Episode #3

Access and brand integrity at a community college

Featuring Mariah Hughes Director of Marketing Public Relations at Eastern Maine Community College
Access and brand integrity at a community college
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In This Episode

You’ll hear from Mariah Hughes who is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Eastern Maine Community College.

You'll hear us talk about:

  • the importance of brand management and marketing at a two-year institution
  • how Mariah gets it done as a one-person marketing operation
  • how EMCC strives for access in its programs and offerings
Mariah Hughes

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Host: You're listening to filling seats, the state of enrollment, marketing, and higher ed. Hosted by StudentBridge. In this podcast. You'll learn, what's working to grow shape and sustain enrollment. At colleges and universities directly for marketers thought leaders and ed tech innovators, because anyone can design a brochure, but not anyone can fill seats.

[00:00:27] Host: Welcome to episode three of filling seats. And this episode you'll hear from Mariah Hughes, who is the director of marketing and public relations at Eastern Maine community college. You'll hear us talk about. The importance of brand management and marketing at a two year institution. How Mariah gets it done as a one person marketing operation. How emcc strives for access and its programs and offerings let's meet Mariah.

[00:00:58] My name is Mariah Hughes and I am currently the director of marketing and public relations at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Maine. I'm originally from Massachusetts and I ended up here. because I went to the university of Maine, um, which is about only 15 minutes from Bangor. and I studied communication and marketing.

[00:01:15] When I was about to graduate, my capstone professor recommended me for a marketing coordinator position with the college of liberal arts and sciences. it was a fixed length role and I really didn't know what I wanted to do. So I did. That would be great. I could stay, where I was familiar and, stay in higher ed, which I had interest in, but, wasn't really sure at that time.

[00:01:32] Mariah Hughes: So I stayed in that job for the year that it was set for and it was an awesome job. and when I really decided I liked higher ed, it was perfect timing because here at EMCC, there was a marketing coordinator position that came up. So I applied for that. I was marketing coordinator for a

[00:01:47] Mariah Hughes: little less than a year and a half. and they decided to restructure the marketing workforce and foundation world, which had all been housed under advancement. So when we did that restructuring, they promoted me to director. So I've been in the director role for two years, and it's an amazing school to work at. Working at the community college level is great because you get to work with, non traditional students send people into really lucrative careers with little to no debt.

[00:02:12] So we have, trade programs. We have 30 plus programs of study, whether it's certificate associates. trade healthcare, transfer option, all those fun things. So we have a lot going on. There's never a dull moment here, How would you describe EMCC to someone, that you're just meeting?

[00:02:27] EMCC is a small to medium-sized community college. Right now we have between 1800 and 2000 students. we serve the Bangor region, which is central to Northeastern Maine. Very big state people don't really think of it, but we're about an hour from Bar Harbor. Go 45 minutes in any direction.

[00:02:45] Mariah Hughes: there's mountains, there's lakes, there's skiing, there's forests, there's ocean, the whole deal. So Bangor is right in the middle. And we have 30 plus programs of study. So we have trade programs, healthcare programs, many of which have. direct to workforce pipelines with salaries ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 starting, especially in healthcare.

[00:03:04] Mariah Hughes: , our nursing program is definitely our most popular program. and they get jobs immediately upon graduation and passing the NCLEX. So a lot of our programs do have, graduation and employment rates similar to that. so we do trade programs, health care programs, as I mentioned, but we also have a really great network of, articulation agreements.

[00:03:23] Mariah Hughes: So students can start at EMCC and easily transfer to schools right near us. Husson university is right in Bangor as well. And, the university of Maine is only 15 minutes away. So both of those schools we have, seamless and really awesome articulation agreements with. So we're happy to always send our students up there after they can take their gen EDS.

[00:03:42] Mariah Hughes: And, our tuition is $96 a credit hour, which is crazy. like you can come here and in a lot of our cases, our students have their tuition covered by grants. Pell grant, need-based grants, things like that. We also have our own foundation, so we give out around a hundred thousand dollars a year in scholarships.

