SASMC Event Starts in...

San Diego, CA—February 12–13, 2019
(optional pre-cons Feb. 11th)
2019 Adult Student Marketing Conference

Who Should Attend

Higher ed professionals who affect the planning, strategy, and implementation of marketing and programming directed at adult and graduate students


This includes:

  • adult undergraduate/degree completion programs
  • graduate programs
  • continuing education programs
  • certificate and professional programs
  • online/hybrid degree programs

Each year, SASMC strives to create the ideal conference experience. We’re large enough to attract professionals from across the nation, but small enough to foster personal interaction. At SASMC, you won’t get lost in the crowd—you’ll be part of a collaborative event that’s enriched through open dialogue and dynamic learning experiences.

Learning Opportunities

Becky Morehouse
Hayley Wolf

Adult StudentsTALK™ 2019

• Becky Morehouse, Senior Vice President for Client Services, Stamats

• Hayley Wolf, Strategist, TargetX

What is the state of adult student marketing and recruiting in the U.S.? What institutions are excelling and why? What investments are being made to recruit and enroll adult students? How does my institution compare? If you’re interested in answering these questions and more, this session is for you!

Stamats 2019 Adult StudentsTALK™ Study, conducted in collaboration with TargetX, highlights both qualitative and quantitative research findings—including a deep dive into what the most successful colleges and universities in the adult student game are doing. Information will be paired with a national quantitative study of adult student marketers and recruiters to reveal real-world insights.

Our goal is a practical one: Pinpoint specific factors that help colleges and universities organize, strategize, and engage with this crucial target audience.

What you’ll learn:

  • Details on institutions that have been particularly successful in enrolling adult students
  • Top challenges marketers face with adult student enrollment
  • Differences in activities, budgets, and personnel directed toward adult student recruitment (by institution type and student type)
  • Proven strategies, tactics, and best practices to recruit and enroll adult students

Ask Us Anything: A Digital Marketing Panel Discussion

Have a pressing digital marketing question? A website challenge you just can’t seem to overcome? This is your chance to get answers! Stamats and TargetX share the stage with other industry experts in this dynamic Q&A session. We’ll cover a wide range of audience-driven topics, including CMS, CRM, SEO/SEM, website development, and much more. Don’t miss out—this flexible forum is designed to help you harness the power of digital!

Session Note: Stamats Networking Reception will immediately follow this 45-minute session. Panel members will be available to keep the conversation going one-on-one in a casual, collegial atmosphere.

Bob Sevier, Stamats

Solving Thorny Problems

• Dr. Robert Sevier, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Stamats

You know what they are, those issues and challenges that just don’t seem to go away. They wake you up in the middle of the night. They consume big chunks of your budget. And perhaps, worst of all, they often spell the difference between success and failure.

This highly interactive session will quickly identify the five or six most persistent marketplace, administration, and organizational problems facing adult student marketers and recruiters. We then will draw on the expertise in the room and identify solutions to the thorny problems that have plagued you in the past.

Chuck Reed, Stamats

Adult Student Messaging: From Bust to Blockbuster

• Chuck Reed, Senior Vice President for Client Services, Stamats

When it comes to messaging to adult students, everyone wants (and needs!) a smash hit. This session explores how to avoid communication flops and create strategic, relevant, and engaging messages across all channels. Settle in as we explore the basics of brand alignment, visuals and language, and communication development (we’ll supply the popcorn!).

What you’ll learn:
• Key components of successful messaging
• Tips to engage adult and graduate-level audiences
• How to present compelling creative that garners attention and action

Lightning in a Bottle: How Your Viral Video Can Spark Media Attention

• Wes Sumner, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Florida Institute of Technology

Few media tools are as powerful as video. This session takes an in-depth look at how viral videos can promote brand visibility and strategic marketing objectives in higher education. Compelling video is a proven means to attract any audience’s attention, and that includes busy adult learners. With a special focus on success stories, session attendees will examine how a video about lightning research, produced by a small technological university, captured the imagination of people around the world—and grabbed global media attention.

