This year’s National Small College Enrollment Conference was held in Louisville, KY. A historically rich city which is home to some BIG cultural icons- Kentucky Fried Chicken, Louisville Slugger, UPS’ worldwide air hub, and the Kentucky Derby.  For 143 years, Churchill Downs has attracted equestrians from across the globe for the legendary Run for the Roses. It takes months of thoughtful preparation to carry on the great legacy of the Kentucky Derby – to carry on a tradition, pay tribute to the legends, and to create an unforgettable experience.

During the conference, so many conversations circled around one theme – the student experience. Colleagues shared dialogue about how to tackle student search, how to best serve and communicate with their transfer and graduate audiences, how to make sure their student communication was authentic, personal, and engaging, and how to make their new student orientation the best that it could be. As I reflect on these topics, I realize that the student experience is truly at the core of what small colleges do best.

And, during our session, The Best Enrollment Marketing Ideas of 2017-2018, we were inspired by colleagues that were in search of ideas to enhance the student experience across the board. Conversations started from this point at NSCEC continue, growing from the sparks of ideas into new partnerships and collaborative projects.

While there are certainly BIG challenges facing institutions with smaller enrollment, there’s an incredible driver within these organizations to uphold the campus traditions, share the value of its education through success stories, and to deliver an experience like no one else could.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of NSCEC, we recognize the small colleges that come together each year to inspire and support one another. Thank you for the incredible experiences you create for your students and thank you for letting H·A ThirtyOne be part of it.

Want to talk more about big ideas on your campus? Let’s do it!

Ginger Hansen, H·A ThirtyOne’s Director of Enrollment Solutions, is a higher ed pro with experience both inside and outside the academy. Schedule a time to talk solutions for your institution.