Dream Big
    Plan Now
 The 2009 University of Maryland Bateman Team
Table of Contents               Meet the Team
Executive Summary--1            Students:
Situation Analysis...
Introduction                                                                We confronted the
We partnered with       Montgomery County have large populations of African
Parent Research:                                               •	   To help youth prepare
  •	 70 percent of Latino parent...
Parents said: (A63)                                          Challenges & Opportunities
                          • Childr...
Publics                                                         Goal
Primary:                                             ...
                                      Each of our strategies followed our research findings —       Use media t...
                            Using our race analogy, we split the tactics into three     resource on our Web site c...
financing          web-learning station where we guided students and
Paying It Foward (A106)                                        Conclusion
                         We disseminated “how-to...
It is never too early to start planning for college
You can start right now.
Preparing for college is like a race; you hav...
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UMD Bateman Campaign Summary 2009


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Campaign Summary for "Hit the Books Running", a campaign by University of Maryland students, researched, planned, implemented and evaluated to compete in PRSSA\'s Bateman Case Study competition in 2009.
Received third place out of 77 competing universities around the country.

By Romina Cialdella, Kamilia Butler Peres, Michelle Cardoso, Ben Kelbaugh, and Brittany Jackson.

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UMD Bateman Campaign Summary 2009

  1. 1. Dream Big Plan Now The 2009 University of Maryland Bateman Team
  2. 2. Table of Contents Meet the Team Introduction--1 Executive Summary--1 Students: Situation Analysis--2 Kamilia Butler-Peres Secondary Research--2 Michelle Cardoso Primary Research--3 Romina Cialdella Challenges & Opportunities--4 Brittany Jackson Publics--5 Ben Kelbaugh Key Messages--5 Advisors: Goal--5 Susan Simon, Professional Advisor Objectives--5 Richard Toth, Faculty Advisor Strategies--6 Leah Waks, Faculty Advisor Tactics--7 Thank you to: Evaluation--9 Linda Aldoory Paying It Forward--10 Sabine Chai Conclusion--10 Zachary Hauser Endnotes Veronica Perez Appendix
  3. 3. Introduction We confronted the four major hurdles “It’s funny because all your life everybody is telling you to go to college. In high school, all the teachers talk about getting ready the CBA identified for college, but nobody tells you what you need to do or how to as barriers to college do it… The whole process is really confusing.” attendance: --Noel Bullock, High School Senior • Understanding The college application experience is challenging yet the importance life changing. The lack of personalized guidance and of college today We created an env could w ironme the overwhelming amount of information can further • Understanding Univers ork individually wnt where students and ith key re ity o parents complicate the process. college costs discusses f Maryland finan sources. Above scholars c hip optio ial aid representa , a No two students face exactly the same challenges. • The need for ns with a family. tive When our team applied to college, we encountered academic preparation different obstacles, including being the first in a family • The need for career and financial counseling to attend college, overcoming a language barrier, and We reached out to African American and Latino financing an education independently. students, who tend to have the lowest college attendance The middle and high school students we met rates compared to other ethnicities. To engage these confronted similar challenges. Our Dream Big/Plan Now underserved populations, we helped students clear hurdles campaign taught students how to successfully plan to and overcome their beliefs that college was unaffordable achieve their dreams based on their aspirations and their and inaccessible. situations. Dream Big/Plan Now recognized the influence parents have on their children and reinforced the idea that Executive Summary college is the necessary next step after high school. We Preparing for college is like running a race—it is also incorporated CBA’s message, “The more you know, important to think ahead, plan well and pace oneself. the less you’ll owe–getting good grades now can lead to College is in sight for many students in grades 8 through money for college in the future.” 11; they just need to know how to get there. Our goal is to Through our interactive campaign, we: provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to • Engaged 1,200 students and parents in community plan their races to college and achieve their dreams. settings We accepted the Consumer Bankers Association’s • Individualized the campaign (CBA) invitation to motivate students to attend college after high school. In creating our program, we expanded • Taught students and parents how to navigate a complex college preparatory system 1 the CBA’s Hit the Books Running platform with our • Offered them insights for how to achieve their Dream Big/Plan Now campaign. college dreams
