OPENGATE

MARKETING TOOL FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS

Applying to college is easy. Not really. Especially for transfer students.

Communication between incoming college transfer students and the admissions office at universities is often too general. Admissions offices need a tool that markets to transfer students and eases the transfer process. Our team worked with Oracle to reach our goal.

Goal:

Create a tool that facilitates communication between college admissions and transfer students. 

Skills:

UX Design

UI Design

Design Research

Partners:

Eugina Chun

Heather Lee

WORKING WITH ORACLE

My team and I were given the chance to see inside part of Oracle's marketing tool. Our mentor Sandeep and his team walked us through its process. The use of automation and email templates gave us inspiration for our own tool to help communication with and marketing to students looking to transfer to California College of the Arts.

JOURNEY AND INTERACTIONS

The current journey of the transfer student relies heavily on the school website, meaning that the school's marketing team must make information for all majors and students available.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

In order to hear from the points of view of both transfer students and the colleges, we interviewed two transfer students, a CCA staff member in charge of web content, and a counselor from a local city college.

Corey R.

CCA Sophomore Transfer Student

-concerned about financial aid

-did not know where or how to start the application process

-preferred talking to someone rather than the looking at the website

But as someone who didn’t know how to apply for schools, how do I get started, I needed the contact. I do better when I’m talking to someone.

Anton C.

CCA Sophomore Transfer Student

-concerned about financial aid

-did not know where or how to start the application process

-found out about CCA through a friend

-wanted more from the website about his major

Applying to CCA felt very overwhelming because I didn’t know where to start.

I want to be proactive and anticipating the needs of what students want. I want the students to have access to all the needed information.

-encourages visit and meet with admissions for an in-person visit 

-CCA students come in knowing what they want to do

-use consistent branding and language

Nikol P.

Marketing and Communication for CCA

They feel that they are on the side-line and find it hard to be integrated into the system.

Mary C.

Multimedia Arts Department Chair at Berkeley City College

-location is an important factor when students are considering potential schools

-A school’s resources are difficult to find, creating reliance on Google

-Without formal articulation agreements, it’s difficult to know which classes transfer over

INSIGHTS AND ISSUES

The transfer students had overlapping struggles when applying and transferring to CCA. The faculty member from CCA's marketing team and from Berkeley City College both saw the issues students face.

  • The lack of personalized communication calls for the need for in-person visits.

  • Trouble with navigation through the CCA website leads students confused and looking towards other means of research around the transfer process.

  • Whether credits transfer from one college to CCA is not always clear.

SOLUTION

Create an automation tool for CCA to market to transfer students by creating a more personal experience. The tool should ease communication between the school and students.

  • tags for personalization of emails  

  • progress bar for the transfer process

  • automated confirmation of transferred units/credits

Student View - Student Account

Tags located at the top of the screen are automatically gathered after a student fills out his/her profile. 

The tags on the lower level of the screen are chosen by the student, which gives the system more information and later helps determining what emails she'll receive. 

 

Example: Megan filled out her profile as being a female, an illustration major, and an out of state student. The program took this information and applied it to her account.

Students can quickly see their progress in the transfer process located at the top.

Below are the amount of transfer credits and number of remaining requirements. The number of credits transferred from previous college(s) is calculated for the student.

On the right are the student's tags, which can be edited at any time.

Administration View - Email Tool

Faculty chooses from email templates and adds content and media that have been added to the program for quick access.

Emails are sent to their target audience by using the tags associated with each student's profile.

MARKETING TO STUDENTS FROM CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS

FINAL TAKEAWAYS AND NEXT STEPS

Schools need to provide easy to find and understandable information for students looking to transfer. Communication is hindered by lack of clear content on the school site, and clarity currently relies on in-person meetings, something that the tool/software can help.

The tool for the school faculty needs the school color to add branding and a feeling of ownership of the tool. The all gray layout currently can be used by all schools and other organizations.

© 2019 Kendra Wong. All Rights Reserved.