4.6 Recruitment Materials

Recruitment materials and presentations accurately represent the institutionís practices and policies.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Recruitment materials and presentations accurately represent Prairie View A&M University's practices and policies. The Office of Recruitment and Marketing, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Director of Public Relations under the Office of Institutional and Student Affairs work carefully with vendors to craft items that follow Texas A&M System Policy 61.01.01: Publications [1] and also exemplify the best qualities of the university while faithfully disseminating information about admissions procedures, programs, available financial aid and scholarships, and research opportunities.

General University Recruitment Materials
The Office of Recruitment and Marketing [2] maintains a Communications Call Center, which provides information on admissions, scheduling campus tours, and dates of special events. It also holds special events throughout the academic year for prospective students, parents, and school counselors [3]. At all events, interested students can pick up a general informational brochure with a snapshot of university offerings in an easily and readable format: degrees offered, selected student events, admissions criteria and deadlines, and estimated tuition and fees [4]. Recruiters also go to area high schools, and student members of the Collegiate G-Force team, directed by Multicultural Affairs, actively mentor in high schools, particularly those identified under House Bill 400 [5] as having low college enrollment figures, to give high school students and their parents information and skills needed to navigate admissions, financial aid applications, and the SAT and ACT. Trained G-Force mentors conduct campus tours and also share their college experiences at panel presentations during High School Days and Senior Scholars Days, designed to bring prospective students to campus. A video highlighting the history and rich traditions at PVAMU is shown at a number of recruiting events as well.

Recruitment at Prairie View is viewed as an ongoing series of contacts with potential future scholars. When a student requests more information about Prairie View A&M University, either by a hard copy response card or online, the Communication Center fulfills that request with a response letter that briefly explains important policies—financial assistance, housing, and the THEA test requirement—as well as the opportunity to attend one of the biannual Pantherland Day open houses or to take a campus tour [6]. Depending on the major of interest, a student may also receive a form letter from a School or College encouraging an official application for admissions by the deadline and scholarship opportunities [7]. Students who file a FAFSA form or who send SAT or ACT scores to the University also have their contact information directed to the Office of Recruitment and Marketing for follow-up with materials about application procedures. The Shadow Program, which pairs high school students with current Prairie View students for class visits and a taste of campus life, also is available.

When an undergraduate student officially applies to the university, a packet is sent as follows: the Freshman Guide [8] or Transfer Guide [9] as appropriate; a flyer for requesting a campus tour; a flyer about summer pre-college enrichment programs; a brochure about the University College freshman experience, available both in English and Spanish [10]; and a listing of available academic scholarships for first-time freshmen or transfer students. Texas residents also receive information regarding ACCESS, the pre-college success program on campus [11].

Once a student is admitted, s/he receives the acceptance letter in an Undergraduate Admissions folder with brochure called "Now That You Are Admitted" with steps to finalize enrollment, including submission of medical records [12]; registration information for mandatory New Student Orientation [13]; an application for housing, including information about deposit payments [14]; tuition and fees schedule; and an attendance confirmation card. Students who fail to schedule an orientation session are sent reminders. Together, all of these materials let students know about programs and policies at Prairie View so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to enroll.

Students who express interest in graduate programs are sent a copy of the Graduate School guide. It stresses the small class size and weekend and evening classes, observing that, "graduate education at Prairie View A&M University extends the convenience and flexibility necessary to successfully obtain an advanced degree" [15]. It includes background, mission statements, degrees offered across eight schools and colleges, a section on certifications in education and counseling, and multiple photos of actual university students. Information was gathered from the graduate catalog as well as college deans, and department heads for greatest accuracy.

Other recruiting tools for both undergraduate and graduate students are available online. One recent undertaking has been the Five Points of Excellence five-year review for 2003 to 2008. An academic report, the document also serves as a recruitment tool with information about campus traditions, student success and innovative programs, faculty research, and new programs and buildings. For a brief overview, University Quick Facts, with information gathered and verified by the Office of Institutional Research, report basic history, programs offered, major achievements, and statistics about enrollment, faculty, financial aid, and accreditation [16].

General recruiting also is done through advertisements in local and national magazines. Prairie View has advertised in the Texas edition of nextSTEP magazine, a free publication available at high schools [17], and nextSTEP Transfer Student Guide, available at two-year colleges [18]. The same full-page color ad appeared in the September 2007 Ebony Magazine and the August 2007 issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education [19], and smaller ads have run in Newsweek [20]. All of these recruitment advertisements accurately highlight different facets of the university, such as athletics, the scope of degrees offered, the marching band, the diverse student body, the Undergraduate Medical Academy, the "state-of-the-art Nursing facility in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center," and/or scholarship opportunities.

Program-Specific Recruitment Materials
Colleges, schools, and individual departments develop specific recruitment materials for their majors, continuing education opportunities, and summer programs as well. Selected examples are provided below.

One of the most active marketing campaigns comes from the College of Business, which uses print brochures, booklets, billboards in Northwest Houston, mailers, and magazine ads to promote its programs. One booklet highlights its dual-enrollment agreement with Lone Star College—Cy-Fair with the goal or recruiting transfer students from the two-year college. Therefore the brochure stresses "flexibility and affordability" with weekend classes and "seamless transition between institutions." It also details how to apply for admission and financial aid and includes a whole page on seven different transfer student scholarships offered by the university [21]. A related postcard mailer alerts Lone Star students to programs and the College of Business's accredited status [22]. A more compact brochure features information about the MBA program, emphasizing convenience for working adults (night and Saturday classes) and a commitment to effective business communication as "a cornerstone of the Master of Business Administration" [23].

The ROTC programs on campus also have active recruiting programs. The sample NROTC materials available in supporting documentation reflect what is sent to area high schools, with an emphasis on scholarship opportunities and goals of "academic excellence, leadership and management" [24] and also presentations given at recruitment events like Pantherland Day, which brings high school students to campus [25].

Special programs like the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center, which offers continuing education and training for counselors and legal officers, have their own recruitment materials that include the qualifications of the professor-trainers, statements from previous participants, teaching methods, and specific educational credits available  [26].

The brochure for 2007 Summer Programs for High School Students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering catches the audience's attention with questions like "Have you ever wondered who created that spine-tingling ride you love so much at the amusement park? Have you ever thought about why today’s cars are more fuel-efficient and cause less pollution? Or who came up with instant messaging?" It provides definitions of engineering fields and information on how to apply to the ECE Summer Institute and ExCEL Summer Program, which is open to both high school students and counselors and seeks to recruit more minority and female students into the field [27].

Student Perception of Recruitment Materials
As a final indication of compliance with Principle 4.6, when asked if printed materials accurately portray Prairie View A&M, the majority of participants (67% of freshmen and 72% of seniors) in the 2007 National Survey of Student Engagement agreed. 80% of freshmen and 76% of seniors also agreed that the admissions process "is easy to understand and complete," a testament to the success of recruitment materials  [28].

Supporting Documentation and Links

Federal Requirements 4.6

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University