Dr. Lawrence Judge was our 2020-2021 Excellence in Graduate Recruiting Award recipient. Dr. Judge is a Professor of Kinesiology and the Associate Chair and Coordinator of the Graduate Athletic Coaching Education (ACE) Program in the School of Kinesiology
Nominator Jack Williams wrote this about Dr. Judge, “As a member of the marketing group for Ball State Online, I have worked with Dr. Judge for nearly 11 years in the promotion of the Athletic Coaching Education (ACE) program. We have collaborated on recruitment emails, livestreamed webinars, print and digital advertising, production of a recruitment video, and a number of other promotions. I’ve seen first-hand his dedication and passion for recruiting students who deserve a spot in the program. Dr. Judge continues to study and develop best practices for attracting students inside and outside of Indiana.”
Here is a Q and A with Dr. Judge
What is your recruiting philosophy?
For the Athletic Coaching Education (ACE) master’s degree, I utilize a holistic graduate admissions process that starts with developing a qualified and diverse pipeline of students. Prospective students commonly search for graduate school opportunities online so constructing an engaging and easy-to-navigate website will be the face of our program and may be our prospect’s only connection ever with the ACE program. The website must reflect positive visibility for the program and attract students to the program via an effective call to action. Effective websites highlight alumni accomplishments, promote campus diversity, and present clear admissions guidelines for prospects. I have received amazing support from Ball State Online’s Nancy Prater, Craig Meinhart, and Jack Williams in this area. The student profiles that Jack writes are usually alumni stories that prospects can identify with in terms of their own career goals, the challenges faced in returning to school, the academic services provided to them fully online, and the way in which online programming can work around their work and family commitments. These stories carry the message to prospects: “Yes, others have done it, and you can do it, too.”
What strategies do you employ in your work in recruiting?
Student enrollment is a complex and collaborative process requiring clear direction from institutional leadership and our online marketing staff, as well as program advisors, faculty, and other stakeholders. Proactive, long-term planning is a prerequisite for implementing enrollment strategies and sustainable internationalization. A key priority for the ACE program at Ball State University is seeking to grow our admissions numbers and expand program diversity.
Marketing and Advertising are useful tools for reaching online and distant markets. We have developed networks with program advertisements in various publications. In addition to alumni success stories, print and electronic ads highlight our world-class faculty, how it’s do-able in five semesters, and that internships can be done “on the job,” as well as promoting the opportunities available only to Ball State students, including professional conferences, consortiums, and professional organizations or societies.
What is your proudest achievement in recruiting for your graduate program?
Simply, taking a student from the application stage to seeing them at graduation! Additionally, my greatest overall achievement was designing and implementing a curriculum change for the ACE program. We streamlined the program to 30 hours and eliminated the GRE test. This made the program much more student friendly and removed obstacles and barriers for students who deserved to be in the program. During the first six months of this launch, we saw major increases in applications and subsequent enrollment.
Who has helped you along the way as you have developed your skills in this area?
It has been a team effort, as I have learned from many individuals over the years. Thomas Sawyer and Dr. Bruce Craig were both great mentors when I was a young faculty member. Dr. Thomas Weidner and Dr. Dave Pearson have been great mentors, friends and colleagues in the School of Kinesiology. But if I have to single out one person that has helped me in the area of recruiting and marketing, it would be Mr. Jack Williams, marketing content specialist for Ball State Online. He has been integral to the success of the ACE program.
Anything else you would like us to know?
I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities at Ball State University that I have to make a difference in young professionals’ lives. It is rewarding to be able to take my experiences in the field at major events like the Olympic and Paralympics Games and be able to share them with the ACE students in the virtual classroom.