Date Awarded


Document Type

Dissertation -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James M. Patton


The purpose of this descriptive research study was to analyze the student recruitment processes employed by The College of William and Mary, one of the Commonwealth of Virginia's foremost public institutions of higher education, to recruit African-American undergraduates. This analysis was completed using Kotler & andreasen's (1991) Systematic Marketing Audit Model--a six-part conceptual framework of marketing for non-profit organizations--to determine the marketing effectiveness of current strategies implemented for the successful recruitment of African-American undergraduates and provide useful guidance to assist admission and financial aid personnel in improving their interpersonal relations with African-American prospects/applicants and their parent(s).;Data were collected from admission/financial aid administrators, financial aid counselors, admission representatives, African-American students, and parents using qualitative research methods that included 114 in-depth interviews and an analysis of historical documents.;Findings revealed that multicultural recruitment processes at The College of William and Mary were generally the same as its competition with campus visitation programs being the most successful method of attracting African-American undergraduates while national college fairs and college search tapes were the least effective. The study also revealed that students relied heavily upon the input of their parent(s) rather than upon the advice of high school guidance counselors and teachers in making a college choice decision. The social climate on campus for students of color, the general financial aid application process, and the availability of support services for students of color were the primary issues and concerns of African-American students and their parent(s). In addition, admission/financial aid representatives of African-American heritage were more desirable for parents than students.;Further, it was the finding of this case study that the African-American undergraduate recruitment strategies of a selective, state-supported four-year university (The College of William and Mary) were not "optimally adapted to the current and forecasted marketing environment" as prescribed by Kotler & andreasen's (1991) Systematic Marketing Audit Model. This first research hypothesis was supported by several weaknesses uncovered that included: (1) little in the way of measuring overall marketing achievement of the current African-American undergraduate recruitment plan to attribute success to the elements that are effective and identifying strategies that do not produce admission results; (2) lack of recruitment objectives that were defined in specific, measurable terms to better enable The College of William and Mary in evaluating its African-American undergraduate recruitment program; and (3) limited research conducted to determine if the marketing effort is "optimally structured to meet the demands" of a changing student market environment.;Consequently, the results of the case study did support the second hypothesis--if Kotler & andreasen's (1991) Systematic Marketing Audit Model reveals main marketing problem areas facing The College of William and Mary, then it will be possible to recommend various initiatives to improve the institution's overall efforts to attract African-American undergraduates.;The case study offers several recommendations for improving the current African-American undergraduate recruitment program and suggestions for future research.



© The Author

On-Campus Access Only