New Talent, Strategies Up CCAD Application Pool

February 4th, 2013 by Lacey Luce
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Ologie created a suite of materials that show that a CCAD degree is anything but impractical.

Ologie created a suite of materials that show that a CCAD degree is anything but impractical.

It’s been a whirlwind six months for CCAD’s admission staff. They welcomed an energetic new director, launched an aggressive series of additional events, and unveiled an exciting suite of fresh recruitment materials—the result:  A notable uptick in applications submitted well before the Feb. 15 priority deadline.

“It’s exciting,” said Densil Porteous, director of admissions, about the rise in applicants. “We tried some new things, and people really responded to them. That is always gratifying.”

Porteous joined CCAD in August and hit the ground running. An early initiative of the office, which Porteous embraced, was the development of a series of new on-campus events called CCAD Discovery Days.

“We had a good problem. Routinely we were seeing that our on-campus admissions events were coming in well over capacity,” said Porteous. “We realized that a large number of prospective students wanted opportunities to engage with the college and so we developed an additional series of events that also included opportunities to discover our city, Columbus, as well as our campus.”

Not only were the new events a huge success but the existing events continue to register to capacity.

Another addition to the admissions tool kit was a new suite of recruitment materials.

“One of our challenges was overcoming the myth of the starving artist,” explained Robin Hepler, CCAD’s director of Marketing & Communications. “The tricky part is showing how an art and design college is a good investment without diluting the creative part of what we do. We need to speak to the practical and the artistic sides of students and parents.”

To help CCAD with this challenge the college engaged Ologie , a nationally recognized branding company owned and operated by alumna Bev Bethge.

In a recent posting Ologie described their approach: “In response, Ologie developed an integrated campaign with several pieces: an eye-catching poster for generating leads, a kit for introducing CCAD to art teachers and guidance counselors, and an oversized viewbook for following up with prospects. The viewbook included a glossary with some 60 potential careers for graduates, making it clear that a CCAD degree is anything but impractical.”

“Ologie gave us several new tools to use,” said Hepler. “One of the things I love most is how they play with our name—taking us beyond Columbus College of Art & Design in a way that is playful and a little quirky.”

Whether prospects responded to the new events or the idea of being part of “Columbus College of Loving What You Do” they responded.

“Not only have we seen more applications, we’ve been really impressed by the quality of work in the portfolios we’ve been reviewing,” said Porteous. “I think the next few weeks are going to be especially exciting as we come up on our Feb. 15 priority deadline. Students who apply by this date will get priority consideration not only for admission, but also for scholarships. It’s going to be a very busy two weeks.”

Learn more about applying to CCAD here. The college is hosting its next CCAD Discovery Days event on Saturday, April 13 (which is also the date for the CCAD Art Fair).

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2 Responses to “New Talent, Strategies Up CCAD Application Pool”

  1. Mary says:

    What happened to Design Group? I think it’s very unfortunate that an art school is not using the talent it is building up for work they are building them up for. And I don’t mean inbreeding with local companies. Use the students, and be proud of their work.

    This is terribly disappointing.

  2. Robin Hepler says:

    Hi Mary – please be assured Design Group is alive and well … and doing great work. The students are doing all the creative for the Exhibitions and Visiting Artists series as well as the new alumni relations group and other college Advancement projects.

    We found that the immense volume of work passing through our department (about 120 publications last year) and our evolution to using many digital communications platforms required us to bring in some specialized talent on certain projects.

    We’re hoping to expand the video capabilities in Design Group for next year to provide even more student content.

    The new DesignLab is also a great outlet for student to work on marketing projects, and the number of students with local internship opportunities has expanded as well so Design Group is no longer the only place on campus for students to get experience.

    I hope that answers part of your question?

    Please feel free to contact me directly with any other concerns you may have. We put great effort into the blog specifically to generate feedback from our CCAD community.

    Thank you for making the time to post a response. I tried to reply directly to your posted email, but it keeps bouncing back.