This week most Cape residents received a mailing piece from Bridgewater State University promoting the 2015 opening of its South Yarmouth satellite campus.
The postcard promotes a special website the University has set up for the Cape Cod program, which is housed at the former MacArthur Elementary School at 1175 Route 28 in South Yarmouth.
BSU is asking prospective students to “Tell us your interest”. The form collects a great deal of information about prospects’ academic goals, current educational status and demographics.
The University is a bit vague on exactly what courses and programs will be offered in Yarmouth this winter. They are likely using the survey and sales contacts with prospects to fine tune their offerings.
Competition for 4Cs
As reported in previous stories, Cape Cod Community College suffers a trifecta of afflictions: declining enrollment, weak branding and an out-of-date marketing program.
Compare any of 4Cs recent mailings to the simple-but-effective postcard BSU mailed this week and the contrast becomes abundantly clear. The nearly 175-year-old university has the marketing budget and branding to poach prospective students from 4Cs at every turn.
In fairness to 4Cs, BSU’s Cape Cod web page promises “two plus two” bachelor’s degree programs designed in partnership with Cape Cod Community College. However nothing specific about those programs is presented on the University’s Cape website.
Enrollment down 8% - can 4Cs compete?
Cape Cod Community College president Dr. John Cox told Cape Cod Today that the community college’s enrollment is down 8% for the fall semester.
An important counter-measure to BSU’s Cape expedition is the recently approved airframe/power plant program. This initiative is the signature program of President Cox. 4Cs is wagering much on this becoming a destination program for students across the nation, while at the same time training our local workforce for global job opportunities in the aviation tech industry.
Cape Cod Community College is a financial bargain, works effectively with non-traditional students and reputes itself as being sensitive to the needs of students who also work a full-time job or are busy raising a family.
The next year will show how successful Bridgewater’s Cape programs will be – and how much of a challenge BSU presents to the Cape’s community college.