Rebranding to Reach Adult Learners
Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC) is a small rural community college in a New York region impacted by poverty and a rapidly changing local economy. In 2021, FMCC created a new department to meld workforce development within all areas of its campus community. The department assumed responsibility for campus-wide marketing and communications and led the college through an adult learner-focused rebrand.
FMCC’s External Partnerships and Applied Learning department designed the college’s new logo, overhauled its website, and developed new marketing campaigns and materials for its program offerings. The rebrand drew from behavioral design to create engaging messaging and its program marketing campaigns focused on potential career and salary outcomes. Program advertisements and flyers noted program length and hands-on learning opportunities. Marketing materials used visuals that showed what potential careers look like in practice, helping students see themselves in those program-aligned roles.
- Centralizing marketing efforts within a single department brought together personnel from faculty and advisor roles and broke down silos between college departments.
- Proactively building partnerships can support marketing-driven enrollment growth in programs that include significant on-the-job training.
- Calculating the return on investment of rebranding makes the case for the change, demonstrates campaign impact beyond enrollment numbers, and supports responsible budgeting.
Focus messaging on how college can fit into the adult learner’s life, connecting programs to career options. Include information about local wages, program length, and opportunities to access financial support.
Show diverse adult learners in your visuals, and include testimonials from students, employers, faculty, and staff.
Streamline website navigation and include calls to action throughout the website. Integrate specific academic program advertising into your general career-focused ad campaigns.
Increase in enrollment from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022
- Implement FMCC’s revised adult-focused strategic enrollment management plan.
- Secure funds to hire more success coaches and adult learner-focused advisors.
- Build relationships with community organizations serving the local Hispanic/Latinx population.