[00:03:58] Mariah Hughes: So in a lot of instances, our students get out of here with no debt. And they either start with two years of school under their belt when they get to a four-year institution or they go right to work. We're an open access institution.we serve non-traditional students,

[00:04:13] Mariah Hughes: we serve students right out of high school. And we even have, a couple of hundred students who take our courses while they're in high school. And we have a couple of programs where they can get a certificate and even a full associates degree before they even graduate from high school. So we try to be innovative in our region and serve a wide array of demographics, because our region is so large.

[00:04:33] Tell me a little bit about the. reporting structure of, where you fall in within what department, because that's something, especially at community colleges, I find that marketing or public affairs, sometimes it's under different umbrellas that you wouldn't necessarily expect.

[00:04:49] When I was coordinator, I reported to the director of advancement, and she was in charge of marketing our foundation and, workforce development. so when that was restructured, she was actually leaving, the college. So they took that opportunity to reconfigure things.

[00:05:05] Mariah Hughes: So I still report to now the Dean of advancement, And I'm in what we call the welcome center. And the welcome center includes financial aid, admissions, and myself in marketing. I am the only one in marketing, but the way that we view marketing and I think many schools do is it's a service position.

[00:05:24] Being on my own, of course, I'm very busy and managing things, for the college as a whole, but I also manage projects and different events for individual programs. So they might need a new program sheet, or they might be running a really interesting class and they want an ad to go out about it.

[00:05:37] So I act in kind of a service role to everyone, but I'm housed in our welcome center. So I'm part of our recruitment and our admissions. And that's where like the marketing really is with college recruitment. Otherwise I do a lot of what I do tends to be like internal communication or external communication work, or marketing for particular

[00:05:57] classes or new programs that we might have come up.

[00:06:00] Host: So you're wearing a lot of hats.

[00:06:01] Mariah Hughes: yes. Yeah. marketing at a community college, I think is also interesting where. a lot of people don't get why a community college would need marketing in a lot of ways.

[00:06:10] Mariah Hughes: But,I manage our brand, I manage our website. I do our ads, all of our swag materials, everything like that. And then when you explain all of that to people, it's hard to contract a position like this out. really need someone in house to be working on it. And I would love to have a helping hand every once in a while, but, everyone I work with is.

[00:06:28] Mariah Hughes: understanding and,gets me all the information I need to be able to make my job more efficient. So I'm curious, what's your response to that person when they're like, why does a community college need to market itself?

[00:06:39] There's brand standards that need to be upheld any print material that goes out. a lot of the integrity of a college and the brand of the college relies upon having,good materials go out. If something looks like someone made it in Microsoft paint 20 years ago

[00:06:53] Mariah Hughes: they're not going to trust you as a college to teach their child or to teach them or to get them a degree. Making sure that everything's really uniform and that's been one of my biggest, initiatives coming into the college, Several years ago was really maintaining that brand and making sure

[00:07:07] Mariah Hughes: all of our flyers are up to date and all of our, swag looks good and are the right colors are used and it might seem trivial. But,the McDonald's logo, you know, McDonald's colors. If something was off, when you pulled into a McDonald's drive through, , you'd notice it.

[00:07:20] Mariah Hughes: And it might seem like small things like, oh, it's just a color. Or oh, it's just a different font. what's the big deal. My response to those people is having this kind of conversation with them. and then people realize it, cause marketing is everywhere and, you know, people don't realize how pervasive it is and everyone's life.

[00:07:34] What are some recent marketing wins or successes that your school has had in terms of, enrollment admissions recruitment.

[00:07:43] There's things that have come up over the last year coming out of COVID that have certainly been like, we've taken a hard look at getting mailers out and getting people, physical things and how can we bring more people to campus with keeping COVID in mind and all that stuff, but really an honestly it's.