  4. 4. We partnered with Montgomery County have large populations of African educational, financial and Americans and Latinos that distinguish them from the community organizations rest of the state. In Prince George’s County, 66 percent to provide students and of the population is African American and 11.6 percent is parents with college Latino. Montgomery County has the largest percentage of resources. Dream Big/ Latinos in Maryland at 14.3 percent.5 With these statistics Plan Now successfully in mind, we found a unique opportunity to work with two encouraged these historically underserved groups. organizations to We reached out to students in Prince George’s County ating Col lege Event continue our endeavor and Montgomery County to increase the number of our Culmin rs arrive to d studen ts. to motivate students students who see themselves attending college after high unity membe of Marylan Local comm t University and meet with curren to plan for college. school. While this is an ambitious task, we needed to They reported that our program design was professional, dream big to truly make an impact in our local community. innovative and met their needs. Secondary Research Situation Analysis To create our campaign, we explored college accessibility issues among students and parents. We also President Barack Obama charged the nation to reclaim researched how to effectively reach them through media its position as having the most college graduates in the channels and program design. world. Even during a recession, he urged the country to remain committed to education. A college degree helps Student Research: secure job opportunities; of the 19 million jobs created • Lack of information on college costs and a between 2004 and 2014, nearly 7 million will require at perceived lack of financial aid availability is least a bachelor’s degree.1 Dream Big/Plan Now hopes to associated with low college enrollment rates for prepare students to meet these educational demands. low-income students6 Even though Maryland’s public school system was • One-third of families wish they had started the ranked as the 3rd best in the country in the 2008 Quality college financing process earlier9 Counts report, a discrepancy exists among different races • Low-income students use the Internet frequently and ethnicities.2 African American and Latino students during the financial aid process. 90 percent of teens are less likely to attend college than their white and Asian counterparts,3 in part because underserved minority students use the Internet for school-related information6, 7 • Teens are influenced by campaigns that bring 2 have limited access to college preparation opportunities.4 information to them in familiar settings, including In Maryland, Prince George’s County and malls, schools, churches and community centers8
  5. 5. Parent Research: • To help youth prepare • 70 percent of Latino parents with children who for college, we need “This [program] helped my son out a lot. He wasn’t even currently attend or have recently graduated from to provide them with thinking about college yet, and college report receiving college information during motivational messages now he knows he has to start high school was “very important”10 to reinforce that they preparing.” • Nearly one half of Latino parents and youth are their own catalysts --Parent participant who did not attend college report that receiving for success12 “better” information about financial aid would have increased the likelihood of college enrollment 10 Primary Research • 63 percent of African American and 64 percent of We wanted to determine how students and parents Latino parents believe qualified students are not feel about the college preparation race. We conducted attending college because of the high price11 four focus groups with African American and Latino • 35 percent of parents use a financial aid counselor students and parents. Based on our focus group results, as their first choice for college financing we developed a survey to measure levels of motivation information, and 18 percent prefer the Internet9 to attend college, awareness of the necessary steps to • 32 percent of parents sought basic information successfully prepare for college, and knowledge of college about federal loans, private loans and payment financing options (A79). plans, which highlights a need to increase Focus group findings the dissemination of basic college financing information9 Students said: (A56) • College is necessary, but difficult to finance Effective Presentation Research: • They do not know the difference between • When students and their parents participate in scholarships and loans groups with 20 people or less, they are more likely • The nation’s economic recession will make paying to ask specific and personal questions6 for college more difficult • Presentations should be action-based with short, • The college preparation process is confusing time-framed tasks to be completed within the • Getting good grades is important, but challenging context of a group presentation12 • Speaking with bank representatives, current college • Students and parents need one-on-one support students, professors and admissions officers about to complete the college application process, especially for teens who are college-ready but do getting ready for college would be beneficial • A college preparation event should be at a university 3 not know how they will finance college12 • Malls and movie theaters are popular hangout spots
  6. 6. Parents said: (A63) Challenges & Opportunities • Children do not need to start preparing for college until their junior year As we synthesized our research, we determined that • Motivating children to get good grades is important a number of challenges and opportunities existed for • Children would be more motivated to attend college creating a college preparation program. if they spoke to current college students • College preparation information should be provided Challenge: There are many organizations that have in Spanish and English created college preparation programs in our surrounding • An event should be held on a Saturday at a university areas. These organizations work independently and often do not collaborate with each other. Survey Results (A79) Opportunity: Instead of competing with these groups, • 27.3 percent of participants knew that a Student Aid we decided to partner