Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Steady decline in enrollment over the past three semesters, increasing attrition rates, and a decline in 18-year-olde attending South Mountain Community College (SMCC) established the need for the study. Colleges across the nation are combating these problems by developing comprehensive marketing programs designed to recruit and retain students. Thus, the purpose of this study vas to develop a model marketing plan for SMCC. Nine components were identified in the review of literature an effective marketing techniques. They Included the following: marketing surveys, high school visitations, direct mall, newspaper ads, shopping center recruiting, news releases, television, radio, and billboards. A survey instrument (Appendix C) was constructed to include specific marketing activities within each component. Survey officers instruments were mailed to 48 public information officers incommunity colleges having headcount enrollments of 2,500 students or less in the four states of Arizona, Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico. Thirty-four public information officers responded, yielding a 70.7 percent return. Respondents were asked to indicate which of the techniques was most effective. They were provided a 5-point Likert-type scale of vary effective to very ineffective. They were also asked to identity activities conducted within the last three years and how often the activities were performed. Four research questions were developed to determine whether there was agreement among community college public information officers as to the effectiveness of marketing practices. A mean response of 3.50 or higher was established to indicate agreement among respondents. Research questions are as follows: 1. Is there agreement among public information offices regarding marketing activities that have proven successful at recruiting and retaining students? 2. Of the activities indicated, which marketing activities are most appropriate for South Mountain Community College? 3. How will the development of a marketing plan impact the enrollment of the college? 4. What is the most effective method for evaluating a marketing plan? The mean scores for each of the nine components were tabulated and displayed on tables (Appendix D). Each activity within the nine components was ranked according to the level of agreement among public information officers surveyed regarding its effectiveness. Of the nine, marketing components utilized in the marketing survey, public information officers had the highest agreement regarding radio advertising as the most effective marketing technique. Following radio advertising (in order of effectiveness) was newspaper advertising, news releases, high school visitation, direct mall, television, and marketing surveys. Two components, billboards and shopping center recruiting, were categorized as ineffective. The results of the study and the review of literature provided adequate input for the development of a model marketing plan for SMCC (Appendix E). The approach to marketing detailed in the review of literature was used as the basis for the marketing plan. The major components of this approach were: defining the missions; identifying publics and markets; researching the market; segmenting the market; formulating the marketing mix; and implementing and controlling the marketing plan. Two additional components, establishing the task force and evaluation were added to complete the plan. An ad hoc committee was established at SMCC to review the model marketing plan developed as a result of this study. The committee consisted of SMCC administrators and faculty. Several revisions were suggested and completed prior to finalization of the marketing model. Implementation for the model at SMCC is scheduled for the 1987-88 school year, with final implementation taking place in 1989. It was recommended that an ad, hoc committee convene and make changes to the model marketing plan (Appendix E) providing changes are needed. Additional procedures, time lines, and a procedural flow chart including specific dates and individuals or departments responsible for accomplishing various tasks should be determined. Further, the ad hoc committee should make changes, if necessary, to the method of evaluation outlined in the model plan. Institutions that do not currently implement a detailed marketing plan may tailor this model to their own institutional needs and peculiarities. It is also recommended that other studies be reviewed to assist in the development of marketing activities that are effective in recruiting and retaining students. It is also recommended that research efforts be developed that link the usage of institutional research offices and public information offices to marketing planning.

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