42: Geographic Student Targeting at University System of Georgia w/ Angela Bell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Angela Bell, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Policy Analysis at The University System of Georgia discusses how their Zillow-like research tool allows them to better geographically target untapped and underserved students.

You're listening to enrollment growth university fromHelix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to growenrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniquesand strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud memberof the connect e Tou podcast network. I'm Eric Olson, AVP of marketingat Helix Education, and we're here today with Dr Angela Belle, associate vicechancellor of research and policy analysis at the university system of Georgia, and youwelcome to the show. Thanks for inviting me. Really excited to talk toyou today about how to use data to better geographically target perspective students. Beforewe dig into that, Angie, can you get the listeners a little bitbetter understanding of both the university system of Georgia and your role there? Yes, absolutely. The university system of Georgia...

...is the State Agency that oversees thepublic twenty eight four year schools and Georgia, and those range from research universities likeGeorgia Tech and university of Georgia. It's a very small state college islike East Georgia's State College. My Division of Research and policy analysis at theUSG is like an institutional research office at a campus. So we are responsiblefor collecting data from campuses and then doing regular reporting, responding to data requestrunning analyzes and conducting research for the university system, all in the name ofhelping the efficients the system run more efficiently and improve its mission of educating studentsin the state of Georgia. Love it. Really intrigued with what you're building there. Can you give us a high level overview of this Zillo like toolyou're creating to find untaped geographies for USC institutions? Sure. So, thistool that we've created as part of a...

...collaborative project with an institute of Governmentcalled the Carl Vincent Institute of Government at the University of Georgia that we embarkedon with in a couple of years ago to find better ways to use oursystem data that we collect from campuses. First to help the system make decisions, but then pivoted to try to help campuses and then further further that evolvedto help use data that is actionable for campuses to carry out their mission moresuccessfully and so that's how this tool developed. And this tool, we call themarket share tool, is a multipanel dashboard designed to help our USC collegesidentify the high schools within their sector, but at the Research University, StateUniversity, State College, etc. Where their additional qualified college prospects and thushopefully grow their enrollment at their institution increased access to higher education state. TheAP is built around that context, that their force sectors and institutions in oursystem with bearing admissions criteria. So, on one pain of the dashboard itplots every state public high school on a...

...grid by its eligibility rate for ourstates merit based financial aid programs and then also by this high school spring reducedprice lunch eligibility rate. These are rough proxys for academically talented students and lowincome students, who we know we need to increase access for to the sizeof each high school. Dot reflects the number of unenrolled process and red dotshighlights schools with the lowest capture rates and represent where we have the greatest opportunityto group more students, while grade dots are schools we already have a significantpresence. At another pain on the DASHBOARDS and map with dots to the locationsof each of those high schools and the same colors as that first panel designatingthe capture rate. So the map also shows the location of the USC institutions, main and satellite campuses within that sector. A third pain contains the table withdetails of details about each high school, including their historical number of procects,the capture rate into that USC sector and the postgraduation destinations of their students. Would have they be USC institutions,...

...are Georgia Technical College system, otherper secondary institutions or the workforce? And then the top of the dashboard there'sslides and toggles to filter which high schools are shown or highlighted according to thenumber share of enrolled proceects. So these different pains are coordinated with each otherso that selections on one pain carry over to the other pains. So aninstitutional user can select that they would want to see only high school whereas asystem we are capturing less than twenty five percent of qualified prospects, and thenonly those high schools will show in the grid and on the map, andthen the user can go to the map and see where those high schools arelocated and use a last so feature on the map to select high schools ina specific part of the state that they want to target for outreach. Thehigh school information pain will automatically update and they can look at the characteristics ofthose high schools they selected that meet their selection criteria and see, for example, that at one school many students are attending private colleges in the state,which prompts one type of recruitment message at...

...that high school as opposed to anotherschool where a large number of students are going straight into the workforce. There'salso copious other information available about all Georgia public high school and another apple havebuilt to complement that provided in the tool, the market share tool. Well asdescribing it's an incredibly impressive tool. How is the tool being used today? Who are your primary users and what are they specifically trying to do andhow are they acting upon their findings? So the tool is being used pridedon't predominantly right now by admissions enrollment management teams that are US g institutions torefine and enhance their outreach strategies. For example, a State University just southof Atlanta had been analyzing their current theater schools and sort of assessing the returnin terms of enrollments on their investment and outreach to these schools and deciding wherethey needed to either enhance outreach, discontinue outreach or keep it the same.And then they use our tool to identify...

