School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Thomas Goddard


music, band, recruiting, retention, build, small college, recruit




Higher education institutions regularly cultivate recruitment and retention plans to attract potential students to their programs. Small college band programs are identified as institutions under a 5,000-student enrollment and often develop recruiting strategies that employ a smaller applicant pool. This qualitative study observes small college recruitment practices and justifies successful and non-successful techniques within small college band programs. The research within this project examined insights into college admissions practices, administration roles in student recruitment and retention, and the role of the music faculty in recruiting and retaining current students. Furthermore, this study evaluates the effects of college exposure, marketing, communication, and incentives on student decision-making. This document also evaluates and defines the importance of the professional relationships between the college program director and surrounding high school programs. In addition, this research assesses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it changed how small college band programs recruit and retain students. Discoveries of this study include enrollment data from multiple small school band programs in central Texas. The data collected emphasizes retention rates as well. This research also weighs the effects of geographic location on student enrollment. This qualitative study has reviewed multiple marketing and social media avenues directly related to student enrollment. While this research suggests that certain recruitment practices have a higher success rate, specialized recruitment strategies based on geographical location, economic support, and equipment availability generate differing success rates per location. Thus, this research assessed the best practices for general recruitment, specialized recruitment, general retention, and specialized retention. Keywords: recruitment; retention; student; influencer; opportunities; obligation

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