Capstone/Dissertation Title

Marketing and Higher Education

Term

Spring 5-11-2015

Capstone

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Walter Enloe

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Robert Routhieaux

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Thomas King

Abstract

Upon graduation from a Minnesota private university I began a career in sales and merchandising, followed by big corporate retail management. A self-imposed career disruption in 2002 brought me to higher education. I have always been fascinated by the lure of higher education from a student perspective. I have often wondered how schools attract the right students to their institution in in a competitive market? My role at a Minnesota private university focuses on the recruitment of adult learners for graduate and professional programs. The Minnesota private colleges with both undergraduate and graduate and professional programs reside in a highly competitive and disruptive regional market. As every school tries to create unique brand awareness, this study explores the value of marketing and communication strategies in higher education. A mixed method approach utilizing basic quantitative investigation, extensive qualitative analysis and grounded theory approaches are used in this study. In both elite interviews and a survey of higher education professionals, questions were focused on the following themes: university value proposition, brand awareness, institutional marketing versus program specific marketing, and new marketing trends. This study reveals that strategic marketing of schools and programs is vital to maintaining consistent brand awareness and general inquiry generation.

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