Engaging Parents As Career Advocates: Mobilizing Support Through An Online Community

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PowerPoint presentation from the NACE conference presentation. June 2010, Orlando, FL.

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  • Provide brief summary of tool used, how they decided to go with the original vendor platform (versus using a free tool like Facebook or, back then, Ning), and why/how they decided to switch to new platform
  • Through discussion boards and parent blogs, you will connect with parents of other incoming freshmen and current students to share your experiences and gain support about the transition from high school to college. You’ll also learn more about DePaul with access to a variety of resources about helping your student choose a major, utilizing the career center, managing tuition payments, and much more.
  • Parents recruited in person (events, visits, orientation), via a postcard and via emailMembership   Parents 1,019    Prospective 30%    Current 58%  DPU Staff/Faculty 60  Total 1,079
  • April - May 2010 Usage Total Visits 2,332 Illinois 46% Out of State 54%Unique Visits 1,164
  • Seniors – 2% (19)Juniors – 7% (78)Sophomores – 14% (166)Freshmen – 27% (314)Incoming – 37% (422)Unknown – 13% (153)By Type                  Parents              1,019    Prospective    30%    Current            58%  DPU Staff/Faculty          60  Total    1,079
  • CMM wanted to further engage parents in supporting their students’ career development and financial literacyHow many of you do similar types of things with parents at your campus?
  • CMM engages parents on the Quad in a number of ways.Challenges:  Doesn’t promote dialogue.  No interaction with audience so it’s hard to tell if you were successful.  it is difficult to make the presentation lively without real time interaction.Benefits:Video is archived and therefore accessible at any time to the parentsTargeted audience so you can tailor your presentation specifically to the parentsVideo personalizes the info and is much better than just reading text Communicating as much as possible about the job market and job outlook is important as many people students and parents are worried or interested in this topic. We’ve seen a decrease in parent complaints in the career center. I’m not sure if it is due to the Quad but it could be that this helps us manage them better. Community is activeDuring live sessions attendees investigate the topic online and ask questions
  • Responding to ongoing discussion threadsCreating new discussion threadsProviding private responses when necessary
  • Subject line of this email was: Students Need to Intern Early - and OftenIntern profiles of UIP and Co-op students-New profile each month-8 archived total-Personalized success stories
  • Intern Spotlights -Intern profiles of UIP and Co-op students-New profile each month-8 archived total-Personalized success storiesAdd newsletters, brochures, schedules, event announcements
  • Need more results and anecdotes
  • Example of how an issue bubbled up to the top and enacted changesUsed parent feedback as leverage to investigate other ways to create positions (survey)
  • Parent suggestion that DPU parents provide career networking for students
  • Once you begin…it will never end!Learned more about 1st year student experience in looking for a jobSolving problems that arise requires working across functional boundaries
  • Now that you’ve seen how one group was able to leverage an online parent community to provide service…circle back and talk about overall lessons learnedVibrant communityMembership, Visits and ParticipationWord of Mouth MarketingParents report talking to their friends about the QuadHarder than expectedMembers participate in online communities to meet their needs not just your business needsRecruiting toolWant to expand beyond parents of depositorsCustomer service toolListening to Parents feedback is beginning to drive innovation and better customer service…
  • Engaging Parents As Career Advocates: Mobilizing Support Through An Online Community