with them. Our Dream Big/Plan Report was generated after a FAFSA submission Now campaign worked with organizations such as the • 33 percent of participants knew the appropriate Latino Student Union and CBA member Bank of America grade to start applying for scholarships to streamline information into a comprehensive college • 53.3 percent of participants agreed with the preparation program. statement, “If I have to work my way through college, I will not go.” Challenge: Trust in banks has declined due to the • 35.6 percent of participants economic recession and bank failures8 agreed with the statement, Opportunity: CBA could build trust by fostering face- “If I cannot afford my to-face conversations between bankers, students and their dream college, I will attend parents. another college.” Challenge: Providing information via media channels in the greater Washington, D.C. area is difficult. The diminishing news hole is filled primarily with stories about the recession, government, business and crime. Opportunity: We worked with community-oriented media that our publics accessed frequently, including church entative Zachary Hauser spea ks with a newsletters, community newspapers and school bulletins. 4 Americ a repres options. Bank of financia l aid pare nt about
  7. 7. Publics Goal Primary: Our team • African American and Latino students in grades agreed with 8 through 11 in Prince George’s County and the CBA that Montgomery County it is necessary • Parents of these students in grades 8 through 11 for students to understand Secondary: We worked in small gro that college is the specific ups with st ud • Other middle and high school students and their important and steps they need to take ents and parents to te ach them in order to parents throughout Maryland prepare fo r college. accessible. Intervening: Our goal reflects the significance of Community Influencers—It takes a community to foster this idea: beliefs and behaviors that will help students attend college. Strengthen underserved students’ and parents’ beliefs We partnered with banks, churches, college preparation that college is the necessary and attainable next step to organizations, and high school counselors and teachers maximize student potential. who helped carry our message. Objectives Key Messages 1. Increase student motivation to attend college by 10 Dream Big, Plan Now for your future percent by Feb. 28, 2009. • The benefits of a college degree outweigh the cost 2. Increase students’ and parents’ awareness of the of attending college necessary steps to successfully prepare for college • College is the necessary next step after high school by 10 percent by Feb. 28., 2009. • On average, college graduates earn $20,000 more 3. Increase students’ and parents’ awareness of college per year than those without a degree14 financing options by 10 percent by Feb. 28, 2009. Hit the Books Running in middle and high school to 4. Engage 500 community members in campaign prepare for college activities during February. • It’s never too early to start planning for college 5. Achieve 1,000 visits on our Web site, • The more you know, the less you’ll owe • Getting good grades in middle and high school can StartDreaming.org, by Feb. 28, 2009. 6. Generate at least four placements in traditional and 5 help you get into colleges new media by Feb. 28, 2009.
  8. 8. Strategies Each of our strategies followed our research findings — Use media that influence our publics--New, college information needs to be communicated in an traditional & community media channels: (A79) interactive and personal manner. The following strategies Rationale: 93 percent of teens use the Internet regularly, shaped our tactics and implementation. primarily for social interaction.15 In the past year, Facebook added more than 13 million U.S. members.16 In Give the CBA a human face: 2008, YouTube became the world’s second most popular Rationale: Since the economic recession has affected bank search engine, surpassed only by Google.17 Since students credibility, we needed to personalize banks’ messages are increasingly turning to new media, it is important to by having students and their parents interact with bank use these channels to convey key messages. As evidenced representatives. We wanted students and parents to by Barack Obama’s presidential race, utilizing new media feel comfortable with the representatives and trust their can have profound effects on the success of a campaign. information. Parents still depend on traditional and community media outlets to receive news. Of the adults who read newspapers Engage our publics in interactive planning to daily, 80 percent prefer print-only sources.18 Additionally, train for the college preparation process: Latino parents in our focus groups indicated greater comfort Rationale: Our research found that underserved students with receiving information in Spanish, which is why we respond to small groups of 20 people or less because they targeted Spanish-language media outlets (A63). can ask specific, personal questions. The personal experience is more beneficial if Integrate bilingual messages into the entire students are engaged in activities, such as campaign: making a timeline. Rationale: In our focus groups, Latino parents said they had difficulty navigating the financial aid process Partner with sponsors to coach because of the language barrier. We developed a bilingual students and parents through the campaign with messages and materials in English and college preparation process: Spanish. Rationale: To help students successfully plan for college, we partnered with people Bank of Amer ica representa tives Zachary imated studen ts that have experience with the process (A10). Our focus groups specified that they 6 ca Perez accl wanted to speak with bank representatives, Hau ser and Veroni financial aid. banking and and parents to current students and professors.
