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College of The Mainland: Student Journey Mapping Case Study

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About College of the Mainland

The College of the Mainland is a public community college in Texas City, Texas. Since the 1960s, COM has been a pillar of the local community, providing its students with quality education across various subjects. 

How We Helped

We were brought in to help improve COM’s nursing student enrollment journey by first mapping the student journey.

To do this, we:  

  • We secret-shopped COM’s nursing enrollment process by becoming an inquiry and going through the enrollment process.  
  • We also held in-depth interviews with 20+ COM employees who are personally involved in enrolling a nursing student. 
  • Interviewed current and prosecuted students to understand their personal experiences as they went through COM’s enrollment process. 

Deliverables

Based on this qualitative research, we came back to COM’s leadership team with a set of actionable recommendations for ways to improve their enrollment experience.

Based on the research, we were able to write 15 new email communications that COM will be able to use throughout their enrollment journey. 

  • Marketing Audit
  • Competitor Research
  • 15 Email communication
  • Student journey mapping
  • Persona development 
  • Qualitative research write-up and summary 
Student journey map example

Student Journey Mapping and Recommendations

Before we could give suggestions for their nursing program process, it was essential to map out their current student journey.With the student journey accurately mapped out, we were able to provide actionable recommendations that they can implement to attract new students and improve the experience for students who are already enrolled in the program.

Nursing Process Review

Once the student journey map was complete, we could take a deep dive into the process of their nursing program, explore their biggest strengths and weakness, identify their challenges, and provide insightful recommendations to strengthen their program overall.

Email Nurturing Cadence

Emails are a crucial and often underused channel for most colleges. It has become imperative for colleges to create powerful programmatic email communication strategies.  

Your college works so hard to generate the inquiry. By creating a powerful email nurturing campaign, your college is better able to convey it’s benefits to prospective students to help them understand why your college is the right fit for them. 

We looked closely at COM’s current email nurturing process and compared it with their competitor’s process to determine where they excel and which areas could use improvement. 

Afterward, we wrote 15 new email communications and a long-form blog post. These email communications help the student answer their most pressing questions, help present their programs in the best light, and also help students understand the difference between their nursing programs to find the best fit. 

Here is an example of their new email communication cadence. They have several nursing programs, so different emails were drafted based on their program.

The Importance of Student Journey Mapping

Most often, colleges are not sure why one individual proceeds to enroll at your college or university, and another prospective student doesn’t.

 It can be challenging to replicate and scale if you don’t know exactly what is contributing to your enrollments.

If you’re tracking your enrollments, you may see that more than half of your applicants do not enroll. Can you pinpoint why this may be happening? 

What can your institution do to get more of those applicants to enroll? A student journey map is a great first step to begin to solve this perplexing business question.

Simply put, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. For the College of the Mainland, we mapped out their complete nursing student journey, including what systems are used and what triggers need to happen to move a prospective student from one step to another. 

We map the student journey from multiple points of view, including from the prospective student’s point of view and COM’s employee’s point of view.

Moving Forward

With the help of their newly drafted emails, a better understanding of their competitors, and a strong grasp on the student journey, the College of the Mainland can improve it’s enrollment process and student experience to grow enrollments and drive more referrals.

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