    1. 1. 2010 NACE Annual Conference & ExpositionMarriott World Center, Orlando, Florida<br />June 01 - 04, 2010<br />Engaging Parents as Career Advocates: Mobilizing Support through an Online Community<br />June 3, 2010<br />Erik Friedman, Director, Office of Student Employment, DePaul University<br />Amanda Powers Snowden, Assoc Director, Communications, Career and Money Management, DePaul University<br />National Association of Colleges and Employers<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />Background<br />DePaul University<br />Career & Money Management (CMM)<br />The DePaul Quad<br />How We Engage Parents via DePaul Quad<br />Listening to Parents: Challenges and Rewards<br />Lessons Learned<br />Questions to Consider when Building an Online Community<br />
    3. 3. Background on DePaul University<br />Founded in 1898<br />Located in Chicago<br />Largest Catholic university and eighth largest private not-for-profit university in the U.S.<br />25,072 students (65% undergraduate, 35% graduate)<br />Focused on teaching and applied learning<br />Faculty teach 97% of all courses<br />Majority of classes have less than 30 students<br />“Chicago is our classroom”<br />Diverse<br />30% of students are first in their family to attend college<br />26% of students are students of color<br />33% of first-year students are from out of state<br />
    4. 4. Career & Money Management (CMM)<br />Within the division of Enrollment Management & Marketing<br />Made up of 4 distinct areas to serve students and alumni<br />Career Center<br />Office of Student Employment<br />Financial Fitness<br />Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK)<br />Assist in defining a career path, managing money and finding gainful and rewarding employment <br />Close relationship and shared office space with the Office for Academic Advising Support<br />
    5. 5. Background on the DePaul Quad<br />Online community for parents of DePaul students<br />Parents play an active role the college selection process<br /><ul><li>75% of parents are involved in students college research and selection process</li></ul>Created by Marketing Strategy Group to tell the DePaul story to audiences that could help tell the DePaul story and create buzz<br />
    6. 6. Background on the DePaul Quad (continued)<br /><ul><li>Launched Quad in August 2007
    7. 7. initially to first year parents
    8. 8. expanded to prospective parents and all current parents
    9. 9. Added Value: Quad as a customer service tool
    10. 10. 74% of parents communicate with students “two to three times a week”
    11. 11. Helps DePaul deliver better student services and customer service overall</li></li></ul><li>
    12. 12.
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Today, the Quad has nearly 1,100 members.<br /><ul><li>Membership peaked in mid-2009 with over 2,500
    15. 15. Switched platforms in Dec 2009
    16. 16. Membership #’s dropped, but visits stayed steady</li></li></ul><li>On average, 1,000 parents access the Quad each month and they visit two times a month.<br />Overall monthly average<br />-- 2,000 total visits<br />-- 1,000 unique visits<br />-- slightly higher usage by out of IL parents <br />
    17. 17. Who are our Quad members?<br />Quad members by year of their student<br /><ul><li>mostly women (3/4)
    18. 18. from Illinois (47%) AND non-Illinois (53%)
    19. 19. largely incoming and first year parents</li></li></ul><li>University Partners Provide Content<br />Average Monthly Content Added to DePaul Quad <br />by DePaul Staff & Partners<br />
    20. 20. CMM & Parent Engagement<br />Summer Orientation Sessions<br />Open House Participation<br />Parent & Family Weekend<br />Printed pieces<br />Further engagement = Quad<br />
    21. 21. CMM & DePaul Quad Partnership<br />Recognized value of online parent community<br />Decided to harness the technology to help solve problems and use parents to help get crucial information to students<br />Eventually became Quad “Super User”<br />
    22. 22. CMM & DePaul Quad: Live Sessions<br />Strategically Scheduled Topics: <br /><ul><li>On-Campus Jobs
    23. 23. Part-Time Jobs
    24. 24. Career Roadmap
    25. 25. Internship Search Strategies
    26. 26. Managing DePaul Finances
    27. 27. Career Mentoring
    28. 28. Undecided Majors
    29. 29. Career Help for Graduating Seniors</li></li></ul><li>Quad Discussion Threads<br />
    30. 30. Proactive Email Campaigns<br />Subject: Students Need to Intern Early - and Often<br />
    31. 31. Resources and Related Content<br />Intern Spotlights<br />Resources Page<br />
    32. 32. Results of CMM Quad Use<br />Students have scheduled appointments<br />Attendance at workshops and events has been affected<br />Campus Employment 101 session was held after a Quad program and 75 students attended<br />Parents provide other parents solutions to problems!<br />
    33. 33.
    34. 34. Challenges & Rewards<br />Example: Negative feedback on DePaul’s Work Study Program <br />brings positive change <br />Director of Student Employment posts acknowledging issue and providing his contact information<br />Attracts 8 additional parents posts with questions and dissatisfaction<br />Parent starts discussion topic about on-campus employment after daughter cannot find job<br />Parents want to see changes quickly<br />Shortage of FWS positions still a challenge. However, changes are being made to how FWS is awarded. <br />Appointments scheduled with students who need assistance<br />
    35. 35. Challenges & RewardsExample: Parent suggestion that DPU parents provide career networking for students <br />Quad parent posted idea to have DPU parents mentor DPU Students<br />Suggestion forwarded to DePaul Career Center<br />Other parents posted with enthusiasm about idea<br />DPU posted discussion forum topic on “how is your student’s job search going”<br />Parents want quick turn around and begin calling DPU offices<br />Quad team thanks parents and announces expansion of program<br />DePaul’s Alumni mentoring program expanded to include parents<br />
    36. 36. Listening to Parents: Challenges, Rewards and Lessons Learned<br />Have to respond quickly and act on changes<br />Parent feedback—good and bad – is important to the Quad and to DePaul<br />Community self-manages many complaints<br />Real issues bubble to the top<br />Enables parent-to-parent networking<br />
    37. 37. Next Steps for DePaul<br />Overall: Leverage new University Parent Council<br />Quad<br />Improve user access & experience<br />Facebook Connect<br />More publicly accessible content<br />Grow member base, esp. out-of-state parents<br />Parent engagement after 1st year<br />Can we establish metrics to tie to recruitment & retention?<br />CMM: Expand Quad involvement, i.e. blogs<br />
    38. 38. Establishing a Community: Lessons Learned<br /><ul><li>Identify a dedicated internal “community manager”
    39. 39. To build relationships with partners from across the university who can:
    40. 40. Provide DePaul-specific content to put on the Quad
    41. 41. Present Live Sessions on the Quad
    42. 42. Answer parents questions on the Quad
    43. 43. Solve issues parents raise
    44. 44. To interact with members (these are important relationships!)
    45. 45. To follow-up on customer service issues and manage them to completion
    46. 46. Involve members in creating content
    47. 47. Parent bloggers
    48. 48. Parent surveys to identify hot topics/interest areas</li></li></ul><li>Establishing a Community: Lessons Learned<br />Pull members to the Quad with weekly emails highlighting valuable content<br />“Check out the new information on student internships”<br />“Help parent blogger, Patrick, solve his spring break dilemma”<br />“Article from the DePaul Newsroom - 2010 DePaul Grads Finding Jobs Despite Slow Economic Rebound. ”<br />Thank members who participate<br />Notes and tee-shirts work better than contests<br />Give them chances to give more input<br />
    49. 49. Suggested Questions to Consider<br />Who are your stakeholders?<br />What is it that you hope to accomplish?<br />Identify other champions on your campus<br />What social media tools are right for your school?<br />What funding is needed?<br />How will you collect data and assess?<br />What best practices exist on your campus in building partnerships with parents and families?<br />
    50. 50. Questions<br />Erik Friedman<br />312.362.5326<br />efriedm1@depaul.edu<br />Amanda Powers Snowden<br />312.362.8664<br />apowers@depaul.edu<br />

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