Ambassador team "focuses" on CEU

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Ambassadors became a focus-group to study the strengths and weaknesses of CEU in order to assist in creating an effective marketing strategy
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 12:00am

More students could be attracted to the College of Eastern Utah if there were more things to do in the community and on campus, suggested a focal group made up of the CEU Ambassadors in a meeting on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4. The meeting was held to help establish a marketing strategy and conducted by CEU business instructor David Cassidy.

According to Cassidy, the first portion of the meeting was to identify the "product" CEU has to offer. The second was to identify the "weakness" CEU was perceived to have.

Students liked the fact that CEU had smaller classes and did not experience the feeling of being overwhelmed. They thought the college had great teachers and the courses were as good at CEU as at larger institutions. They liked that tuition was less expensive and the quality of education just as good as larger institutions. This has been a major marketing strategy for the Ambassadors since its formation: since CEU costs less, why pay more for the same quality?

The focus group liked that students got to know lots of other students since the campus was small. The group also felt this provided a more comfortable learning enviorment.

They felt the faculty and staff were the bloodlines of the college, degreees that transfer easily to other institutions were a big factor. Many of CEU's facilities (such as the high-tech Reeves Building, the size of the work areas in the McDonald Career Center, and the WETC facilities) were also a great strength to the school. In addtion to the facilities, the Ambassadors felt many student resources such as the Disability Resource Center and Student Support Services (TRiO) were a great help to students.

In discussing weaknesses, the students did not like required study groups in some classes. In small classes, sometimes a bias between a teacher and a student can be created because styles of teaching or a simple personality clash. At a large institution, more instructor options are available for required classes.

Some students felt that many of the departments on camups, such as the music department, were weak due to limited facilities. The focal group felt that new buildings were needed (such as the new Fine and Performing Arts Center) to aid the growth of the school in general, as well as, growth of the departments individually.

The ambassadors wanted the college to continue to maintain its generous scholarship program (on average, 75 percent of all incoming freshmen received some type of financial aid) and, if possible, offer more scholarships.

They believe that ASCEU has dropped the ball on activities this year and there should be many more activities offered for the amount of money students pay in activity fees. They believe a major weekly activity should be offered every week to promote students staying on campus. "Not having to leave CEU to have fun" should be a major selling point in recruiting new students. They also want to see the activities that are seen on the pictures on CEU's web site (lite brite dance, mud volleyball, etc), actually offered on campus.

They felt the student e-mail accounts were not an effective way of getting information to students about events on campus, so another form of communication should be utilized. The campus radio station should be used more to advertise activities, sports games, etc. They thought sandwich boards to advertise are an effective communication tool and that the CEU web site should always be updated and all links working. They thought the Internet is down too often and the college should look into ways of offering a better Internet provider.

Many students felt that CEU should have a football team. The popularity of football would bring in a lot of students and the members of the team would bring in additional friends to the campus.

The focal group and many other students also want CEU to have more interaction with the local community's activities. Some students thought Price was boring. They do not really "love" it here. They would like to see an outlet mall, improved theatre, and one widely-popular restaurant (such as Chili's) in the area. In addition, the ambassadors felt that the community and CEU should have a program between business and students (such as the Eagle Card program where businesses offer discounts to CEU students) that is more widely advertised and better understood by students.

The focal group believed that not enough students know where Price and the college itself is located. You can name a lot of cities in Utah and most students recognize them, Price is not one of those cities widely know by younger highschool-age students. Many people have never even heard of the College of Eastern Utah because there are no advertisements for it on the radio, billboards, or TV A intense public relations campaign of ads throughout the state would help more students know about their options when deciding on where to attend college.

Lastly, the focal group said students go home on weekends because students prefer to spend their money on activities located on the Wasatch Front because of familiarity of the area and facilities available (malls, theatres, concerts etc.). If Price could offer some of these activities, more students would be willing to stay in the area over the weekends.

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