Our Campus Profiles highlight stories of specific campuses with strong campus adoption, and each of the steps they took to get there.
Appalachian State University is situated in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina with just north of 18,000 total enrolled students and over 400 student organizations. This large campus has gradually built its student engagement platform adoption over time, first on OrgSync, and now on Engage after migration. Appalachian State's culture is led by its student organizations, so this campus followed that spirit by focusing their marketing efforts on students themselves.
Every adoption plan should be tailored to the campus' individual audience - if a campus is faculty-driven, for example, faculty may be a more key component of a campus' success than was the case for Appalachian State. Once Appalachian State began getting student organizations on board, however, Engage (or, AppSync as it's called at Appalachian State), Engage effectively began to market itself - instead of reaching out directly to faculty, faculty reached out to the AppSync team to begin hosting faculty organizations. Here's how they got there.
Catch Students Early
The staff at Appalachian State are always a few steps ahead! Students at Appalachian begin using Engage as early as Admitted Students Day. Welcome Week student leaders receive substantial training on Engage and are encouraged to log on with their mentees during the first week of school to help the student identify potential opportunities to get involved.
Prioritize & Centralize Training
We love the training page that Appalachian State built in Engage. In addition to prominently posting upcoming AppSync trainings, this page also links clearly to various Engage support articles that might be useful for students, provides a place to vote on training session topics, and even has a form to rent out laptops for live training sessions. This detail-oriented spirit of training extends across campus. Student organizations on this campus have a centralized work space they can utilize, and all the student staff in this space are fully and well-trained on Engage.
While many campuses offer an Engage training as part of annual student leader training, Appalachian State does this a little bit differently. Students attending the "August Core Conference" do receive a brief introduction to Engage, but are also required during this time to select an AppSync 101 full training session on a later date. These trainings were offered between 4-5 times per week by the AppSync graduate student and a team of student AppSync Ambassadors over the course of the fall semester, generally hosting between 15-20 students per session.
Motivate Student Organization Buy-in
During the Spring semester, a student council reporting to the AppSync graduate assistant hosts these "4 Weeks of AppSync." This tradition began while the campus leveraged OrgSync and continues as an Engage tradition today. The council plans a series of competitions between student organizations during this time period, where organization leaders need to perform various tasks within AppSync and complete quizzes. The student leaders' participation in the event earns their entire organization prizes such as buttons or table banners that they can leverage long term. Having student leaders individually participate to benefit their organization also stimulates a great team energy of the event.