It is best to begin recruiting students one year in advance. For summer programs, this means by the start of the previous fall semester. The standard application deadline for spring faculty-led programs is October 31, making it beneficial to begin promoting the program in the previous academic year and immediately at the start of the academic year. The standard application deadline for summer faculty-led programs is February 1 and, therefore, recruiting can continue into the spring semester.
The following are some suggestions for promoting programs:
Also, don't forget to inform your colleagues about the program. Be sure to answer any questions they may have regarding the academics of the program, how and where it fits in with student degree progress and how students should go about applying. Your colleagues are a wonderful asset to help promote the program as they can inform all their students as well.
Schedule information meetings one to two semesters prior to the program application deadline. The purpose of these meetings is to introduce prospective students to studying abroad and to the particulars of your program. It is ideal to provide students with the estimated expense sheet at these meetings so that they may then review the financial obligations involved with participation and schedule a meeting with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in order to review their financial aid eligibility. Inform OSA of these information meetings, at least two weeks in advance, so OSA may publicize the meeting through our listserv, on the program webpage and our social media outlets.
In scheduling the information sessions keep in mind student schedules and other events taking place on campus. If you are hosting multiple information sessions it is a good idea to have them on different days and times to ensure students have the opportunity to attend if they have class or work conflicts. It is ideal to hold the meetings in centrally-located classroom buildings, or buildings frequently used by students in the targeted majors or minors.
We find students enjoy and see value in hearing about fellow student's study abroad experiences. If you are interested in having a Study Abroad Ambassador (CMU student who has studied abroad and been trained in classroom presentations) give a 5-10 minute presentation in your classes about study abroad in general, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org to request an Ambassador presentation.
We encourage faculty to promote their programs in classrooms, both their own classes and those of their colleagues. Ask your colleagues if they would be willing to have you do a 5-10 minute presentation about the program to their classes.
Create a display
Create a display about your program that you can put outside your office or use on college/department bulletin boards or display cases. Many buildings now have electronic display boards, contact the building manager to find out how you can get your program on the electronic display board. When creating these displays remember to think about what would catch a student's attention as they walk by on their way to class.
Create a website
Create a website or blog for the program. It is helpful to include pictures and student testimonials. Be sure to share the website with OSA so we can link the program webpage to it.
If you are interested in tabling at the UC near the Down Under during lunch, contact the Faculty-led Programs Coordinator who will work to reserve you a day and time. This traditionally takes place 11:00am to 2:00pm and the UC asks that if a table is reserved it is utilized the entire time period.
List on Blackboard
Post program information in all of your course Blackboard shells. Ask your colleagues if they would be willing to post the program information in their Blackboard shells as well.
Campus pre-professional groups, organizations and club
Target specific pre-professional groups, and student organizations and clubs on campus that may have a particular interest in the program. All campus groups, organizations and clubs are listed on Orgsync, including all their contact information. Visit orgsync.com and select Central Michigan University. After signing in with your global ID and password you will be able to see a list of all the organizations. Select the organization and visit the "profile" for information about the organization, including contact information.
Maintain contact with interested students
Keep lists of students who express interest in the program and email them with important information about upcoming meetings, deadlines or even interesting details about the program and destination. Leave your office hours open to these interested students as well so that they can come ask questions and talk to you about the program.
Department or college highlights the program at orientation
Get involved in the department or college orientation program to be sure the program is highlight to freshman and transfer students. The earlier you can get the students thinking about studying abroad the more likely they will follow through.
Contact CM Life
Contact CM Life to ask if they would be interested in writing an article about the program. You may need or want to write a press release and keep following up to pitch the article. It may take multiple tries and different ways of presenting the article. Helpful tip: tie the program to current events or topics of interest.
Featured in department or college publications
Ask your department and college to feature the program in department and college publications (ie. newsletters, alumni relations etc.). If your department or college has a facebook, twitter, instagram or even LinkedIn page, ask if the program can be featured there as well.
Involve students who have previously participated in the program, especially at information meetings, the Study Abroad Fair, information booths etc. Student testimonies are one of the most effective marketing tools and exactly what students are waiting to hear.