...schools where they had low or noenrollment, but the tool indicate that there's room for growth and enrollment of studentsqualify to attend a State University. So this is waiting then to look atspending more recruiting resources in the northwestern part of the State rather than some ofthe places to the stuff where they have been traditionally focusing on recruiting. It'sawesome. And you you are utilizing this data specifically to find underserved, undertapped audiences, those who may qualify for state meritaid but aren't taking advantage ofit. Do you have any personal concerns with the ability of tools like thisto do the opposite, to geographically discriminate against specific populations that may require moreaid to attend? Is that possible? Yes, am I concerned? No. We, as assistant of been engaging in very strong messaging to institutions aboutwhat the high school pipeline looks like, who we've been doing a good jobof serving and what types of students we've been less successful with. There's animperative here that, in order to maintain...

...healthy institutional enrollment in order to producethe numbers of graduates needed by our states changing workforce and really to fulfill ourmission of improving the state through college a payment, that we must do betterjob enrolling minority and low income students. This has been an ongoing message we'vebeen sending to our institutions. Furthermore, you at our institutions with enrollment challenges, some due to regional population to climb. Not Recruiting every eligible student simply isn'tan option. But ultimately, I believe in the integrity of our institutionalpersonnel to use these tools to the aims they were intended for, to broadenaccess for all students. Awesome. And you you've also created a similar toolfor targeting adult learners and degree completers. What are those critical data points you'reutilizing to determine where, geographically, there may be underserved pockets of perspective adultlearners? Yeah, this tool is, you know, companion piece to thehigh school one. And it's a dash foreward pains with data and data tablesin a map and it uses US census...

American community survey data on age,educational attainment and employment status by county and also the much more granular senses tractto allow a user to select their definition of a potential adult learners, saypopulation age two, five, forty four with a high school diploma or somecollege that no bachelor's degree and not employed, and then see the number and shareof residents in a county or a census tract that meet those criteria.And this allows the school to see where their marketing efforts for adult learners shouldbe targeted for greatest impact, whether that be through direct mail, billboards orimperit materials placed in community organizations. And then, too, a company ofthat their pages in the act the show, for each county or groups of countythat they select them, the number of employers by industry, how manyemployees they have and their average wages, and also pages that show, forthe twelve economic regions in the state what the projections are for two thousand andtwenty four, for broad occupation categories and the annual opening. And it's stillanother page that shows for individual occupations in...

...that region, the job projections andopenings, along with a typical educational attainment required for that occupation. So thisindustry and occupation information can be used in a messaging to the adult learners,once you target them, about the jobs that are available and growing in theeducation requart for them. But the institution offers it can also be used byinstitutions to align their academic program planning with the direction of the workforce in theirregion. It's so impressively and you, who are your primary data partners,where's all this data coming from? Their utilizing to inform and input into yourtools. So the partnership we have with the Carlvincent Institute of Government that builta massive longitudinal data that with our USG data. They attended to it nationalstudent clearing house data and it also geocoding student addresses to incorporate census data forus to be able to look in a very granular way at student origins andstudent migration patterns within the state. We're also using college board data. Wehave a robust state longitudinal data system called...

Georgia awards. That is helping USlook at the high school graduate destinations. One year out, and all ofthese, all of this is publicly available data and except for the College Boarddata, and this partnership with the Carl Vincent Institute really has taken those publicsources of data, in addition to our data, to put it together informats that are easily accessible and approachable by our institutions to use, and theyare initiatives. Awesome, awesome, Angie. Any next steps? Advice for institutionswho are listening to this and feeling jealous of the tools that you havebuilt and what you're able to access? Those institutions who are just looking toutilize data to make better geographic targeting decisions, where do you suggest they start?I would say look within. We have managed in this project to useexisting system resources, but something similar be true at institutions, that they wouldhave personnel on their campus with the skills...

...to do this work. So collaborationa cross disciplines is really important. This project benefited from a team of personnelwith expertise in demography, GIA, labor and, of course, higher education, and people with those skills exist on campuses and many are just looking foran opportunity to help their school by collaborating with people another department. I wouldsay the other big takeaway from our project is to focus on visualization. AsI said earlier, many of these data resources were already available publicly, butputting them into approachable, inner acted visualizations, including map, provides utility to andreduce its the time to insight and action over more static, tabular information. Awesome, awesome, Dr Bell, I can't thank you enough for yourtime today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you? Ifthey have any follow up questions, they can contact me on Linkedin, orthey're more than welcome to email me. Angela Dot Bell, belll at USGDOT EEDU. Awesome. Thanks against so much for joining us today. Angie, you're very welcome. I enjoyed it.

Thank you. Attracting today's new posttraditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growthplaybook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressingenrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Slash playbook.You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (230)