All students deserve access to resources that fit their needs—whether they’re young adults entering traditional 4-year institutions or non-traditional students—such as first generation Americans, veterans, older students, or parents. Unfortunately, the needs of non-traditional students are often overlooked by four-year institutions who tend to focus their attention and resources on their larger demographic of emerging adults. As a result, many non-traditional students turn to community colleges because these establishments are better set up to support their lifestyles.
Community colleges offer several types of educational programs to their non-traditional student demographics. Take Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC), for example. They are training the next generation of nurses, IT professionals, and graphic designers via associate degrees; educating dental assistants and law enforcement via diplomas and certificates; and providing continuing education for careers like real estate agents, notaries, and a variety of health occupations.
Having an audience with such a wide array of career and life goals can make connecting and engaging a challenge. But Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has done just that with the help of CampusWell’s easy-to-use content platform.
Rowan-Carrabus’ history with CampusWell
Prior to coming online with CampusWell in 2011, RCCC offered students a bi-monthly print magazine, The Achiever. Because the magazine was only available on campus as a hard copy, the administration couldn’t confirm how many students were reading and benefiting from it. In addition, RCCC has many online students who don’t set foot on campus. At that time, it was becoming more and more evident that they needed to meet their students where they were at—not via a printed magazine, but online. CampusWell’s online platform supported RCCC’s communication strategy, with the added bonus that it made publishing and sharing content much easier.
How Rowan-Cabarrus uses CampusWell to connect with students and meet their needs
According to Barb Meidl, the director of student life and leadership at RCCC’s Student Wellness Center, it’s important for the administration to connect with students to understand and meet their unique needs. RCCC uses the CampusWell online platform to reach students and provide material that will foster thought, as well as resources that they know many of their students need. Meidl especially likes the CampusWell articles because she sees that her students can identify with the content and think to themselves: “That is me; I have that issue.”
“We have learning outcomes within Student Life and Leadership designed to meet students’ various needs,” says Meidl. “Whether that’s financial literacy or education about domestic violence…all of the [issues] in the world, we [deal with] internally because we’re just a microcosm of our community.”
Thanks to a mix of internal surveys, CampusWell content, and their own content, RCCC has successfully connected with their students, achieving an impressive 100 percent engagement rate during the 2021-2022 academic year.
Rowan-Cabarrus combines CampusWell’s platform with student-focused initiatives to go above and beyond
In addition to the weekly content provided by CampusWell, RCCC encourages students from various departments to share their work on the platform. This can include poetry or articles from English students and art from graphic design students. They also welcome students to share their opinions and thoughts about recent local events via the platform. All of this student-created content can be approved, uploaded, and published to the online platform within 24 hours.
RCCC uses CampusWell to celebrate their students’ success by sharing when they win contests or attend conferences both in and outside of school (e.g., statewide conferences). By recognizing and broadcasting student achievement this way, Meidl says it allows students “to feel the value we place on them, which then builds [our] relationship with [them].” This shows RCCC students that the school supports them beyond their academic marks and promotes active engagement within their school and community.
Meidl says that using CampusWell’s content and digital platform for their own school’s content helps RCCC stay relevant to their students and lets them know that “we’re in it together.”
CampusWell is an affordable content platform that speaks to students where they are
Through CampusWell, RCCC speaks to their students as college students —in other words, RCCC students receive the same quality content, tools, and resources as students at four-year institutions.
CampusWell “is a cost-effective option to [reach] students,” says Meidl. Students pay an activity fee and just a fraction of that goes toward the platform, which forges connections on campus and provides them with engagement opportunities and education on topics that the Student Wellness Center doesn’t have time to research and write about (e.g., drugs, stress). Meidl says that this makes RCCC’s investment in CampusWell “worth it.”
CampusWell is a versatile platform that helps make a multi-departmental wellness initiative simple, enduring, and engaging. Using effective digital tools, high quality, research-based content, and proven marketing strategies, together with your existing assets, we deliver a campus-wide wellness platform that will positively impact your students and institution.
Barb Meidl, director of student life & leadership, Student Wellness Center, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, North Carolina
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (n.d.). 2022-2023 Programs. https://catalog.rccc.edu/programs/2022-2023/