CSU-Pueblo earns three awards from CASE District VI
PUEBLO – Colorado State University – Pueblo’s Admissions and External Affairs offices earned three awards -- two gold and a bronze -- from District VI of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) this week as part of its annual conference in St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 10-12 at the Renaissance Hotel.
The University earned three of 222 awards that were selected from 719 entries submitted by 51 schools in the organization’s eight-state region. CASE District VI includes advancement professionals (fundraising, alumni, communications) from public and private K-12 and post-secondary schools in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The University competed with schools with enrollment of less than 1,000 to those with more than 25,000 students. Individuals from higher education institutions outside District VI served as judges for the competition.
CSU-Pueblo received a Gold Award in the Excellence in Communications – Single Student Recruitment Publication category for the Transfer Student Guide created for community college transfer students. The bulk of the University’s transfer students are from Colorado community colleges, but the publication allows personalization of content through inclusion of information based on geography, major, extracurricular interests, etc. According to Director of Admissions Dana Trujillo, transfer students like the fact that the University has a separate publication just for them and that they are not receiving a first-time freshman publication. Transfer advisors/counselors like that it shows a commitment to transfer students by providing targeted information to this group. In the last year alone, the University experienced a 23 percent increase in transfer student enrollment.
The University earned a second Gold Award in the Excellence in Advertising category for its Internal Services Web Ad Series. The advertising of internal web sites works in conjunction with the smart navigation system of www.colostate-pueblo.edu. The ads are created specifically for the web viewer on a specific page. In other words, the website knows by the user’s navigation trends what type of audience they are (student, parent, faculty/staff/,alumni). The ads are customized for each audience group as viewers see relevant information customized by page. A faculty/staff member will see ads that will assist them in his or her website experience, including such things as how to download logos, employment or benefits news, or directories of other staff members. The student pages contain ads pertinent only to them with ads for things like tutoring, financial services, recreation leagues, or student organizations. The ads also change as new events and services become available, so that viewers don’t become immune to the ads because they’ve seen them so often.
According to Web Communications Manager Jeff Miller, the ads were a great way to solve a navigation nightmare and to keep the front page from becoming cluttered. The ad space has become valuable real estate on the site and keeps users from having to navigate through a lengthy list of options.
CSU-Pueblo also earned a bronze award in the Excellence in Communications – Best Solution to a Communications Challenge for what CSU-Pueblo did as an institution to avoid negative press and lessen publicity and reputation as a result of a unique slate of Homecoming queen candidates. Of the three candidates running for Homecoming Queen in 2009, two of the three candidates were somewhat unusual -- one was a 60-year-old woman with a violent past and the other was an openly gay, traditional age male student. The royalty slate included a third, traditional candidate for the queen position and three traditional male candidates for the King position, none of whom received any attention at all. The major success from this issues management scenario was that institutional reputation was enhanced rather than eroded by the sensational television reporting by the creation of messages that specifically addressed calls about the non-traditional court, rather than distributing a release that justified or rationalized how the court was selected. The traditional candidate was crowned during halftime of the football game, which promptly ended any sensational reporting of the contest. The typical hometown release on the Monday following Homecoming weekend was distributed with the names of the winners and the slate of candidates.