Tags and QR readers giving CAC an electronic leg up in recruiting students

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - While tag and QR (quick response) readers may appear to be the latest gadgetry to hit the telecommunications world, more organizations and business are using this technology to better reach their customers.

Count Central Arizona College, and in particular, its office of student recruitment, among the many organizations to ride this new wave of student interaction

This was just part of an updated annual recruitment plan unveiled at the Pinal County Community College District Governing Board Meeting held on Tuesday, May 17, at CAC's Signal Peak Campus.

The plan includes four goals, the fourth of which was to develop a more efficient way of receiving prospective student data from traditional age students (18-22).

Tag and QR readers allow their users to scan pixilated, nondescript images with the cameras on their Smartphones, instantly bringing the user to a specific webpage - in this case a site where students can request more information from the college.

"Our students don't want e-mails anymore," Luis Sanchez, CAC's assistant director of recruitment, stated. "They would rather get information on their phones."

It goes without saying that as a collegiate recruitment office it pays to keep up with the latest information-gathering trends. The use of tag and QR technology allows the recruitment office to meet the demands of its target demographic.

In addition, the recruitment office has as one of its goals to assess and evaluate its current recruitment practices in order to develop higher-quality and more effective recruitment practices.

"We'll be conducting surveys with local guidance counselors, our prospective students, and our own outreach staff to evaluate our performance," Sanchez explained.

By evaluating its current practices and developing streamlined ways of reaching target audiences, the office of recruitment hopes to increase its number of admitted students by five percent.

The office's annual plan also calls for an increase in its communication with prospective students, hoping for an increase in matriculation rate from prospective student to enrolled student.

To achieve this, the office will, according to Sanchez, make individual visits to all of CAC's feeder schools as well as maximize its use of e-mail, social networking, and text messaging. The goal is to increase the district-wide enrollment by 10 percent.

The office of recruitment plans to create a more comprehensive online portal for prospective students. Specifically, the plan calls for the creation of a CAC prospective student webpage and tags or QR (quick response) readers that will allow students to enter their own data into our system for accuracy and faster response times.

Sanchez envisions that this website will contain a virtual campus tour as well as electronic versions of all catalogs and brochures that will provide instant visuals of the college's campuses and centers as well as access to prospective student materials.

Through this webpage, Sanchez hopes that students will be able to schedule campus tours.

Increasing CAC's Pinal County high school capture rate by five percent is another target area for the recruitment office.

Additionally, CAC's Pinal County high school capture rate has seen a steady increase over the past five years, totaling 29.3 percent in Fall 2010 after seeing a capture rate of 14 percent in 2006.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814