What’s more, Circles of Influence afford colleges and universities a candid, in-depth examination of the experience of their primary customers.
Who comes to a Circle?
While a focus group narrows the conversation to a single audience, a Circle is designed for crosstalk: between faculty and students, coaches and admissions counselors, English majors and engineers. Of the eight to 10 students, faculty and staff that make up a Circle, you might find the head of the physics department, two soccer players, the college president’s spouse, a librarian, the social chair of a fraternity and two members of the college’s jazz band. These disparate individuals share one thing in common: they’ve all shaped the “pivotal” student’s collegiate experience in some significant way.
They talk, we listen
Oh, the things we hear. We commonly hear about the “friendly campus” where “everyone knows your name.” And frequently we hear that students can “really get to know their professors,” and, unlike at other schools, “you’re a name, not a number.”
But we also hear about how a professor helped a student identify his life’s passion; about how a young woman turned her love for dance into a legitimate student organization, and, in the process, learned to become a better leader. We learn about campus traditions—from storied, century-old rituals to those maintained unofficially by the student body. We uncover distinctive academic programs, life-changing relationships and unique opportunities.
The Circles of Influence summary report we deliver to our clients contributes to authentic messaging throughout the institution’s communications. It also helps admissions representatives “talk the talk” of their campus to prospective students at college fairs. The report might assist a college president in articulating her school’s distinctive strengths to a major donor. Or, the findings regarding student life might help a vice president of student development make necessary changes to on-campus programs.
In short, beyond leading to engaging campaigns, Circles of Influence captures the character of an institution, and helps colleges and universities articulate who they are and what sets them apart from their competitors.