opportunity to further develop relationships with colleges and departments across campus to create more integrated marketing and communications.
“EMAS seeks to stay at the forefront of digital media advances in undergraduate admissions,” said Brockelsby. “We’re now in the midst of recruiting Gen Z students, so not only do we have to be up-to-date with the technology they’re using, but we also want to push the boundaries of what we can accomplish in recruitment and marketing.”
Getting a Glimpse of Campus Life
One of the points of revamped marketing collateral is getting prospective students to want to take a closer look at the campus. Nearly 40,000 people visit NC State each year through the Campus Visit Program.
Chris Collins, associate director of the E. Carroll Joyner Visitor and Transfer Center, runs the program and works with more than 130 University Ambassadors to give visitors a look at what it’s like to be an NC State student.
“People may not realize all the work that goes into being a University Ambassador,” said Collins. “We have an application process for the ambassadors, who once selected, go through a training process that fully equips them to help prospective students get acquainted will all our campus has to offer.”
Collins teaches a leadership course that all University Ambassadors have the opportunity to take. In this class, they not only learn about NC State’s campus, history and culture, they also receive the professional development tools to be leaders on campus and in the greater community. He notes that many people who work in enrollment management in higher education started out as tour guides at their undergraduate institutions.
“Staff and students play a big role in what Enrollment Management and Services does,” said Collins. “We also work with partners across campus, like each of our colleges, to constantly improve upon what we’re doing. Those collaborative relationships that EMAS engages in really helping to ensure that when prospective students visit the campus, they get that red carpet experience.”
Of course, attracting prospective students only touches on a small portion of the outstanding breadth and depth of EMAS services. The behind-the-scenes work to get students started on their NC State journey sets the stage for not only the students’ success, but also for the continual engagement of EMAS with those students throughout their academic careers.