My daughter, Olivia, started middle school this fall. She’s now a full-fledged “tween.” I know this because the following events are now daily occurrences: requests for money to hang out with friends, multiple requests for a cell phone, my asking for her to turn down the Taylor Swift blasting too loudly from either her speakers or head phones, and the smile on my face from the fact that rotten teen-aged boys aren’t knocking on my door yet. She’s not grown up yet, but she’s growing up quickly. Too quickly. I can still look in her closet and see the old princess dresses and play shoes she used to incessantly wear at a time that doesn’t seem that long ago. That was back when she used to teach me applied lessons about prospective student searches.
There was a day back then when we were outside and she was dressed up in a princess dress while trying to build a dam to block a small stream. (Anyone with a four-year-old daughter should be familiar with this scenario.) A few feet away I found a frog. Being the goofy dad I am, I offered it to the “princess” and invited her to kiss it to see if it would turn into a prince. She demurred and scoffed at me. I asked if it was because princes (boys) or frogs were icky. Again, she scoffed at me and offered this logic I’ve always remembered since: “No, Daddy. It’s because how do I know THAT exact frog will be a prince if I kiss it?” I was so proud of my daughter. Budding prospective student search genius indeed.
Noel-Levitz recently published the 2011 report, Marketing and Student Recruitment Practices at Four-Year and Two-Year Institutions. It compiles answers that campuses provided in a survey we sent them. Before I comment, let me first thank all of the participants. They shared great information with us and the rich data represents a powerful research set.