Lenoir-Rhyne University doesn't have the physical footprint of some of North Carolina's larger public universities, and that is by design. LR isn't focused on recruiting more students than everyone else, as much as bringing in the best and brightest.
For many prospective students, that first point of contact at the university is with an enrollment counselor in the Lenoir-Rhyne undergraduate or graduate admission offices.
To improve that experience and better meet the needs of prospective students and those interested in Lenoir-Rhyne, the university's undergraduate and graduate enrollment teams are implementing Slate as its customer relationship management (CRM) software.
"Basically, it's the best in the business for college and university admission," said Kelli Barnette, associate vice president and director of undergraduate admission for Lenoir-Rhyne. "For us, it's really more about personalizing the experience for prospective students and tailoring our messages to each individual. This enables us to do that."
Developed by Yale graduate Alexander Clark, Slate enables enrollment counselors to interact with prospective students, to set up appointments and meetings, schedule visits, process applications and much more. It also empowers counselors to reach out to prospective students through interactive digital messaging rather than static print mentions, and it is used by hundreds of universities across the country.
"We know that going to graduate school is a big decision, and we want to engage with our applicants early on," said Emily Heaberlin, assistant director of The Graduate School at Lenoir-Rhyne. "Slate will help us achieve our goal to improve the experience for our applicants."
In addition, LR has implemented the ZeeMee app, which serves as a social platform for LR undergraduate students and prospects.
"Students can go into chatrooms and meet other accepted students," Barnette said. "We have student social media ambassadors who can build relationships and answer questions of prospective students. That way, prospective students have the opportunity to ask what food is like on campus or what activities are going on. We can certainly answer those questions, but this gives them the opportunity to ask their peers. It's a great way to build those connections between current and prospective students before they arrive."
Enrollment has hosted question-and-answer sessions allowing prospective students to inquire about specific programs, sorority and fraternity life, intramural sports or any number of social activities in which students can engage on campus.
Lenoir-Rhyne has always strived to provide its students with a transformative experience, which is why the university experienced record enrollment numbers even amidst a worldwide pandemic. The university welcomed 2,686 students to school for the 2020-21 fall term, including representatives from 40 states and 31 countries across the globe. The Graduate School enrolled 903 students, the most in Lenoir-Rhyne history.
"We want to engage with our prospects as early in their search process as possible using the best technology available to us," said Dr. Amy Wood, dean of The Graduate School at LR. "Of course, we are very intentionally supplementing digital communication with as much personal attention as an applicant needs throughout the process."