As the parent of a high school sophomore, with 20 years of experience in Higher Education marketing, I am thrilled to finally have a real live focus group of one at my home! Yes—the college search is on, which means many options and choices depending on major, size, program, geography, etc.
One specific institution I continue to be impressed with is Arizona State University. The ability that they have to innovate as a large institution is impressive. In 2017 they started a program called ASU Prep Digital. This program is both an online high school, but also a course provider for students wanting specific subject matter courses. I ran across their ad on Facebook and clicked in…I must be the target based on the amount of likes I have to content from independent schools as well as college’s. After clicking into the ad, I was amazed at the number of offerings that they have for high school students. If you are in high school and interested in anything from a class on Arabic to Criminal Justice you can apply to take it online at ASU Prep Digital. As I dug into this process further I wanted to point out two incredibly unique approaches that they take:
ASU Prep Digital uniquely and creatively positions the concept of concurrent enrollment. Many students in high schools take AP classes or courses that aren’t offered at their high school or at the local community college. ASU Prep Digital makes the case for a student being able to take one class, several classes or an entire program through their curriculum. In this interesting infographic they talk about how much of a win concurrent enrollment is for students wanting to take classes from a University professor at an online high school, with a learning success coach. They also mention the bragging rights of a top ranked research university and a name that isn’t too shabby in brand name colleges.
If we want the prospective student to experience our college/real college, not just the campus visit this would seem to be an ideal experience for them. As a huge fan of delivering the right product to the right client at the right time, this experience nails all three. Instead of sending search mailers out, start sending out custom courses that a high school student could take with a range of access to courses.
Another unique aspect is that the counselors are incredible with their use of chat and are super knowledgeable, but they have a whole area of well thought out content. The content shows me as a prospective student a map of my journey through high school (taking some ASU classes) and through college. OK—so where is the catch? There isn’t one. You can take one to two classes a semester through ASU Prep Digital and have the potential to complete an entire year of college prior to stepping a foot on campus. This is simply an amazing thought process and ease of use for the consumer. Check out this incredible graphic on how to complete nearly a year of college for a major or program simply by taking a class or two in high school each semester that fulfills high school requirements but also college requirements.
A big shout out to ASU in getting students into their desired fields faster, getting them experience in classes that they want to take, and making it as easy as possible for parents and students to see the path possible and save time and money in their pursuits.