“We wanted to have a campaign that would tie together the entire university in a way that promoted Angelo State and all that we have to offer,” said Sharla Adam, ASU director of admissions. “‘I Chose Angelo State’ is focused on recruiting students, but the campaign encompasses so much more. We knew that we could involve alumni and have them share their experiences at Angelo State. We knew we could highlight business leaders in the community who chose to attend Angelo State. But we could also highlight others who choose to support ASU – whether it’s through the programs they volunteer for or their financial support. So it’s become a community-wide effort of identifying Angelo State as our university and choosing to be a part of something bigger.”
The campaign kicked off with the City of San Angelo adopting a proclamation naming April “I Chose Angelo State” Month. Meanwhile, the Admissions Office set to work celebrating students who chose ASU.
The most visible recognition was at the new Carr Signing Days. Jessica Behringer, admissions counselor for Central Texas, hosted more than 15 signing days for Carr Scholarship recipients at regional high schools.
“We took the concept of athletic signings and applied it to academics,” Behringer said. “Students got to sign a certificate and get a T-shirt, and their families stood up with them for photos and support, so it was just a very proud moment.”
The Carr Signing Days became so popular that high schools began calling the Admissions Office and asking for them. Admissions staff especially enjoyed the events at schools that hosted assemblies for the entire student body to attend.
“What our signing days did was extend the concept even further,” Adam said. “It helped send a message to those elementary students that this is an attainable goal and Angelo State University may be the perfect fit for you – that no matter what, you too can go to college.”
Highlighting Carr Scholars also emphasized that these high-achieving students chose Angelo State.
“Especially with the Carr Distinguished Scholars – our top awardees – they are usually being pursued by bigger schools,” Behringer said. “But they chose us.”
Bringing those top scholars to ASU is also key to recruiting other students from Tom Green County and the Concho Valley.
“A lot of times, local students think they know Angelo State because they frequently drive by the campus,” Adam said. “They are often surprised when they actually get on campus and see what we have to offer.”
The Admissions Office also reached out to area high school students with printed materials highlighting the achievements of recent ASU graduates. While Carr Signing Days will resume next April, the stories of ASU alumni, faculty and staff members, and area business owners will help keep the campaign going year-round.
“If the students see us excited about being proud ASU alums, then they are going to be excited about going to school here,” Behringer said. “That’s one of the things that will not only help attract students, but will help retain them because they’ll see the support system here.”
Everyone has an ASU story to share, Adam said.
“I really enjoy hearing why people chose ASU,” she added. “It’s our shared experiences that make ASU unique, and it’s those stories that will foster the legacy that is Angelo State.”