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Volume 7, Issue 1


The Great Alumni Hunt: Student Sleuths Track Down More Alumni

Drawing on a collaborative relationship with faculty, one Wisconsin community college foundation was able to reconnect with more than 400 alumni in one month—at no cost. Better yet, the students who participated gained valuable working experience and awareness of the alumni association and foundation.

After hearing about "The Great Alumni Hunt" during the 2016 CASE Conference for Community College Advancement, Chippewa Valley Technical College Foundation, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, launched its own version, enlisting small teams of CVTC students to reconnect with college alumni.

Aliesha Crowe, executive director of the Chippewa Valley Technical College Foundation, approached faculty in the business management program to form a similar hunt plan for the alumni association.

"Our team believes that we exist to support the college so when we approach faculty and other staff about working together, we are always cognizant of what value-add we can contribute to their work," says Crowe, adding that aligning foundation projects to courses and programs is an essential piece of the foundation-institution partnership. 

With Crowe and an alumni relations officer working as "clients," the seven teams of four students developed survey tools to reach out to alumni. The teams then had four weeks to find alumni, complete with weekly progress reports and check-ins with their clients. Weekly prizes were given to the participants and members of the winning team received scholarships for the next semester.

The result: 400 new CVTC alumni in 30 days.

"But it didn't stop there. The instructor then provided the raw alumni data that was gathered from the surveys to her business analytics course students," says Crowe. "She set up multiple different analytic projects, and we received the results of their data analysis including predictive analysis related to alumni engagement potential."

In addition to this project, CVTC Foundation continues to hire students from the business management program. A previous intern aligned the alumni mentoring program and the peer mentoring program and also developed measurements tools for each program, says Crowe.

"Aligning our work with program competencies and other program outcomes makes it much easier to find connections within the college," explains Crowe. 

The foundation also works with the events management class on its events projects, including discussing effective fundraising communications and solicitation strategies.

Check out the CASE Library for more resources on community college alumni relations strategies.

If you have similar success stories from past conference sessions or webinars, share them with Marc Westenburg, director for the Center for Community College Advancement, at mwestenburg@case.org. Please include:

• Conference attended or webinar viewed
• Key takeaways or "aha" moments
• Implementation of any ideas or practices gleaned
• Results (anecdotal or quantifiable)



This article is from the January 2017 issue of the Community College Advancement News.

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