Victoria College helps create statewide college marketing group

Darin Kazmir
Victoria College has taken a leadership role in forming a new statewide college marketing organization and has helped plan the group’s inaugural conference held last month in Austin.

Darin Kazmir, Victoria College director of Marketing and Communications, joined several other marketing directors in Austin last November to discuss the need for a statewide consortium of community college marketing professionals. With the support of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the group formed the Texas Association of Community College Marketers (TACCM) in February.

Kazmir serves as the organization’s vice president and has worked closely with marketing professionals from seven other colleges to get the organization off the ground. As vice president, he chaired the organization’s conference committee and planned the program for the first-ever summer conference, “Telling & Selling Texas Community & Technical Colleges,” held June 23-25 in Austin.

“It’s great to be a part of this new group,” Kazmir said. “TACCM gives us an opportunity to network, share ideas, and learn from one another as we all work to tell the Texas community and technical college story.”

Kazmir said marketing and recruiting are no longer functions of a single department. It takes all faculty and staff working together to successfully promote a college’s programs and services, and Victoria College is leading other colleges in developing integrated marketing plans.

“College marketers and recruiters are tasked with promoting programs and courses that lead to good-paying jobs that are in high demand,” he said. “There’s a misconception that students need a bachelor’s degree to get a good job, but many of the best jobs in Texas are attainable through degrees, certificates, and training offered at community colleges. We’ve made a lot of progress in changing perceptions about community colleges, but we still have more work to do.”

More than 100 professionals from 40 colleges around the state attended TACCM’s inaugural conference. Marketing, public relations, and career and technical education experts from around the state spoke on a variety of topics and issues that professionals deal with daily in the community college setting.

The three-day conference featured a pre-conference intensive titled “Web Marketing Made Simple” as well as a conference welcome from State Rep. John Davis of Houston, chair of the House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development and a member of the House Committee on Public Education.

Other keynote speakers included:

•    Delores Brooks, director of Marketing & Creative Services at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois, who spoke on “Marketing in the Era of College Completion.”
•    Mick Normington, business specialist in the Labor Market & Career Information Department of the Texas Workforce Commission. His topic was “Do You Have the Skills to Pay the Bills?”
•    Dr. Mark David Milliron, chancellor of WGU Texas, who addressed “Education as a Game Changer.”
•    Steven Johnson, vice president of public affairs for the Texas Association of Community Colleges, who provided a legislative update to conference attendees.

Kazmir, along with Sherri Pall, director of Workforce and Continuing Education at Victoria College, gave a presentation titled “Where Does Continuing Education Fit in Your College’s Marketing Plan?” The two shared Victoria College’s integrated marketing approach to promoting workforce and continuing education programs.

Other Victoria College staffers attending the conference were: Scott Bennett, Leeann Hernandez, Eric Jensen, Adam Linden, Vince Ortiz, Melissa Robinson, Ann Slatter, Tisha Sternadel, and Sharon Vaclavik.

TACCM is a statewide consortium of marketing and public relations professionals for public community and technical colleges in Texas. The organization serves as a clearinghouse for information, promotes public community and technical colleges in Texas, and serves in an advisory capacity to other statewide organizations. The group will also develop and implement strategic marketing and communication plans to address statewide initiatives impacting public community colleges.

Funding for TACCM board development and the 2013 TACCM Summer Conference was provided through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with Discretionary Leadership funds received from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

For more information about TACCM, visit www.TACCM.org.

Sherri Pall
Published: Wednesday, 03 July 2013
 

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