Houston Community College increasing student retention

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Monday, May 5, 2014

TERMINALFOUR today announces it is delivering a digital engagement and web content management platform to Houston Community College (HCC), which is transforming the college's online presence. HCC is aiming to reach its highest retention and recruitment rates, both internationally and domestically, and its online strategy is playing an integral role in achieving this.

HCC encompasses six colleges, 22 campuses and 70,000 students. With an international student population of 7 percent, it has one of the largest international student bases for a community college in the US. The college is almost at capacity in terms of enrolment and a key target in the 2012-2015 strategic plan is to increase student retention and completion rates.

To deliver on these student targets, HCC is undertaking an initiative to create additional online opportunities for student communication, orientation, test practice and academic advising. HCC began a complete website redesign and made the decision to implement TERMINALFOUR's digital engagement and WCMS platform. This will be the underlying web technology for many of the student retention initiatives and will enhance HCC's online interaction with students in the Houston surrounds, across the US and abroad.

TERMINALFOUR has delivered its web content management solution to HCC via its cloud solution. This approach has resulted in significant peace of mind for the college and also a reduction in operational costs.

Joe Conway, Director of Print and Electronic Media, Houston Community College commented, "We're in hurricane alley and therefore we were conscious of deploying a system that could guarantee availability and capture all marketing and recruitment opportunities, no matter what happened with the weather. With the cloud solution, TERMINALFOUR ensures our primary marketing and sales tool is always available to attract prospective students.

"The cloud model has also delivered significant cost savings as we no longer have the hardware overhead and maintenance of the website has been reduced by 50 percent", he added.

As part of the website overhaul HCC has also reduced its 16,000 individual webpages by more than half, providing an easier and more useful experience for users. Its bounce rate has now dropped from over 50 percent to under 25 percent.

The student generated blog has a leading presence on the new website and is enabling students to be active players in the college. It is providing students with a platform to interact with each other and the wider community that HCC serves, providing a first-hand view of life at HCC. In addition, the college's mobile content has had a significant impact on access to and engagement with personalized content.

Joe Conway, HCC, commented, "Most of our students now use mobile technology for the majority of their web searches. Before the website redesign and implementing TERMINALFOUR we weren't even in the game when it came to mobile. Now 31 percent of our traffic comes from a mobile phone or tablet and we are better serving this audience".

Piero Tintori, CEO, TERMINALFOUR said, "Engaging with students, alumni, industry and funding partners is critical to a higher education institution's success and its ability to ensure it is filling all of its seats. HCC has been exemplary in the way it approached its digital overhaul and as can be seen from the volume and quality of its content, blogs and social media messages, it has a very active community of students and supporters".