To the Marietta College Comunity:

Last week I wrote about what we learned from a survey of about 400 high-school students on their thoughts about choosing a college: We are not as well known as we need to be; the academic areas with the highest levels of student interest are in STEM fields; and Marietta College excels in many of the most desired programs.

Of course, the real value of such information lies in what we choose to do with it. Ruffalo Noel Levitz, the higher-education consultancy that conducted the survey, offered some suggestions. They line up well with our strategic plan, so you are likely to hear more about them in the coming months. They include:

Raise our profile close to home.

Because we are unknown to many students even in our primary market — the greater portion of Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania — it makes sense to put resources toward introducing ourselves to that market. Boosting our visibility on social media — making us harder to miss, with sharper SEO strategies — would be a smart approach. It also aligns with the strategic plan priority of renewing our website, a project already underway.

Build on our existing strengths.

Marietta’s expertise and reputation for excellence in petroleum engineering is a great example. We should tell the story of this rigorous, high-quality program and consider creating interdisciplinary offerings with chemistry, another Marietta strength.

Consider strategic additions.

The survey asked students how likely they would choose Marietta if certain programs were offered. Criminal Justice studies stood out as a strong draw, with data indicating that adding a major would net 10 additional students.

It is energizing to look to the future, toward building Marietta into what we know it can become. I am excited to be a part of it along with so many of you.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management