[00:07:56] one of the biggest impacts that we've had is the StudentBridge platform. When we got the virtual view book and the, interactive map, it was huge for us. Like I mentioned, our region is you can go an hour in any direction and, you know, they might live in a very rural population or they might be coastal or, we have a lot of first-generation students in there.

[00:08:13] Either they don't have the time to come all the way to Bangor, or they're not sure where to start, or they've never been on a college tour before and they're, dipping their toes in and having that virtual piece, whether it's a link that they click on independently where it's listed on our website or in any of our emails, or they have a virtual meeting with our admissions counselor and our admissions counselors able to walk them through and click on different areas.

[00:08:36] Mariah Hughes: And, they might say, okay, well, I'm interested in automotive and our admissions team will be able to share their screen, show them exactly where the building is, click in and there's videos and photos. And it's just a really great tool to be able to manage kind of this in-between moment of we can have people on campus, but we still have masks.

[00:08:54] Mariah Hughes: And, we have to limit group size and we might not be able to get into every classroom depending on the day or the situation. but still being able to offer the convenience of an online. Tour so to speak. so that's been one of our biggest successes and,a really valuable tool for our admissions team to have, They go around to high schools and, do on the spot, acceptance and tours.

[00:09:13] Mariah Hughes: So when they accept a high school student, 20 minutes after meeting them, they're able to say, look, why don't you take a look at housing, let's click through one of our residence halls and you can see if that's something you might want to look into. We can see the visitors on our website.

[00:09:27] Mariah Hughes: We can collect their contact information that they submit. in one of those contact forms, we're able to open up lines of communication with people that, aren't even in Maine. That virtual platform has been huge for us over the last six, eight months, It's been really valuable. That really hits at that access. Like you talked about, have you seen enrollment growth through COVID or, what have those numbers look like?

[00:09:49] We had a dip into the fall of 2020. Getting people to respond to, X amount of texts and X amount of emails a day. And then you add on top of that, the non-traditional population that we serve in a lot of instances, their parents, and, they might be single parents, or they might be living at home with their parents or, they might be on unemployment or they might still have to go to work.

[00:10:11] and so that fall, we saw. The loss of students from that aspect, which I think everyone did. but we also have a number of in-person hands-on courses. So where we're different from many traditional four year institutions, you know, youcan't learn to be a welder online. Like it's just, you can't do it.

[00:10:27] Our building constructionprogram. Part of their curriculum is building a house. every semester they build a house for habitat for humanity, and you can't do that at home. So, some students were able to say, I'll wait another year or I'll just take a couple of online classes in the meantime.

[00:10:42] Mariah Hughes: That's where we saw the hit was fall of 2020, but we've come back dramatically from that. We have a lot to attribute to that. We re-did our admissions process. The point of acceptance was basically right after they finish their application and we call it conditional acceptance, where we still need their transcripts and all that stuff. But that comes after we have that celebratory moment with them.

[00:11:04] So restructuring that and making a lot more systems, automated, I think really helped, but, yeah, we're definitely coming out of it, which is nice.

[00:11:10] What are some of the things that you-all struggle with in terms of marketing?

[00:11:14] Right now, struggling with balancing. The virtual events or virtual communication, whatever that might look like, whether it's an email or a text or, social media post. The engagement has been so different than it was before COVID. And even in COVID, I'm seeing a lot of virtual burnout, from students, and from prospective students, especially the kids that are in high school now, they're into what they're like third year online.

[00:11:40] Mariah Hughes: So we had a really good virtual open house, last year. And we had like 150 RSVPs, which is pretty good for an event that we have. And that wasn't including any of the CTEs or high schools that Zoomed in and had a big classroom of people. So we had a lot of folks in attendance for that one, and we had one in the fall and we

[00:11:59] Mariah Hughes: barely got 50 RSVPs and out of that 50, we had maybe 30 or 40 people show up. And we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. We did what we did and then some, for, copying our marketing campaign from the prior year. And, it's really attributed and a lot of kind of word of mouth is they don't want to sit.

