Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Eastern Washington University: 6 Personas for 86 Academic Programs… 23 July 2021

Search 86 academic programs at Eastern Washington University using 6 personas

Eastern Washington UniversityEastern Washington University provides an easy-to-scan alpha list of 86 undergrad and graduate programs on a “Program Explorer” page. If you’re not interested in all 86, you can quickly divide them into 67 bachelor’s and 25 master’s and doctorate programs.

That’s a pretty standard format for content like this. EWU does it better than many.

And then EWU adds an innovative exploration tool that I’ve not seen before: 6 personas that you can use to help sort the programs according to these characteristics, depending on how you think of yourself:

  • Creators… 11 programs
  • Doers… 29 programs
  • Helpers… 26 programs
  • Organizers… 39 programs
  • Persuaders… 27 programs
  • Thinkers… 41 programs

Eastern Washington UniversityEach program has 1 to 3 characteristics linked to it (most have two). Biology, for instance, is for “Doers” and “Thinkers.” Information Security Management, a minor, is only for “Thinkers.” Music is for “Creators” and “Doers” and “Thinkers.”

Are these actual “personas”?

I don’t know for certain that these labels are the result of actual persona research. The don’t for instance, have names attached and that’s often an element in persona creation. That seems OK as people of different genders are likely to be interested in each program so there seems no advantage in assigning an actual name. So just how they were created is for now a mystery. If I can learn more, I’ll update later.

My former academic self would love to have been the fly on the wall when faculty for each program discussed which of the 6 characteristics were most relevant for their program. Much fun.

Personally, I’m skeptical about the value and benefit of persona research but many people consider it an important element in crafting student recruitment communications. For a positive view, see “5 Examples of College Student Personas for Enrollment Marketing.” To keep your enthusiasm in perspective, see Tom Fishburne’s collection of 4 persona cartoons and analysis.

Follow the Link of the Week

Search 86 academic programs at Eastern Washington University using one (or more) of 6 personas when you visit the “Program Explorer.”

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