  9. 9. Tactics Using our race analogy, we split the tactics into three resource on our Web site can be sections to reflect the aspects of preparing for a race: accessed within two clicks and is • Recruiting our college-bound runners: Community available in English and Spanish. outreach initiatives designed to interest parents and The site guides students and parents through students to join our Dream Big/Plan Now campaign what they should do each year in middle • Training: Activities intended to teach students how and high school to prepare for college, both to prepare for their races to college academically and financially. It also streamlines • Team Equipment: Preparation materials financial information, including scholarships, grants and loans, to provide Maryland-specific Recruiting our college-bound runners resources. Our blog, “Paths to College” highlighted people’s Mall Outreach: Based on our focus groups results, our personal experiences and the paths they took to reach their Dream Big/Plan Now team headed to Prince George’s dreams (A6). The CBA could extend this initiative to create Plaza and Westfield Wheaton Mall. We set up eye- Web sites to localize information for each state. catching information booths where people could ask us Social Networks: To promote our events and resources, questions about our program and our upcoming events. we invited parents and students to our Facebook group, Students and parents provided contact information so followed similar college preparation efforts on Twitter, we could send e-mail updates, which included positive created a blog, and posted our campaign video on YouTube. reminders about the importance of education, useful links to our Web site and upcoming events. Training Check out the tracks to college our event Community Center Promotions: To successfully draw College Preparation Workshops: Our Dream Big/Plan attendees made at the local attention to our program, our Dream Big/Plan Now Now team held workshops to train students and their College Preparation team distributed promotional materials to community parents about what they need to do and when they do it to Workshops! centers frequented by our publics. We placed flyers on successfully prepare for college. We held workshops at 1,000 cars in the parking lots of local malls, libraries St. Camillus Church, Eleanor Roosevelt High School and and bus shelters. We also posted program materials Potomac High School. advertising our events in public libraries and schools The workshops began with a short presentation about (see Preparation Materials tactic for details). college financing and budgeting from Bank of America representatives. The representatives created a participatory Web site–StartDreaming.org: To help students and environment by asking questions and presenting financing 7 parents access hard-to-find college financing resources, examples related to college planning. Parents and students we created an easy-to-navigate Web site (A1). Every were then split into smaller groups. Parents discussed
  10. 10. financing web-learning station where we guided students and college with the parents through our Web site, StartDreaming.org, and the representatives, financial aid process. while we taught The event also featured a performance by the students the University of Maryland champion dance team, Dynamic, necessary steps to energize and motivate participants. Watching the to prepare for Dynamic dance team perform gave students a chance to nating ool montage piece during our Culmi college. Students see current college students pursuing their talents. performs their high sch Dynamic Dance Team then tested their Our partner, the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student College Event. knowledge by mapping Education (OMSE), hosted campus tours to give students their paths to college and tracking what they needed to do a taste of campus life. To encourage students to visit each year. each table, we held two raffles during the event. The We created a “how-to-guide” and distributed it to more tables students visited, the greater their chances organizations at the University of Maryland, the University of winning a prize. Our prizes included: Washington System of Maryland, area high school counselors and local Wizards tickets provided by ESPN Deportes, an iPod churches, so these groups would continue to incorporate shuffle, and gift cards to various restaurants and shops. our program into theirs (A106). Team Equipment Culminating College Event: The Dream Big/Plan Now Preparation Materials: Our Dream Big/Plan Now team hosted a college preparation event to build upon the team provided students and parents tangible resources to information provided during the workshops and evaluate prepare for college. We distributed the materials during the effectiveness of the program. the workshops, culminating college event and mall Attendees joined small teams of ten parents and outreach events. All resources were available in Spanish students from the same grade. University of Maryland and English to support our bilingual effort. We created: students led the groups to various tables, which included • Student Checklists: Grade-specific information, student groups, professors, Bank of America, The including registration dates for the SATs, College Board, University of Maryland financial aid and recommended classes, and FAFSA and college admissions, and Hit the Books Running. The teams rotated application deadlines (A17-A23) to each table to listen to brief presentations and participate • Bookmarks & Information Cards: Reminders about in round-table discussions. The team leaders, who were University of Maryland students, encouraged participants our events and campaign information (A28, A26) • Financial Resources Sheet: Information on 8 to ask personal questions. We also had an interactive scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs (A24)