[00:12:18] Mariah Hughes: on a computer screen. They're envisioning college, like their way to get off of the computer and, go somewhere and be in a classroom and have that experience. And so the virtual and Zoom burnout is definitely been a challenge for me right now. And then just general ones that become a destination of sorts recently. Where we see a lot of people moving to Maine cost of living is rising. we come up with every year or we encounter every year.

[00:12:43] Mariah Hughes: Is the changing population in Maine and the changing population of the people that we serve, We serve a rural population. So in a lot of ways they might not have great cell service.

[00:12:54] Mariah Hughes: Some of them don't even have internet. so being able to reach those people that are quote unquote unreachable. Is always changing and we're always trying to be creative with ways to reach those folks. And yeah, just reassessing each year with every campaign, what population is this reaching and who could we reach next time?

[00:13:10] Or who can we add to that demographic? So of always being creative because we do serve everyone. you know,The traditional high school student can be sitting in the same class with, a 50 something year old who worked in a mill for 25 years and then decided, they wanted to be a medical assistant.

[00:13:23] Mariah Hughes: So we have to always be balancing that, which can be a struggle, but it is always interesting to say the least to, figure those things out and navigate those changing,aspects of our region.

[00:13:35] Host: So what are some of those creative things that you've come up with?

[00:13:38] We've started doing, courses that can be taken at distance sites. So one of our off-campus sites is the Katahdin higher education center and they're in Millinocket. And because our nursing program was so popular, they were able to

[00:13:52] Mariah Hughes: have seats in our nursing program an hour away from us. And they're placed in clinical an hour away from us. So where you would normally come to Bangor and then get placed in the Bangor area or placed, wherever you're from, but you'd be coming to campus here. you can now live up in east Millinocket, which is another hour north of us, and take nursing classes and get your clinicals right in the hospitals.

[00:14:15] 10, 15 minutes down the road from you, instead of coming all the way to Bangor. And being able to market a program like that, that has such a specified audience we've filled that up each time that we've put a new cohort out. So being creative in getting more specific with those audiences and really capitalizing off of the opportunities that workforce development and having those, satellite campuses and satellite buildings really afford to us.

[00:14:38] Mariah Hughes: So taking advantage of, everything and every opportunity that we have and turning it into, you know, more students and seats and more students getting a better education. What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about enrollment marketing? Some of the biggest, especially in community college, that it's very singular, like you're in your own little bubble, just making ads.

[00:15:03] Mariah Hughes: Firing them off. and that's really not at all what marketing at a college or community college is. Like I said, I wear a million different hats and I think of myself as a service to the college. The chair of our medical assisting program, she's my client, how can I help you? And what do you need from me?

[00:15:20] Mariah Hughes: And how can I help you do this better? So I think a lot of people think of marketing as like flashy and you're kind of doing your own thing, but it's really, you're entrenched in every aspect of the college. I think in COVID it was even more prevalent for me. Like I just noticed it more because we'd get on, big campus-wide Zooms where we have

[00:15:39] Mariah Hughes: pretty much all faculty and staff on them and people would always be like, oh, I haven't seen so-and-so for a while. And it's been so crazy. I haven't worked with so-and-so and I'm like, I have worked with every single person on this call last week alone. I think people don't realize like how even just little things, people will send me flyers to approve and I'll just have to remind them, Hey, our affirmative action statement has to be on there or the logo isn't sized

[00:16:01] Mariah Hughes: correctly. And just little things like that built all the way up to let's redesign my landing page for my department on the website and those aren't one-off meetings or projects, they're very long-term and ongoing. you end up just having to balance so much. And I think people in other areas of marketing

[00:16:18] Mariah Hughes: can see that in a lot of ways in business and other realms, but it's not always apparent in the community college or just colleges. you know, We're not just throwing money away. We're really making sure that the appropriate messages are going out about the college and our programs and that, I'm doing everything that I can to make sure that every program has what they need to be successful and to be a good representation of the college.

