Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Central Arizona Finds Clever Solution for Mascot Scheduling Challenge

For over 40 years, the Vaquero has been CAC’s official mascot. In the early days of the institution, select students would sometimes dress in western attire and assume the mascot role for school events. Over the years, it became clear that a costumed character was desired by all, so school officials set to work on designing their collegiate cowboy.

Students, staff, and faculty districtwide were asked to participate in the voting process to decide the look of the Vaquero, from his hat to his chaps. The votes were tallied; the costume was designed; and “Vaquero Pete” finally made his debut during the 2018-2019 academic year.

With a new celebrity in town and five campuses for him to represent, CAC administrators needed a way to manage the many requests for Pete’s time.

“When we launched Vaquero Pete, we knew that we would need some type of a scheduling program or software,” says Angela Askey, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing. “There needed to be a way for our campuses, programs, and departments to go in and request the Vaquero for any specific events or activities they may be hosting. We also needed the ability to block off days and times if the mascot was already assigned to an event, if our student employees weren’t available to wear the Vaquero costume, or if we were on holiday break. On top of that, we needed a way for everyone to view when and where the mascot would be making his appearances.”

David Kohl, Web Developer for CAC’s Public Relations and Marketing Team, has been using 25Live for more than three years to manage the institution’s board meetings and academic calendars. When the request for a new, public-facing calendar came up, Kohl was quick to suggest 25Live for the job.

“I’m very familiar with 25Live and its capabilities, so I knew what it could do and that it had all the features we needed for this project,” says Kohl. “Angela needed to enter events with a time, location, and description, and, with 25Live, we already had the tools to do that and more.”

Using 25Live’s Publisher tool, Kohl was able to quickly and easily publish the new mascot calendar to the school’s website. Once the new calendar was in place, the mascot requests came pouring in. Pete is now available to all CAC campuses, and anyone within the institution is able to view his schedule online. Event organizers can plan their activities around when the mascot is available, and fans who want their picture taken with Pete can easily track where the mascot will be appearing next.

The flexible options available within 25Live have allowed the CAC marketing team to denote which student employee is responsible for each appearance, and the ability to create recurring events with a single entry has saved the group time and energy. Those events can then be published to Pete’s online calendar with ease using the 25Live Publisher tool. With an innovative use of the 25Live system, administrators were able to turn a daunting challenge into a straightforward process for all involved.

“To try to coordinate the appearances for multiple campuses and for multiple events, it was critical that we have a tool to help us organize Pete’s schedule,” says Askey. “25Live and the 25Live Publisher tool have been able to fill that need for us, and everything has been working very smoothly.”

Photo Credit: CAC Marketing Staff

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wichita State University is Named a 2019 Social Mobility Innovator

Located in south-central Kansas, Wichita State was selected as a CollegeNET Social Mobility Innovator for 2019 because of its multi-year and institution-wide commitment to recruiting and retaining students from under-served and under-represented populations. Over the past five years, Wichita State has consistently ranked among the top 3-6 percent of all schools on the Social Mobility Index (SMI). 
“Beyond our recruitment efforts locally, we’re intensifying our outreach in an effort to attract an even more diverse group of students to Wichita State,” says Richard Muma, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at the school. “But encouraging out-of-state enrollment will also enhance the future prosperity of Kansas by bringing talented young people to our campus who will, hopefully, stay in Wichita after graduation and work in our local economy.”

CollegeNET acknowledges schools -- such as Wichita State -- that are fostering social mobility through innovative programs. CollegeNET presents the annual Social Mobility Innovator Awards to student success leaders from U.S. colleges and universities at the Social Mobility Summit -- an annual forum on economic inclusion and best practices for student success held in Portland, Oregon each summer. CollegeNET recently published an e-book that offers best practices from student success professionals who are pioneering innovative programs that support under-served and under-represented students’ academic, personal and financial needs.

For more information about the SMI and to see the 2018 SMI rankings, visit

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Are Named 2019 Social Mobility Innovators

CollegeNET has named 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Social Mobility Innovators for 2019.

The Social Mobility Index (SMI) ranks nearly 1,400 four-year U.S. colleges and universities according to how successfully they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising careers. The goal of the SMI -- now in its fifth year -- is to help redirect the attribution of "prestige" in the higher education system toward colleges and universities that are advancing economic mobility, the most pressing civic issue of our time.
The 12 HBCUs named Social Mobility Innovators for 2019 all rank among the top 10 percent of schools on the SMI. The schools are:

“Most higher education rankings evaluate colleges and universities as if comparing brands for consumer purchase,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. “The SMI, on the other hand, helps policymakers, students and their families see which colleges and universities are doing the most to drive U.S. economic mobility. We hope the SMI encourages more institutions to embrace and expand their role as conduits for restoring the promise of the American Dream. The first step in doing this is to identify and learn from colleges and universities like these 12 HBCUs.”
For more information about the Social Mobility Index, go to