What you’ll learn:
• Elements of a viral video
• How to leverage a viral video through mainstream media
• How to capitalize upon viral momentum
• Innovative approaches to market content creators

The Power of Small: Managing Content and Distribution with a Limited Team

• Shannon Nicholson, Program Director, West Virginia University Graduate Admissions and Recruitment

Social media offers an unprecedented opportunity to reach and inspire digital communities. But with competing priorities and heavy workloads, managing social media can often feel overwhelming.  Designed for marketing and public relations professionals, this session will help even the smallest teams find their truth—organizing resources, establishing topics, and aligning content with the prospective graduate student journey.

What you’ll learn:
• Strategies for smarter social media planning and execution
• How to use performance metrics to improve social media messaging
• Tips for integrating the “sale” into your social media execution

Bob Sevier, Stamats

The 10 Essential Investments for Adult Student Marketing Success

• Dr. Robert Sevier, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Stamats

Merely wanting more students is not enough, you must be willing to make the investment in essential best practices.

This session will look at the 10 essential investments adult student programs must make to be successful in today’s highly competitive marketplace. In addition to exploring data analytics, customized communication sequences, and program design, we will look at the role of financial aid and even the importance of an adult student ombudsman. Beyond listing the 10, we will offer specific examples for your further exploration.

Serving Those Who Serve: Marketing to Active Military Members

• Ali-Reza Rajabzadeh, Area Coordinator, Troy University

Every branch of the U.S. military offers financial assistance to support the educational and career goals of active service members. This dynamic session explores how to communicate with, inspire, and effectively market your programs to active duty members.

What you’ll learn:

• Tuition benefits offered by each branch of the military
• Methods for recruiting active duty personnel upon completion of basic training
• Tactics for targeting educational influencers on base
• Facts about the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) program

Sandra Francher, Stamats Communications

Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2019

• Sandra Fancher, Chief Innovation Officer

The world of digital marketing is changing at breakneck speed. New trends, new tools, and new technology demand that we keep up or risk losing the immediacy and relevancy that drive audience engagement. In this session, we’ll explore—and help you prepare for—the trends of 2019.

What you’ll learn:
• When and how to use engagement plans and personalization on your website
• Why your digital strategy must include taxonomy
• Video marketing strategies to optimize your time
• Importance of SEO vs. SEM

Motivate to Graduate: Improving Persistence by Increasing Average Course Load

• Jim Pepin, Executive Director, and Bill Gibbs, Associate Executive Director, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide

Most adult undergraduate students seem to be on the “10-year plan” (or longer). However, the extended duration of degree programs often demotivates students and puts them at significant risk for dropping out. In this immersive session, Bill Gibbs, Associate Executive Director for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), shares how his teams are increasing persistence through course load adjustments.

What you’ll learn:

• Details on the link between higher course load and improved cash flow, retention, student satisfaction, and graduation rates
• Tactics used by ERAU to improve student persistence
• How to strategically improve retention and persistence rates at your institution

Demand by Design: Using Data to Guide Academic Program Development

• Kay Zimmerman, Associate Vice Provost for Marketing and Partnership Development DELTA (Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications), North Carolina State University

In an unpredictable marketplace, how can administrators make confident, data-driven decisions about which academic programs to offer? A new high-performance platform combines institutional, competitive, and career information—information that can be used to evaluate existing and planned programs, as well as identify new opportunities. This session includes an interactive platform demonstration and covers data aggregation, reporting, analyzing functionality, and much more.

What you’ll learn:
• How to monitor the overall health of your academic programs
• Strategies to validate, launch, and maintain the right programs for today’s learners
• How to determine which academic offerings should be expanded, revitalized, or retired

Striking a Balance: Meeting Data Needs Without Sacrificing the Student Experience

• Katie Booth, Director of Admissions, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

We all want the best of both worlds: robust data and an exceptional student experience. But what do we do when those two goals seem to be at odds? Should colleges ask for a student’s birthdate on inquiry forms to help with duplicate management in the customer relationship management (CRM) system, or should forms be as brief as possible? Join us in a lively discussion about maximizing data and preserving a positive student experience.

What you’ll learn:
• Strategies to help teams work through common data and student experience challenges
• Data collection best practices
• Tips for communicating data/experience considerations with other departments

Joan Benson, Stamats

“Content Is Like Water” and Other Dangerous Metaphors.

