Marketing the field of landscape Architecture: A plan for action
The concept of marketing higher education is not new. Since the beginning of higher education in the United States, it has been a common goal to market the institution and gain enrollment. Marketing is a constant effort; various trends, whether social, economic, or governmental, will continue to have an effect on higher education in the United States. Marketing is a crucial strategy in adapting to trends, in order to maintain a competitive edge when compared to other institutions. According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the profession of landscape architecture will grow 16 percent between 2010 and 2020. During this time frame, approximately 3,500 landscape architecture jobs will emerge (United States Department of Labor, 2013). It is the duty of landscape architecture degree programs to capitalize on this expansion and take part in an effort to market their programs in ways to help grow enrollment, advance the profession, and fill employment demands. Decreasing departmental enrollment rates and the lack of general knowledge of the profession of landscape architecture illustrated the need for the development of a marketing plan. In order to create a successful marketing strategy for the Department of Landscape Architecture at Texas Tech University (TTU), it was critical to understand external and internal perspectives of the profession and the department. Through surveying the defined target market, high school seniors, as well as current students and faculty of the program, valuable data was gathered to create a base for the marketing plan. External perspectives of elements included in the profession of landscape architecture as well as encompassed in the department’s curriculum, measured knowledge and interest in the field by the target market. Current students enrolled in TTU’s landscape architecture program defined program strengths and weaknesses as well as noted their reasons for attending TTU and how they heard about the profession of landscape architecture. Current faculty members stated department strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as well as goals for the department. When combining data provided from all survey target populations, common themes and categories formed the concept for a department marketing plan. The development and implementation of a marketing plan will assist the TTU Department of Landscape Architecture in promotion of the department and profession of landscape architecture, recruitment of prospective students, and illustrate the importance of the profession of landscape architecture. The data collected and marketing plan produced in this thesis study aims to be a significant benefit to the department; created to ensure the future success of the program.
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