Spring Sing has been a focal point for University recruitment for generations. With the recent changes made this spring to academic organizations, social clubs, sports, and campus opportunities as a whole, recruitment has also taken a twist as they have emphasized and personalized one-on-one visits.
Kayla Ward, marketing and event coordinator in the Admissions office, began exploring social media avenues this past year to recruit younger generations. With the help of student ambassadors, Ward began to implement YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to reach prospective students in a new way.
Since Spring Sing normally brings in hundreds of visitors and prospective students who cannot be on campus due to COVID-19 regulations, Ward said Admissions is using social media to include future students in Spring Sing weekend events.
“It was not feasible to promote and plan and be ready with COVID-19 restrictions for that big of an event on that weekend,” Ward said. “The goal is to let [prospective students] know what Spring Sing is and let them still be excited and ready to experience it as a student, but not necessarily asking them to come to campus and see it. We’ve done a YouTube video about Spring Sing rehearsals. We’re just trying to keep them engaged so that they feel excited about Spring Sing even though they won’t be here in person.”
With increased views and likes, the YouTube channel and TikTok — run by juniors and student ambassadors Mak Oviedo-Rodriguez and Jake Ward — have helped recruit prospective students for the University.
“I do really love Harding and the atmosphere that surrounds it,” Oviedo-Rodriguez said. “To be that door for prospective students to be like, ‘Let us show you what it’s really like to be a student here.’ We give the students the college tour but behind-the-scenes. Showing people that there is a wonderful opportunity here has been an absolute thrill.”
Two Bison Bound events were scheduled around the Spring Sing weekend to bring potential students on campus. Despite Admissions not focusing on the musical competition, they have created several alternative and personalized visits on campus to bring potential students to Harding. Emily Conner, an admissions counselor, explained new tactics in the recruitment process.
“This year, we have been focusing on working with students and their families one-on-one so their visit is more personalized and tailored to them,” Conner said. “Because of our focus on recruiting in smaller groups, we have been able to spread them across the semester and better attend to their individual needs.”