Collegia helps regions leverage their higher-education assets to the betterment of the community. As economic engines, these colleges and universities individually and collectively are taking on greater civic leadership roles, such as what Judith Rodin did at Penn. These institutions serve as anchors in both senses of the word … rooted to their locality in ways that businesses no longer are … and their presidents are becoming actively engaged in community issues like never before.
More specifically, Collegia develops and manages regional college-community partnerships that have several goals, the highest of which is to help that region “attract and retain more college-educated workers.” We use specific, tested methodologies built around what we’ve termed “The College Student Life Cycle.” The cycle sees the future professional as first – a prospect shopping for a college; second – an enrolled student test driving the region for 2-4 years, and third – a future professional who has the choice of staying or leaving the region when they graduate. Our decade+ of work in 8 major U.S. regions has proven that you can impact graduate retention and reduce brain drain.
In addition to addressing brain drain / workforce issues, our regional programs have several other positive impacts, including …
- Increased student spending and patronage of local events and performances
- Increased spending by visiting families from the campus visit through graduation
- Improved efforts to recruit higher-caliber faculty
- Enhanced local image as a place for young people to learn, work, live, and enjoy
- Increased area college enrollments by both domestic and international students
- Attraction of new businesses to the region
Some of the key roles that Collegia plays in these collaborations are …
- Identify the common ground connecting different stakeholder groups
(Higher Ed, Gov’t, Business, Civic, and Philanthropic)
- Survey enrolled college students to gauge their perspectives and identify specific points to be leveraged
- Provide an objective, neutral assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the region as a desirable college destination
- Leverage first-hand experiences working with other communities to insure a more productive outcome
- Create specific messaging and regional branding aimed at 17-24 year-olds
- Develop marketing materials (print, online, direct mail) targeted to 17-24 year-olds and their parents
- Develop short- and long-range action plans along with realistic funding models to guide implementation over a 2-4 year period.
Todd Hoffman, President & Founder, Collegia
The focus of Collegia is a natural fit for Todd. Marrying his studies in economics; affinity towards architecture & urban planning; and award-winning career in tourism marketing, Collegia's first college-centric initiative was Campus Visit ® / Boston. This regional collaboration uniting tourism and higher education is now in its 15th year and continues to deliver positive dividends for its 19 college partners, 15 hotel partners, and Greater Boston as a whole. This unique "win-win" partnership now serves as a template for other Collegia collaborations in place throughout the U.S. where workforce development and graduate retention are the top priorities. Having introduced the notion of the "college student life cycle", which views the eventual young professional as transitioning through three distinct phases (prospect, student, graduate) requiring three distinct tactical approaches, Todd is often called upon to speak on topics ranging from Brain Gain to Courting the College Visitor. Whether the goal is "rolling out the red carpet" for campus visitors, elevating a region's profile as a college hub, increasing tourism revenues, improving student enrollment, or encouraging grads to stay put, Todd . . . and his Collegia colleagues . . . infuse a unique blend of process, passion, experience and creativity into every project they undertake.