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CCU receives engagement excellence award for virtual programming and events

July 12, 2021
Amanda Eisele, director of fraternity and sorority life, speaks at a recent virtual event.

Coastal Carolina University’s Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs and Office of Admissions and Merit Awards have earned a Conduit Engagement Excellence Award from PlatformQ Education.

Conduit is an interactive platform used to run large-scale online events, live chats, and live stream across desktop, mobile, and social media. CCU has used the platform since late spring 2020 to host virtual orientation sessions, admissions events, virtual tours, and more.

“With COVID, the offices of Admissions and Merit Awards and Student Transitions and Family Programs knew we needed to do something different in order to virtually engage prospective and incoming students, as well as their family members,” said Susannah Marshman, CCU’s assistant vice president for student engagement.

Hosting programs and events on a virtual platform has allowed for increased access. “CCU has so many students from out of state or whose schedules do not allow them to travel to campus,” Marshman said. “With virtual programming, we can educate them on all things CCU regardless of where they are located, and they are in turn saving on travel time and costs of coming to campus.”

According to Amanda Craddock, CCU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, the program has been used for student recruitment purposes as well.

“We are able to successfully track student engagement and attendance at virtual events,” Craddock said. “Based on this engagement, admissions counselors can then follow up with prospective students and continue to work with them one-on-one through the application and enrollment process.”

CCU plans to continue offering virtual programming as COVID restrictions are lifting. For at least the next year, the University will continue to utilize virtual programming in order to engage students and their family members no matter where they live.

“Virtual events open up access to a broader audience and allow us to showcase different aspects of the campus in the virtual environment, such as connecting with current students and faculty,” Craddock said. “On the recruitment side, a primary benefit is that the student can watch the content on demand if they can’t attend a live open house, campus tour, or student panel. Each event is recorded for the student to view later. The Office of Admissions and Merit Awards has also created on-demand videos for students to view on their schedule.”

Pairing a virtual introduction with an in-person tour or event has been beneficial.

“Students and families have shared they appreciate participating in a virtual open house and then being able to tour the campus in-person a few days later,” Craddock said. “For students who cannot get to campus, they can take a virtual tour.”

Summer implementation of the virtual platform has extended beyond orientation.

“Admissions counselors are hosting daily events through the Summer Series, as well as Monday and Friday virtual tour programs,” Craddock said. “We are seeing good student engagement and plan to conclude the Summer Series events in late July with an application kickoff event.”

Click here to learn more about CCU’s upcoming virtual events.