It's not surprising that community colleges lag behind their four-year counterparts when it comes to utilizing the internet to recruit and admit students. What might be surprising is how large that gap can be.
According to the "E-Recruiting Practices Report" from Noel-Levitz, just over 10 percent of two-year colleges surveyed buy students' e-mail addresses, compared to more than three quarters of four-year colleges and universities.
In an emerging area of interest for college recruiting and admissions, fewer than 18 percent of two-year college respondents said they offer a chat room for prospective students. Less than 5 percent said they use blogs, podcasting, a virtual financial aid estimator, or instant messaging; none use RSS/XML.
Community colleges do, however, collect cellular phone numbers nearly as much as four-year institutions. They also nearly keep up when it comes to offering electronic applications.
While gaps exist, community colleges often want to do more, notes Kevin Crockett, president and CEO of Noel-Levitz. "I'm sure they are interested in these things," he says, "but they are dealing with limited resources and staffs that tend to have them bring on new technologies a little bit later than the four-year segment."
Overall, the survey found that among all types of institutions, less than a third have adopted cutting-edge tools for e-recruitment. "The big takeaway is that student preferences are coming a lot faster than institutions are able to add capability," says Crockett.
For the full survey, visit www.noel-levitz.com. -C.M.F.