[00:16:40] What are some things that you think other higher ed marketers are not doing a great job with?

[00:16:47] There's not one thing that stands out to me. And I think that's because every college and every region is so different.

[00:16:56] Mariah Hughes: Like what I could look at, even like Harvard I'm like that campaign that I don't get it. That's not what I would have done and blah, blah, blah. But it's also, I'm not talking about the same audience even remotely. You can criticize something that someone did or, look at it through a different lens, but at the end of the day, like their judgment about their college and their audience is already going to be leaps and bounds ahead of anything that I could even assume about their audience or their college.

[00:17:22] Mariah Hughes: So I think for me, it's just every college and every institution is so different, even just between our community colleges in Maine. We're so different than. Southern Maine Community College or Northern Maine Community College, were vastly different, and even our audiences vary.

[00:17:38] Mariah Hughes: So I couldn't think of one specific thing for that reason.

[00:17:41] Can you describe any of those differences and maybe you don't have say the school specifically, but I'm just so curious to know about that.

[00:17:48] Pick on central Maine Community College. they're great. They actually helped us restructure our admissions process, to be more similar to theirs because they've done a lot of this work. but they have, sports teams, so they have a lot of sports recruiting and a lot of their recruiting is from what I understand in my conversations with them and my colleagues who work very closely with them is their high school

[00:18:10] Mariah Hughes: recruitment is a lot stronger than say ours is where we have a more non-traditional audience. So between the two where uh, we both have good sized campuses. we both have residence halls and we have some of the same programs. They might focus more of their marketing on the high school and on something like move-in day and accepted student day, where we're trying to look at a non-traditional audience who might be balancing.

[00:18:36] Mariah Hughes: kids,

[00:18:37] Mariah Hughes:

[00:18:37] Mariah Hughes: jobs.

[00:18:38] Mariah Hughes: So they obviously have that population as well, but where we don't even have to think about sports marketing or sports events or, anything like that, they obviously have that as a component and they're looking more at, recruiting those high school age students, and that isn't our bread and butter, so to speak, What are some things that you think other higher ed marketers are doing a great job with?

[00:18:59] There's always like an air of enthusiasm. No, one's super excited to be on Zoom and no one's, love'n talking about COVID and regulations. that's just part of our job and part of what we have to do in order to keep our communities safe and our,college safe and up and running.

[00:19:16] Mariah Hughes: But no matter what, message people are promoting or getting out there, there's always you know this level of. Positivity and that a college, no matter where it is,is this really special place to be. And that kind of attitude I haven't seen falter at all in, in any higher ed advertisement or announcement, whether it's positive or negative, and I think that's just always a good foundation to start at no matter what your message is, keeping that air of positivity around it.

[00:19:44] Mariah Hughes: And. I think I've seen a lot of schools do that really well with some really hard, situations that they're in, especially, because it's not just, COVID, it's mental health issues of their students that come out because of COVID it's having to quarantine people because of COVID and I've seen a lot of difficult posts and a lot of difficult situations from other schools that luckily we haven't necessarily had to deal with.

[00:20:03] Mariah Hughes: But there's always an air of positivity and, being there for your students to help them through what we all know is an unprecedented time What do you see for the future of higher ed marketing?

[00:20:14] Mariah Hughes: That's such a good question. Marketing, I feel like you're just always playing catch up. you're reading different articles about the new best thing, or you thought sliders on a website were great. No, they're not. there's always a study on something that came out two years ago saying how bad it is now.

[00:20:30] I have no idea. I think the best thing that marketers can do and that I will do and continue to do is. Keep an eye on kind of those kind of changing trends, look at what leaders in the, field are doing. like I said, we don't have the same audience that an Ivy league school would have, but if they just relaunched their website, Let's take a look at it and see, what they did to see maybe is there a reason they structured their menus like this, or, what's their landing page look like.

