Liv Robinson, Marketing Associate at Bristol Community College
Shiro Hatori, Director of Demand Generation at Concept3D
Our webinar with Bristol: “Getting Students Excited About Your Community College”
Even today, there are too many questions regarding two-year schools. Often, these misconceptions can lead to dangerous stereotypes that hurt enrollment, transfer, and certificate numbers.
How can community colleges rise above the noise and get students engaged in what the school has to offer?
In this summary of our webinar with Bristol Community College’s Liv Robinson, you’ll learn how.
By the numbers: Community college stigma
Despite community colleges being around since 1862, there’s still some confusion regarding how they serve students. Unfortunately, this confusion can sometimes be harmful to two-year schools.
With over 1,000 community colleges serving “more than 11 million students,” enrollment numbers have been steadily declining since the beginning of the pandemic (University Business). In 2020, 10% less students enrolled in community colleges, and this number fell another 4% in 2021. And while higher education institutions of all kinds are feeling this enrollment decline, two-year schools are feeling the worst of it.
Who’s doing it right: Liv Robinson with Bristol Community College
Bristol Community College, established in 1965, is nestled in four different locations in Massachusetts, and provides online courses to students. Serving more than 5,000 students, their vision at Bristol is simple:
“Advancing a vibrant, diverse community through education, learner by learner.”
Despite their success, Bristol Community College is no stranger to negative stigma. However, they’re constantly working to change that perspective so that others can see the value their school brings. They knew they needed to level up.
The Bristol team wanted to start shifting public perception in two ways:
- Creating a college-going culture in their region
- Putting community college as a first choice option for students
“When we create a college-going culture in our region, where students graduate and assume good jobs, we change lives for the better.”
They began rebranding their name from BCC to Bristol, showcasing stories of their diverse student population, and positioning themselves as a “Plan A” school instead of “Plan B.”
These efforts were all part of their “Within Reach” and “Make It Happen” campaigns, which seek to provide equal resources and support to anyone who wants to attend a higher education institution.
Bristol’s student engagement goes viral
Since rebranding, Bristol has adopted a variety of virtual options in the wake of the pandemic. They’ve implemented a mobile app and enlisted the encouragement of Sean Astin through Cameo to wish students a happy Commencement in 2020.
Bristol Community College + 360° Tour
After all of these digital advancements, what was the logical next step for Bristol? To implement a virtual tour option for students.
After reviewing various options on their own, Bristol decided on Concept3D for our virtual tour solution. Our 360° Tour platform allows Bristol to easily build and maintain a virtual tour that shows off their college and provides flexibility to keep it updated. The biggest selling point for the Bristol team? That they could have a polished, professional, and easy-to-navigate recruitment tool on-par with four year schools. Breaking down the community college stigma is easy with a 360° Tour.
The proof is in the pudding
Since implementing their 360° Tour, the Bristol team has seen a huge uptick in their Google Analytics data.
Bristol Community College’s 360° Tour lives on their website, student resources, and in email drip campaigns through Slate. Their virtual tour is seeing amazing numbers, including:
8,265 total views
20,584 total events
4 minutes – avg. session duration
Ultimately, these numbers tell the Bristol team that people are using the virtual tour to get more information about the school.
What’s next for Bristol Community College?
Through the use of their virtual tour and rebranding efforts, Bristol is thriving. Negative stereotypes have no place here.
Throughout the upcoming fall recruitment period, the school plans to ramp up sponsored social media promotions to garner more interest from prospective students during their college search.