Enhancing Communication With International Students

The Challenge: SRU was making connections with international students, but needed a place to reconnect on a regular basis.

Slippery Rock University’s international recruitment team travels regularly and has a good plan in place for meeting students, parents, and counselors. While they were making excellent connections with prospective students and building brand recognition, they did not have the staff or budget to conduct follow-up meetings.

SRU knew that the chances of international students coming to on-campus follow-up events were slim to none, which resulted in email being the go-to source for re-engagement. “We basically just sent 50 million emails. It was a constant barrage of emails and answering the same questions,” said Genevieve Bordogna, SRU’s Associate Director for International Student Admissions.

The Solution: SRU began using PlatformQ Education to enhance their communication efforts.

Incoming students always have plenty of questions, but the need for information in advance can be magnified when those students are planning to travel from overseas to attend school. SRU knew PlatformQ Education could be key in connecting with prospective and incoming international students; providing them with the answers to all of their questions—plus more. Slippery Rock University’s international recruitment staff leveraged PlatformQ Education using two primary methods:

  1. Hosting online events on PlatformQ Education’s Conduit platform, SRU developed a series of presentations to connect with their international inquiry pool. They initially developed high-level presentations, but produced more specific webcasts—to promote their engineering program, for example—as they got more comfortable with the platform.“PlatformQ Education allows us to elevate topics that are critical for our international students,” said Bordogna. “It’s an easy, and accessible forum for students to connect with us, and they are taking advantage of it.
  2. Scheduling online chats to offer students, parents, and counselors a way to connect outside of email. Chat allowed SRU to answer a number of questions at once, rather than emailing back and forth, and students were better prepared to complete their applications and jump into the on-campus experience. The team created a consistent weekly chat schedule and shared that information with students and counselors while out touring other countries.“Later in the summer, we’re hoping to do a multi-room chat with housing, student accounts, the health center, and our office so students can join us for a chat session before they arrive,” said Bordogna. “PlatformQ Education makes a huge difference in students being prepared when they get to Slippery Rock.”

The Results: Slippery Rock University began using the CollegeWeekLive platform in 2016 to amplify their international recruitment efforts. In just a short time frame, the team has already begun realizing the benefits of their investment.

“PlaformQ Education has given us capabilities we didn’t have previously. Before PlatformQ Education, we were generating plenty of leads, but we needed to think about how to convert them in a meaningful way,” explained Bordogna. “You can convey a lot through emails, but PlatformQ Education has taken our processes to another level. And considering the place this generation is at with technology, they love it.”