Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

 

Butte College

In the North/Far North, Butte College has hired a recruiter to increase the number of students/special population students enrolling at the college. The recruiter presents and provides Butte College information at high schools and community events. He also presents at campus activities and organizes campus tours. All local high schools are visited, as well as many in a broad service area. These presentations may be dedicated to information on the college, or the recruiter may be a participant in general information nights or career fairs. To reach out to potential older students, presentations have been made at mall career fairs, resource fairs, farmers markets, and county fairs. Presentations and information have been made available at community cultural events including Migrant Education Parent Information Nights, Rancheria Celebrations, Latino Youth Leadership Conferences, Cinco de Mayo Celebrations, among cultural festivals, and National Hispanic College Fairs. At all of these events potential students are asked to give the recruiter their contact information and indicate any areas of special interest.

The recruiter then personalizes a response and sends out information packets. Potential students receive a personal letter thanking them for their interest in the college and in many cases a letter from the department in which they have indicated an interest. The office is currently planning to institute its first “Butte College Family Day" which will target Asian and Hispanic families. The college recognizes that for many students, particularly those from minority groups, the process of choosing a college is a collaborative effort that involves the family. The purpose of the Butte College Family Day will be to allow students and families an opportunity to see first hand the opportunities available to them at the college. The day will include workshops, panels of successful students, and a free lunch. The day will conclude with the opportunity to attend a college football game.

The recruiter works out of the campus information office under the direction of the Coordinator of Student Activities, Campus Information, and Outreach. There are several student assistants who help with campus tours and student contact. The project is guided by a campus advisory committee comprised of the major campus stake-holders which meets monthly.

The program started in January of 2002. It was originally funded in a collaborative venture involving VTEA (Vocational Technical Education Act), EOPS (Extended Opportunities Programs and Services), DSPS (Disabled Students Programs and Services, and Cal SOAP (California Student Opportunity Access Program). In the current year the District has taken over approximately 30% of the funding, with the remainder coming from VTEA and Cal SOAP.

All applications that are passed out at recruitment events and mailed to prospective students are stamped with the words "Recruitment and Outreach." The Admissions Office separates those applications from the others so that a personal follow-up can be made by the Recruitment Office. In the fall of 2002 there were 37 applications which resulted in 23 enrollments. This generated 14.04 FTES (Full Time Equivalent Students.) One year later in the fall of 2003 the applications jumped to 147 out of which 80 students enrolled generating 70.87 FTES. The program is clearly having an impact. To replicate this program, a first important step is to develop a thorough understanding of the campus and its offerings so that accurate personalized information can be given to prospective students. It is also important to learn what recruitment efforts may be taking place in individual departments and to collaborate with those efforts as much as possible. Secondly, the recruiter must be flexible in order to adapt to recruitment opportunities. Some settings require a lengthy, large-group presentation others are informal gatherings or require information on demand. The key is to be able to personalize the information: Listen to the prospective student and his/her family. Be aware of cultural differences/concerns. Find out what is of interested to prospective students and follow up with personal contact. In order to be truly effective, the recruiter must have a love of education and a sense for its value. Recruitment and retention

- Far North Consortium -

College Contact:

Brad Zuniga,
Recruitment and Outreach
3536 Butte Campus Dr
Oroville, CA 95965 (530) 895-2948, zunigabr@butte.edu
Program Components include: Outreach and Recruitment, Collaborative Funding, Evaluation data.