[00:20:58] And even just doing that for like10, 15 minutes a day is super helpful. And you do see a lot of things change like sliders on a website. Our website was redone, I think five or so years ago. And it definitely needs a rebrand sometime soon. So we're trying to work towards that. But when they did the website, one of the things I said was great with sliders and I've been reading so many articles that are like, sliders are not very useful.

[00:21:21] Mariah Hughes: This is why, blah, blah, blah.

[00:21:23] Host: Yeah, why? Okay. I'm , so intrigued now.

[00:21:25] It's a lot of visual that doesn't actually say a lot. So like a lot of visual that's actually captivating is great, but a slider with two lines. People aren't driven to click on that. And there's been studies with like heat mapping on websites where people just don't click on it.

[00:21:40] Mariah Hughes: And they'd either rather go to a menu or search something.

[00:21:44] Mariah Hughes: Instead. It's very interesting people's perceptions of websites and how intuitive they are versus like how much action you have to take, which the golden rule is, you know,less action. A person has to take the less clicks to get to something the better.

[00:21:57] Host: But with new softwares and with new website design, it's constantly moving and constantly growing. And just even just hearing about those things or, reading an article about them can help you inform your next decision. I think in a way, you're fortunate that you're a one person show because you don't have to. Argue with people above or below you to make decisions. you're empowered to be able to. Do those things on your own, you can figure, oh, sliders, aren't working and you're able to make that change I used to work at an institution that was a big state school and I was in enrollment marketing, and then there was central marketing.

[00:22:33] Host: And at one point we realized that it took nine clicks from our homepage to start an application because you had to navigate through top level pages then to the admission site, then enter the application.

[00:22:45] Mariah Hughes: Yeah. Oh yeah. That's the thing. It's always time, but yeah. Being able to make those recommendations and especially in. The marketing department of one, but I'm fortunate that I work so closely with our director of admissions and director of financial aid and my boss as well as is super supportive of those kinds of, innovative changes and things that we can do to make our students' lives easier because that's what we're here for.

[00:23:06] And going back to the demographic that we serve, we might have someone who doesn't even have a cell phone. they might not have internet at their house. We don't want to confuse them with menus and bury information. And,we want to make everything as easy as possible for them.

[00:23:20] What is an app or a marketing tool that you could not live without?

[00:23:25] There's so many, but I think the one I use the most often and that I think. tends to be the most valuable in terms of usable data, after a campaign is constant contact. and really any of the mailers I've used MailChimp before too. And constant contacts, just what I've been using since being at EMCC, but being, it's so easy to segment all of your contacts and fire off a mass email to, a list of students that will use it to

[00:23:51] Mariah Hughes: contact students who have withdrawn or students who only have an application half complete and be able to send them reminders. And it makes it just so easy. and I'll use it for, we have a weekly newsletter as well. That goes out to a couple thousand people each week. Just, things that are going on in classes and maybe a new partnership or a scholarship donation, things like that.

[00:24:11] Mariah Hughes: And just being able to share that every week, let alone all of the other marketing communication we do from that platform. it's pretty invaluable. And you get to see who opened it, what they clicked on. any link they clicked on who unsubscribed your segments for all of your different lists?

[00:24:25] It's a pretty basic tool, but it's very valuable when it comes to email marketing, and capturing that data on the backend.

[00:24:32] Have you utilized any of the analytics from. That platform or any other to inform decisions for future email strategies?

[00:24:40] Mariah Hughes: Yeah. so we know, if we're sending an email to a pool of non-traditional students, so maybe say age like 25 to 45, and that's only part of them, but, we know that they ended up clicking on that link.

[00:24:53] Mariah Hughes: In their email versus that age demographic clicking on it in a social ad. So we know that in emailing them that link via constant contact or really any email, but we know that they'll click on that link more. If it's in an email with X, Y, and Z language structure, as opposed to, as a social media ad, that's just a big image, like check out our map.