• Joan Benson, Associate Vice President, Digital and Creative Strategy, Stamats

Coined by a designer to indicate that content takes the shape of its container, this famous UX saying can lead you into a mental model that produces bland content flooding a meaning-parched landscape. Content strategy gives intentional shape and purpose to your content, as well as defining the container for that purpose. If content is like water, than content strategy is the landscape design for your water garden. Learn how to develop a content strategy for any garden (website, recruitment campaign, nurture stream):

  • Establish the overall purpose
  • Identify and shape the mood (voice)
  • Plan the path (journey, decision points, conversions)
  • Clarify plumbing requirements (CMS, taxonomy, audits, migration, etc.)
  • Calculate your content volume & sources (content governance, editorial calendars, etc.)
  • Infuse brand purpose
  • Recycle your precious content (without boring your audience)
Tom Hayes

Better Marketing Starts with Better Research

• Dr. Tom Hayes, Dean, Williams College of Business at Xavier University

Marketing is only as good as the research behind it. This session examines how to design and execute actionable marketing research—research that guides strategic decision-making. Join us for a relevant, slightly irreverent, and highly interactive look at the relationship between great research and great marketing.

What you’ll learn:

• How to plan and apply research to meet specific marketing goals
• Ways in which research can contribute to recruitment and retention success
• Common mistakes in qualitative and quantitative instrument design
• Best uses for qualitative versus quantitative research

Linda Purtill
Pamela Allen

New Again: How a Century-Old University Used Community Partnerships to Grow Enrollment

• Linda Purtill, Regional Director, Graduate & Professional Enrollment, Orange County, University of Redlands

• Pamela Allen, Pamela Allen, Regional Director, Graduate & Professional Enrollment, Greater Los Angeles, University of Redlands

Discover how a 111-year-old private university uses the power of community partnerships to grow adult enrollment. By collaborating with departments across area community college departments, developing special pricing structures, and streamlining the pathways to degree completion, the University of Redlands has been able to steadily increase enrollment, meet local workforce needs, and create durable partnerships for the future.

What you’ll learn:
• Strategies for building partnerships with public and private organizations
• How to plan, develop, and execute successful transfer campaigns
• Best practices for effective marketing (messaging to transfer students, co-branding, custom URL, and landing page development)

Get Personal: Using Personae to Develop Smart and Successful Marketing Plans

• Laura Dorman, Marketing Manager, Online Learning, University of Louisville

Promoting new online programs can be a high-pressure undertaking. The common thread throughout all of the efforts is the adult student, with its unique needs, goals, and challenges. This workshop examines the use of persona(e) in taking a new online program to market, emphasizing the role that persona-based content plays in creating a winning web presence and marketing message.

What you’ll learn:

  • How solid personae can fuel marketing success
  • What information is needed to create personae and how to synthesize and share data
  • How to strategically infuse personae across campaigns and channels
Grant DeRoo, Stamats

Seeing Is Understanding: Using Everyday Tools to Convey Data Visually

• Grant DeRoo, Director of Research and Strategy, Stamats

In an era when we collect more data than ever before, it’s critical to share that data in highly visual and interpretable ways. While advanced visualization tools such as Tableau and Power BI are getting a lot attention, most of us rely on Excel to generate charts and graphs (and that’s OK!). This Comprehensive Session will help you use Excel and PowerPoint to create more accessible, intuitive, and powerful visual displays of data.

Session Note: Participants will be working with real-world data. Please bring a laptop (equipped with Excel version 2010 or later) to access sample files.

What you’ll learn:
• Chart-generation basics: how the human eye processes colors, shapes, and sizes
• Advanced chart construction methods including back-to-back bars and dumbbell dot plots
• How to display comparative data using a benchmark
• Techniques to visually communicate survey findings

Information in Motion: Using Data to Improve Understanding

• Katie Booth, Director of Admissions, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Accessing, organizing, and sharing important data is no small task. If you’ve put in the work, make sure your data tells a story in the most powerful way possible. Join us as we learn how to transcend departmental barriers and share information that’s meaningful and actionable by simplifying explanations and using story-based calculations.

What you’ll learn:
• How to communicate conversion rates, Google Analytics data, and marketing return on investment (ROI) more effectively
• Tools to translate complex data into visual and verbal terms
• Tips to avoid department-specific lingo (acronyms, abbreviations, key performance indicators (KPIs), etc.)

