We miss the hallway chatter

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We miss the hallway chatter

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It’s no secret that we live in a fast-paced world. Everything around us is ever-changing, and in order to keep up you have to adjust with the “waves” of the water. That’s the name of the game, either get in or you just might be out. Have you noticed a change in the demographic of MATC?

The building structure is the same, the classrooms haven’t changed very much, but the number of frantic students rushing to class, the sometimes-obnoxious laughter and chattering in the halls seems to have dissipated. The question is why? What’s going on at MATC?

It was brought to our attention that MATC is currently down in enrollment. The question is why? Other institutions continue to maintain or even seem to have increased their enrollment. Why is that? Is it something that MATC is, or is not, doing? Why would the hallways of our institution be sparse? MATC is a premier technical college with outstanding programs, and many students land jobs right after graduation. It would seem that prospects would be knocking the doors down to get into one of MATC’s pillar programs.

With costs way below an average course at a four-year institution, and access to scholarships and grants, it just makes sense to enroll here. Obviously, there is more to it than that. Well, in an editorial meeting it dawned on us that MATC and all its greatness takes a more archaic approach to its advertising and marketing, or lack thereof.

It appears that Milwaukee Area Technical College relies heavily on its reputation, being that this institution has some of the best instructors in the Midwest, and offers amazing nursing, barber, cosmetology and culinary programs. Although, what new programs have been added to entice the millennials? With Generation Z looking into college options and career choices, is MATC offering new, innovative courses and programs that are appealing to that generation? Sure, we have programs such as nursing that have a long waiting list, on the other spectrum, programs such as Interior Design are only offered at one of the four campuses and seems to struggle to keep all classes in the program full. The Interior Design program, as wonderful as it is, is structured around software that is slowly but surely phasing out of the interior design and architecture world. Most design and architecture firms don’t even use the software that continues to be taught. Class sizes are becoming smaller, and more than half of the staff are part-time instructors. So, causes of the enrollment drop could be no new, innovative programs, or programs that aren’t teaching the most recent technology so that graduates can confidently compete in the workforce.

It dawned on us that a lot of institutions run some pretty intriguing commercials and ads.  One in particular showcases an individual in pursuit of landing a job, with socks that stand out to represent respect for and pride in their alma mater, showing confidence that they are going to land the position applied for because they trust in the education they’ve received. Or there’s the commercial where the college uses one of its own to instill some unfounded confidence in the couch potato, or average Joe Smith, complacent with life and no thoughts of their future because of their current circumstances. As the student expresses life’s trials and tribulations with an abundance of confidence, and pleasant aggression, she shouts repeatedly, “If I can do it, you can do it too!” Of course, there are billboards and commercials that reiterate that you are not just a number, and the jingles that express that you’ll find your career with them. The list goes on. When you think about it, is there a commercial, billboard or jingle that sticks in your mind for MATC; not ours. We couldn’t think of a clever billboard or marketing approach that was used to engage future students. So maybe this is the issue?!

As stated previously, you must move with the waves of the water. As times change you must change. Not to take away from MATC as an institution, for it has stood on an amazing foundation, and offers some programs second to none. It is just time to have a sit-down at the round table where great minds gather, and initiate some awesome tactics to recruit future students. By no means do we feel that MATC is in a compromising situation, or in danger of becoming obsolete, although the potential enrollment for such a wonderful college far exceeds where it currently is.

There is also that good, old fashion word-of-mouth from faculty and students that too could help to increase the enrollment.

Let’s us talk about the great experiences we’ve had, the plethora of opportunities for community engagement, school club and organization participation, the friendships we’ve made, and most of all, the take-aways from our education. All things that change and enhance lives. With the recipe of more advertisement, awesome curriculum, outstanding staff, and word-of-mouth from our trusted students, MATC is a shoo-in to rise to the top. So, let’s all do our part, and get in touch with some decision makers, because we miss the hallway chatter!

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