  11. 11. “Talking groups w in small as beneficia much more l than lis to a lectu tening Evaluation --Studen re” t Objective 1: Increase student motivation by 10 percent We promoted campaign events by to attend college by Feb. 28, 2009. placing fliers and promotional materials in popular Outcome: Exceeded--As demonstrated by our pre- and community areas identified by our focus groups, including: post-test results, the number of highly motivated students Downtown Silver Spring, Prince George’s Plaza, 10 bus increased by 20.5 percent (A79). shelters and nine local libraries. Objective 5: Achieve 1,000 hits on our Web site, Objective 2: Increase students’ and parents’ awareness StartDreaming.org by Feb. 28, 2009. of the necessary steps to successfully prepare for college Outcome: Exceeded--Our Web site received more than by 10 percent by Feb. 28, 2009. 1,100 visits throughout February from 643 unique visitors Outcome: Exceeded--There was an 15.9 percent (A8). Our blog entries inspired readers to comment with increase in overall awareness of necessary steps to be their stories about college. taken to be successfully prepared for college (A79). Objective 6: Generate at least four media placements in Objective 3: Increase students’ and parents’ awareness of traditional and new media by Feb. 28, 2009. college financing options by 10 percent by Feb. 28, 2009. Outcome: Achieved-- Outcome: Exceeded--Overall, there was a 19.1 percent • Traditional Media: We received three media increase in knowledge of college financing options (A79). placements in both on-campus and local newspapers. Two news stories were printed Objective 4: To engage 500 community members in our by El Pregonero, one of the most widely read campaign efforts. Spanish-language newspapers in the Washington Outcome: Exceeded--We connected with more than Metropolitan area with a circulation of about 1,300 community members through the following 35,000 (A39, A40). Dream Big/Plan Now was s i ng in thi campaign activities: articipat ly feel also featured in an article in the University of “After p ctual • Mall outreach: 80 participants Maryland Latino newspaper La Voz (A43). We had p, I a worksho repared” • Workshops: 60 attendees event announcements in The Washington Hispanic more p --Stu dent • Culminating College Event: 150 attendees and The Gazette (a leading community paper). • Web site: 643 unique visitors (A8) • Blogs: Dream Big/Plan Now was involved in • Facebook: 143 friends (A31) three blogs as follows: “Admissions 101,” a • YouTube: 251 viewers (A32) prominent Washington Post education blog (A49), 9 • Twitter: 17 followers (A33) Holistic Personal Development (A45), and Dream Strategy’s college preparation blog (A46).
  12. 12. Paying It Foward (A106) Conclusion We disseminated “how-to-guides” to seven schools Our Dream Big/Plan Now team believes that and organizations so they could incorporate our program while preparing for college can be difficult, finding design into their existing activities: Alpha Kappa Psi, helpful resources should not be. Before Dream Big/ Carver Center for the Arts & Technology, Dynamic Plan Now, students and parents knew college was Dance Team, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Maryland important, but were both discouraged by and confused Wishes, Potomac High School and the University System about the necessary steps to get there. After participating of Maryland: Way 2 Go Maryland! Our team received in our program, students and parents felt equipped with comments about the quality of our campaign ideas, noting the tools they needed to plan their races to college and that it was creative and engaging (A38). Event attendees motivated to do so. said they appreciated the smaller sessions and enjoyed Our team worked to involve the entire community interacting with various groups and representatives on a in inciting and preparing students for their races to the friendly and personal level, rather than listening to a long future. Although we implemented our major events in presentation. Finally, our CBA partner, Bank of America, February, the race to the finish line did not end there. stated that being a part of Dream Big/Plan Now was a Several high schools and community organizations have great experience and they “truly believe that [we] made agreed to carry out our program throughout Maryland. an impact in the lives of students and the parents that Ideally, the CBA would integrate its interactive campaign experienced the program” (A34). into pre-existing college preparation programs. We recommend they continue to engage underserved populations through small groups, interactive activities, and partnerships with universities and community influencers. Students who participated in Dream Big/Plan Now learned that everyone’s track is different and everyone runs at a different pace. We motivated them to maximize their potential and start their races to college. By dreaming big and planning now, they have Meet the 2009 Universi ty of Maryland Ba teman Team! Le r-Peres, Be n Kelbaugh, ft to right: already won. 10 o, Kamilia Butle Michelle Cardos lla Brittany Jackso n, Romina Cialde
  13. 13. It is never too early to start planning for college You can start right now. Preparing for college is like a race; you have the finish line in sight but you need to figure out how you are going to get there. Our advice for you is to think ahead. Don’t think in short sprints. Don’t burn out too early or start too late. Plan your race. Pace yourself. Achieve your dream: Cross the finish line. If you Dream Big and Plan Now, You Will Hit the Books Running.