Case Study: William Carey University Used EMMA™ To Amplify Their Strategic Enrollment Plans

William Carey University (WCU) is a private institution of over 5,000 students, with campuses in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Biloxi, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With strong ties to local and state-level educators, the university had historically relied on traditional new student recruitment efforts.

WCU had already begun pursuing mobile enrollment and recruitment solutions for its strategic enrollment plans even before the pandemic. Those efforts paid dividends when face-to-face recruiting was no longer an option. The problem however, was that the university lacked clear data, analytics and insights into the student journey. Without them, WCU was struggling to grow its online program enrollment.

WCU approached Perdia Education to accelerate the institution’s plans for online and mobile enrollment growth. WCU tapped into Perdia’s knowledge base and was able to use Emma™, Perdia Education’s mobile device enrollment management advising app, to:

  •  Open a stream of communications with prospective online students 24/7
  • Access data-driven insights and analysis to improve the student enrollment experience
  • Integrate with WCU’s student information system (SIS) to virtually admit and enroll online students
  • Informed the development of a seamless admissions and enrollment process

Powered by AI, Emma was highly tailored to WCU and personalized each user experience, providing expert assistance throughout the entire admissions, enrollment and retention process. 

The technology guided prospective students through the online enrollment pathway, with interest and motivation-based interviews, educational history evaluations and qualification matches to degree requirements. More importantly, Emma could analyze student behavior and customize outreach and engagement to identify what information students needed to continue their admissions and enrollment journeys.

By supporting the internal staff with expanded admissions and enrollment capabilities, WCU was able to reach a wider audience more quickly than their previous traditional tactics.

Emma’s mobile enrollment advising guides each student across:

  • Initial program discovery and inquiry
  • Admissions interview
  • Evaluation of requirements
  • Document collection
  • Post-applicant nurturing
  • Start coaching
  • Retention support and early alerts

As Ben Burnett, PhD, Executive Vice President and Dean of the School of Education at William Carey University, notes, “We’ve seen tangible results since we engaged Perdia, with Emma opening up our ability to communicate with students right from the start of their interest in WCU. An additional and unexpected benefit has been that Emma identified areas of opportunity to improve our admissions process and upgrade the recruitment experience for prospective students. This has enabled us to improve the admissions experience not just for our online students but for all students across their WCU journey.

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