Parents Learn Free at Holy Names University

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Sheila Smith McKoy, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Holy Names University joined the podcast to talk about their Parent Promise Program, the growing trend of multi-generational simultaneous attendance, and the value of creative parent marketing.

The parent promised program we believe willbenefit a great deal from parents who perhaps understand what their students are going throughduring this time but can see themselves featuring their lives in similar ways. You'relistening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for highereducation leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you'relooking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've cometo the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollmentgrowth university, a proud member of the connect EU podcast network. I'm EricOlson with Helix Education and we're here today with Dr Sheila Smith McCoy, provostand Vice President for academic affairs at Holy Named University. Dr Smith McCoy,welcome to the show. Thank you so much, Eric. I'm delighted toparticipate, delighted to have you and delighted to talk with you today about yourparents learned free promotion. Before we dig...

...in, can you give the listenersa little bit of background on both holy named university and your rule there?I'm provost and Vice President brancademic affairs at Holy Named University, located in Oakland, California. For those I'm familiar with our institution, we are the onlyfour year co ED institution in Oakland, a wonderful place, a diverse environmentand we're really truly pleased to have been here for a hundred fifty three years. Wow, wow, huge, huge, congrats. Dr Smith mcguoiy to kickUS off today. Can you give us just a high level overview ofyour parents promise program and the primary goals behind this initiative? The parent promisedprogram enables the parents of current undergraduate Sur real current students, Undergrad or otherwise, to take two courses from us for free. It was inspired as apart of our academic strategic plan. We developed our academic strategic plan last yearand completed the process just before covid came...

...into our lives. So great timingright the parent promise program that was really inspired by a personal experience. Mymother had to stop out of university after she got married in her was unableto go and raise her family at the same time. As soon as mysister entered college, she started thinking about finishing her own degree and she promisedthat she would actually do that before my sister finished. They graduated within twoweeks of each other. So she met her, but this program is designedto really embody that energy that happens when their generations of strivers in the samehousehold. Yeah, and I I love hearing your personal anecdote. We've noticedthat more and more for many of our adult students that we talked to,this motivation to be a good example for their child can become their primary motorof Isshan one, or at least a very, very powerful one, intheir decision to return to college. But even more than that, we're seeingthis greater trend to the situation that you...

...mentioned. Can you help us understandthis kind of growing commonality we're seeing of multigenerational simultaneous attendants? So this hasbeen a growing trend a little bit all along because of economic issues in ourcountry, people trying to get to that next step, people perhaps who areemployed in an area where, if they had a graduate degree, would makegreater opportunity for them, but they can't quite figure out how to make ithappen. This is really part of the gifts of COVID. If we wantto say that covid provided any gifts, it was that parents were learning fromtheir students courses, that they were in the household together, that they couldhave an opportunity to see what was going on in an online environment, andit made it a lot less trepidacious for them to think about what can Ido? So the parent promised program, we believe, will benefit a greatdeal from parents who perhaps understand what their their students are going through during thistime, but can see themselves featuring their...

...lives in similar ways. Let's talkabout this program from a parent marking standpoint. You talked about this kind of serendipitywe had of parents getting to see firsthand. Is there a better wayto help parents understand the value of your institution than by showing them directly throughthe student experience themselves? It exactly. I can think of no other way, and, particularly given the fact that the expected family contributions could potentially godown when there was more than one student in the household, it does givea different meaning altogether with how one loose forward in the educational life cycle.This is a really interesting market expansion strategy as well that I think people arelistening probably perking up. The air is going blue. Why didn't I thinkof that? Focusing on this audience who already has built in brand affinity foryour institution through the Lens of their of their child. Is Your hope thatyou're able to turn a certain percentage of these free previews into full time enrollments? It is our hope we can turn...

...as many as possible into full timeenrollments, of course, but it remains to be seen what will happen inpractice. The day after we may be announcement. We already had several inquiriesfrom parents and so we hope to enroll our first parent promised students this summerand we'll have an opportunity to actually see firsthand that impact. It was alsovery interesting that we had a number of students reach out to us and say, wow, can my parent come? They're interested in this. That theother the other thing that we benefit from is the love that students have forour institution. It's kind of contagious. You know your student, your childgoes to a school, you become the fan of the school and this sortof heightens that a little bit because we can take that excitement and actually changethe future for their appearance as well. It's one of the most creative initiativesI have seen and hired in a while. Any final next steps? Advice forinstitutions thinking about creative ways like this...

...to improve their parent marketing strategy?How should they think about that challenge? Where should they start first? Well, as in many things, the first place that one needs to start iswith the your particular institution. What are your strengths or what are the issueswith your student body? How can you make your students lives better by openingopportunities for them? And that's really what we did in this case. Wehave many, many first generation students. More than half of our students ourfirst generation, and even higher number of our students work outside of the theirschool experiences, over forty hours a week, because you're contributing to their family's income, and so we built on these close family linkages and partnerships and workingtogether in this space. We are also benefited by our social justice mission andour focus on becoming an anti racist institution, which grows out of the diversity ofour student body. So I think that first stop is to look andsee what happens with your students. What...

...are the needs of your families andhow can you meet that gap? It's wonderful, wonderful advice? Dr SmithingCoy, thank you so much for your time today. What's the best placefor listeners to connect with you if they have any follow up questions? Theyhave any final what questions? I invite them to email me at Smith McCoy. Weird last name Smith is an easy part, followed by Kohy at HNUDOT Edu. Or you can visit our website. Ahnu diteed you and searchfor parents. Promise it will pop right up and give them all the detailsof what they need to know. It's an incredibly exciting initiative. Best ofluck with it as more and more family start taking advantage of it, andthanks so much for joining us today, Dr Smith McCoy. Thank you,Eric. It's my pleasure. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting newenrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix hasjust published the second edition of their enrollment...

...growth playbook with fifty percent brand newcontent on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges downloaded today forfree at Helix Educationcom. Playbook you've been listening to enrollment growth university from HelixEducation. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the shownitunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time.

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