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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