College Access Marketing (CAM) is a relatively new phenomenon that seeks to positively influence the college-going rate. Four main elements of CAM:
CAM’s role in supporting access to higher education
CAM is a pub- lic awareness effort designed to positively influence the college-going rate. The intent of CAM is to “change stu- dents’ behaviors...related to preparing for, attending, and succeeding in college” (Mize 2008).
CAM seeks to influence the predisposition and the search stages of the college choice model developed by Hossler and Gallagher
..students ex- perience three stages in the college choice process, and CAM can shape students’ perspectives through psychologi- cal constructs
CAM is really a form of advocacy, commu- nication, and social mobilization (Grimm 001). CAM advocates for enrollment in higher education and commu- nicates directly using college-going messages to mobilize individuals to choose college. The origin of such commu- nication and mobilization efforts lies with work the Ad Council (010) undertook in 19. Examples of advocacy and social mobilization efforts include the “‘just say no’ to drugs campaign,” the “campaign for tobacco-free kids,” and the “only you can prevent forest fires” slogan featur- ing Smokey the Bear (Ad Council 010). Overall, the goal of CAM is to create social change by influencing students’ decision making.
Because of their ability to reach thousands of students efficiently, Web sites are a primary component of CAM.
West Virginia (010), has a tagline of “learn more. earn more.” Marketing is evident in tag- lines such as Oklahoma’s portal phrase: “Click, Compare, Choose” (Oklahoma 010). Maine uses a “kick start” theme featuring a donkey (Kick Start Maine 010).
At the national level, <knowhowgo.org> is the most well-known and branded CAM-based Web site.
Another feature of CAM that is described in the lit- erature is alliances. CAM efforts are most effective when they are undertaken in collaboration with organizations such as governments, foundations, corporations, and schools.
With information, marketing, advocacy, and social mobilization as its foundation, CAM is both vast and specific. It has grown out of struggling economies, the need for a better workforce, and college access inequities (Mize 008). According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (009), preserving college access is a national priority. The overarching goal of CAM is to connect students to college through information sharing, interaction, and attitude shifting