Pasadena City College's Pathways program is known as the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind that addresses the needs of students transitioning from high school to college. The award-winning PCC Pathways provides an informed, supported and sincere road, constantly seeking ways to scale up and offer a positive influence on the incoming student population in the PCC community.
Since Pathways has been such a successful program throughout the years, it has attracted a large portion of students from out of district (60-65%). We wanted to create a campaign that targeted those in-district students and parents who historically don't consider college as a feasible option.
Competing with other community colleges and similar programs, PCC Pathways wanted to address the most single most exaggerated issue faced within in-district enrollment rates— diversity.
The PCC Pathways V-Trainer campaign was designed with the more nuanced goal to increase the underrepresented and minority students at PCC, particularly focusing on the small population of African-American students (currently around 5%) that continues to decrease year after year.
To fulfill the lack of diverse and underrepresented in-district students at PCC, we branched out to the wide range of possible students in the core community. In diverse video narratives, our storytelling appeal was emotional. With these stories, we hoped to connect to the students and their family members with images of reality, possibility, and transformation hand in hand with the idea of attending PCC.
The strategy of the campaign was all about relate-ability and engagement. Once we created the pathos-driven video narratives, we determined various locations where the relevant community members would notice, engage with, and consider the outreach we put forward.
First, we digitally launched three distinct need narrative videos. We used a location-first strategy adding contextual data for each target. The bulk of the video was seen through social channels and other premium channels. This made optimization key and once the audience was determined, the campaign had several weeks to continue engaging with potential students.
This web portion of the campaign distribution ran for eight weeks in the Pasadena Area Community College District which included ten cities.
In conjunction with the video ad campaign, we developed a video point of contact marketing system that will continue to last for years to come. We wanted to intensify our digital outreach and generate interest from in-district high school students using a new piece of technology that would drive engagement and increase interest in college.
Our team placed our Video-Trainer and ad display in designated areas of high school campuses for post high-school options (i.e. counselor's office, hallway, student center, etc.). This Video-Trainer invites students to physically engage, its customizable call to action ad display welcoming students to the idea of college.
The impact was zero intimidation. Our storytelling Video-Trainers and kiosks boast social sharing, interactivity and effectively draw interest where a traditional brochure or thick informational packet struggle.
The video unit itself lasts up to five hours before needing a charge, growing legs by moving from student to student. Our point of contact solution is an evergreen tool honest to our modest budget and acknowledges the community college landscape as one needing a sustainable, renewable form of outreach. In tandem with this physical engagement, our digital content was easily shareable through social channels.
With our completely modern method that combines digital and point of contact, we're reflecting a demand from the younger generation for active stimulation and nudging students to an organic engagement and conversation about education.
From local high schools requesting additional units through sincere recommendations for improvement, the results of our delivery have been extraordinary. Over fifteen high schools have implemented the program and interest from the Pasadena City College district has never been greater.
In the eight weeks of our digital campaign displayed to ten local cities, our combined video views from the three narratives totaled 81,907 impressions, 64,195 views, and 50,129 completed views. The total video completion rate was at 78.1%, with a 0.93% clickthrough rate.
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