Santa Clara University has launched a unique, interactive student recruitment initiative using blogs. The blogs will have five SCU students posting weekly updates of their life at Santa Clara with text and photos with a goal of providing prospective students with authentic, firsthand accounts of student life at SCU.
“When prospective undergraduate students are interested in applying to SCU, they want to know about life at the university: academics, student life and social activities. One element that has been missing from the search, however, is the authentic voice of a student who can describe the ‘freshman experience’ firsthand,” said Susan Shea, director of communications at SCU. “With prospective undergrads embracing online communities and culture so readily, SCU created blogSCU to meet the needs and communication preferences of this target audience.”
Student bloggers who were recruited for the assignment received training at the beginning of the 2005 academic year. Part of their incentive to join the year-long initiative was receiving a digital camera that will allow them to post pictures of events, student life, and friends at SCU.
“Students will keep the camera the university gives them, our way of saying thanks for regularly blogging on the university’s behalf,” said Shea. “The eventual step is to provide RSS feeds and podcasts.” Incoming freshmen were encouraged to apply for blogSCU during the new student orientation sessions. More than 50 applications were received for the five available positions.
The blogs can be seen here.