Bulls-eye: A Multi-Layered Approach to Target Marketing

• Davia Rose Lassiter, Director of Marketing, College of Continuing and Professional Education at Kennesaw State University

When it comes to reaching your target audiences, how accurate is your aim? This highly interactive workshop explores the prospective student journey step by step and examines how to identify and successfully target population segments. Attendees will also learn practical copywriting tips and get a crash course in branding guidelines to help lead prospects from the top of the funnel to the bulls-eye.

What you’ll learn:
• How messaging and the brand experience directly influence engagement, response, and conversion
• Crucial points in the adult student journey that require more focused and frequent communication
• Best practices for target marketing across channels

Muzel Chen

Information Is Insight: Boosting Your Google Analytics Skills

(additional $200.00/per session)

• Muzel Chen, Director of Digital Strategy, Stamats

Join us for a deep dive into the world of data—without the intimidation! Designed for all skill levels, this workshop examines how key site information can support your most crucial marketing and recruitment goals. Learn how data can drive smarter campaign strategies, shape more effective messaging, and produce superior results.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to accurately identify web visitors (traditional versus adult students)
  • Insights on adult student behavior and audience journeys
  • How to set up automated reports for your team
  • Methods to integrate Google Analytics with other valuable Google services
Randy Burge
Sabra Fiala

It’s All About the Yield

(additional $200.00/per session)

• Randy Burge, Vice President, Stamats

• Sabra Fiala, Associate Vice President, Stamats

Revealing the secrets to demand generation and funnel communications management. If you’re seeing less and less return from your investment in recruitment marketing, you’ll want to attend “It’s All About the Yield.” In this three-hour interactive workshop, you’ll learn how demand-generation marketing techniques are re-inventing funnel communications, and changing the way successful enrollment professionals are turning interest and awareness into engagement, brand preference, and enrollment.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Are You Ready for Demand Generation? A Self-Assessment of Your Current Approach to Funnel Communications
  • ERP/CRM/MA: The alphabet jungle and what it means to you
  • Playing nice: How to get marketing and enrollment management to work together for enrollment success.
  • Getting noticed: Using digital methods to improve your marketing return on investment (ROI)
  • The Map to Success: How communications sequence mapping can reveal the potholes in your current approach, and how to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
  • Content, content, content: How to use targeted content to deliver the right message to your prospects when and how they need it.
  • Closing the loop: How to turn your demand generation program into a perpetual improvement machine.

You’ll come away with practical tips you can use to improve your enrollment communications from day one, create a seamless enrollment marketing team (admissions and marketing), and dramatically improve yield.

Conference Schedule

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

2:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.
Pre-conference Registration

3:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m.
Pre-conference Workshops

Tue, Feb 12, 2019

8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Conference day one

Wed, Feb 13, 2019

8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Conference day two


Due to technical issues with online booking and the reservation call center, the most efficient way to make hotel reservations is by printing and completing this form. Simply email/fax it to the hotel contact listed on the instructions and your reservations will be confirmed via email.

All conference sessions will be hosted at the InterContinental San Diego, an exquisite, newly constructed property located on the waterfront in downtown San Diego. Stamats’ group rate is set at $239 per night.

Contact Tami Vande Weerd if you have any questions or difficulty booking your room.

San Diego International Airport (SAN)
Taxi travel: approximately 15 minutes; $20


Bring your team!

Teams of four or more from the same institution receive a discount per attendee.
This discount cannot be combined with other discounts.

Teams of four or more:


Per attendee, registered before 12/20/18

Regular registration:


Per attendee, registered after 12/20/18

Add a pre-conference workshop:


Per attendee

2019 Sponsors

Advisory Board

This purpose of this advisory board is to shape the sessions and topics that will be presented at the conference. These experienced higher education marketing professionals were selected from a strong candidate pool of applicants from institutions across the country. We congratulate the following individuals for their appointment and thank them for their service:

Pamela Allen


University of Redlands

Bill Gibbs

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Katie Booth

Mount Vernon Nazarene Univ

Davia Rose Lassiter

Kennesaw State Univ

Mark Ash

Kirkwood Community College

Have Questions?

Contact Tami Vande Weerd
Event Manager

Phone: 319-861-5167