[00:25:14] Mariah Hughes: Being able to look at that age demographic and see what their behavior is. so that informs, where we place that link. And also the targeting that we might do on a social media ad. So if I was going to do a social media ad, promoting that map, then I might make my target range a bit younger because I know that.

[00:25:31] Mariah Hughes: In the past that social link hasn't performed well in that age, demographic, something like that. And then knowing, youwhere to place it on the website and where to place it in an email. If you could go back five to 10 years and give yourself advice, what would it be?

[00:25:45] The only thing I would tell

[00:25:47] Mariah Hughes: myself would be to start my master's degree sooner because I'm in it right now. I'm doing an online program. with SNHU for communication and public relations. And I. Just started it like six, seven months ago, something like that, but there's multiple terms. And,now that I'm super busy and in this director role and, managing all the things that we've already talked about here, it would be just such a nice feeling to have it more done than it is now, but that's the only thing I could come up with.

[00:26:14] I think a lot of things that have happened in my life that led me to this point in my professional life, I wouldn't have done any differently. I love living in Bangor. I love working at the community college and even in college, I don't think I would've necessarily picked higher ed as a field, but I chose it because it was comfortable.

[00:26:31] Mariah Hughes: And in that kind of comfort, you're able to do so much and explore so many. Areas of higher ed, which there's so much in higher ed that people don't see all the time, or even really know about. If you could change anything about higher ed marketing or enrollment, what would it be and why?

[00:26:48] It would be nice if we had the opportunity to be more proactive. and I think that opportunity is reserved for schools that generate a lot of revenue, at the community college level. . we have a fiscal year budget, but it's a really month to month situation.

[00:27:02] I stay on top of our budget and make sure, our spends are where they need to be to get us to the next month or make sure that, if I overspend in one month, I have to really underspend in another. And my budget is very limited. I don't have a staff working underneath me or with me, where, that's not a problem at a private four year institution that

[00:27:20] Mariah Hughes: has millions of dollars worth of endowment and things like that. So I think, I don't think there's a way to necessarily change that. Our tuition isn't ever going to sky rocket to the point of being at the level of a four year institution or private institution. But that's what we're here for is to offer that low tuition and easy access for these students.

[00:27:38] Mariah Hughes: And even if our enrollment doubled and tripled, we can't house all those students and our campus is pretty large, but we'd have to make, serious infrastructure changes. So it's hard to see an easy solution for it. But if anyone has a spare million dollars lying around, I'm your girl, but , it's one of those things where it makes you more

[00:27:58] innovative and it makes you more creative and,in a way it's good because we have that one-on-one personal connection with students that I think in a lot of larger institutions is hard to have. So there's positives and negatives to it, but being able to be more proactive in a lot of instances than reactive would be great, that obviously takes money and takes team and takes time.

[00:28:17] in a day you're telling an instructor that they need to fix a logo because it's, resized, miss proportionately and looks bad. And then how do you also have the time.

[00:28:30] Host: in the day to sit there and think strategically big picture, you've got a lot on your plate and a lot of things to keep moving.

[00:28:37] Host: So feel that.

[00:28:39] Some days feel crazier than others, but I'm a very calendar oriented person. So I always block a few hours off to , review our ads or create new ads and really just focus on those things for, those larger projects that do take time and you really need to focus on, and you can't be, popping over to your email and fixing something really quick and then jumping back.

[00:29:00] Mariah Hughes: So it's a lot of balancing.

[00:29:02]

[00:29:04] Host: thank you for listening to the filling seats podcast, hosted by student bridge. If you'd like to connect with this episode's guest. Check out the show notes. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review and don't forget to subscribe. For more information about the podcast or to let us know, you'd like to be a guest.

[00:29:24] Host: Visit student bridge.com/podcast. Thanks for listening