What Is Marketing?

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Maggie: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online bachelor of science and marketing information session. Today’s presentation will be discussing what is marketing, and what can it do for you. My name’s Maggie. I will be the moderator for today’s webcast. I’m just going to start off with a few logistics items first. As you can see on the screen, our webcast is in broadcast-only mode, so please ensure your computer speakers are not muted. If you are experiencing any technical difficulties, please click the help icon on the bottom toolbar to troubleshoot any issues that you may be having. If you have questions throughout the presentation, please do not hesitate to communicate with us through the Q&A box at the left side of your screen. We’ll be answering questions at the end of the presentation.

We will also be sending a link to the recording of this session after the webcast, so please look out for that later this afternoon. As you can see by today’s agenda, we’ll be discussing what marketing is, what it can do for you, along with curriculum details and [inaudible 00:01:17] requirements. Most importantly, our online marketing program director will be discussing marketing strategy and career opportunities. As previously mentioned, we’ll be answering those questions that you may have at the end of the position, so please use the Q&A box at the left side of your screen throughout the webinar to submit your questions. Now, at this time I’d like to introduce our two panelists. We have Dr. John Hansen, who is UAB’s online marketing program director, and Donna Gordon, who is one of our online undergraduate enrollment advisors.

Now, at this time I will turn it over to Dr. Hansen to go ahead and kick off the presentation.

John Hansen: Well, good. Thank you, Maggie. As Maggie was saying, my name is John Hansen. I am an associate professor in the department of marketing, industrial distribution and economics here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Just a little bit of background about me, guys, before I begin: I’ve been at UAB since 2010. As I mentioned previous, I’m an associate professor. As Maggie mentioned, I am the online marketing program director, so I work closely with our online courses, and I’m excited about this opportunity today. I am going to be speaking to you, and you see it on the slide here, about briefly marketing in general when I say the field, and in so doing, I’m going to talk about what marketing encompasses, I promise not to bore you to death.

Jumping down to the bottom of that slide, I’m going to talk about as well our curriculum, what classes we offer in support of the marketing program of study, and then I think most importantly, and perhaps what you will be most interested in, I’m going to talk about opportunities that exist in the field, and in so doing, I’m going to talk about where marketing graduated typically work.

So, marketing from a defitional perspective, and you see it here, again, not to bore you, is the performance of activities that accomplish objectives by anticipating customer or client needs and directing a flow of need-satisfying goods and services from producer to a customer or client. I think most of you probably know that marketing is that function within the department, within the organization, that is external-looking, and by that, I mean marketing is indeed focused on the firm’s customers. You see the word “anticipating” on that slide, and I think that word is appropriate, because one of the jobs of marketers is indeed to anticipate where the market they operate in is going, what their customers not only want today, but what they’re going to want in the future.

Marketing goes beyond just the customer as well. Marketing is that function that has to understand a complete environment, so not only do you have to understand your customers, you have to understand your competition, you have to understand the economy, you have to understand potential legislation, regulation, anything like that. That’s where marketing comes into play. Now, what we typically think of as it relates to marketing is indeed anticipating customer or client need. Within that third piece you see there, the bottom box, marketing also, from a functional perspective, is responsible for directing the flow of need-satisfying goods and services, so in a lot of ways, when I talk to students in class, I say, “There’s two primary functions to marketing. Marketers both anticipate demand, and then they fulfill it.”

In far too many organizations, we see a divide between the anticipating-demand piece and what I’ll call the sales piece, and then that fulfillment piece, which is oftentimes operations and logistics, and that’s a huge area of focus in business today. So, marketing obviously plays a very important role. Marketing can’t go it alone. Marketing has to work well with the other functions of the firm. I’ve just mentioned too, the marketing has to work with logistics and operations and finance and accounting, you name it, all of the other functions, in order for the organization to succeed.

We typically think of marketing across what we label the four Ps. I apologize this slide’s a little small to see. Those four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion, but what you see there in the center of that slide is what is most important, and that is your target market. I think most of you understand the fact that organizations by and large come to understand that they can not be everything for everyone. It’s impossible, and as such they have to fixate on a particular segment of the market, and they have to position their offering in the minds of those consumers, and in so doing, they are targeting this market.

We then have this marketing mix that comes through the four Ps, and everything you do from a marketing perspective has to be consistent. That is, what you do from a product perspective, from a price perspective, from a place perspective, and from a promotional perspective has to be consistent and has to resonate with that target market. For example, when we go through our basic marketing class, which is one of our core classes, we consistently come back to these four Ps. Time and again, we’re coming back to these four Ps, and as I’m going to speak to in just one second, from a strategy perspective, we’re constantly asking yourself the question, “Does this make sense, and do our decisions make sense in light of who our target market is and what they want?”

Now, there’s several other elements to that. Can we do this well with the firm? Do we have the resources necessary to go after that market? Does it make sense for us to go after this market given the environment we would operate in? Questions such as that, and that’s where marketing comes into play. The other thing I’ll say is this: I think a lot of students, when they initially see this they think of a tangible product, but we spend a lot of time in marketing, especially nowadays, talking about intangible services. Obviously, a tangible product is something when you go into a store, you can pick up and touch, and hold, and feel, and such. Intangible services, however, are those things that you can’t do that to, maybe it’s a lawn care service, maybe it’s a haircut, and these intangible services are a major part of our economy as well.

Just so you know, from an informational perspective, when we talk of services, we typically expand to seven Ps, adding on people, who are crucial, absolutely crucial; the physical environment in which the service is performed, and then also the processes that are employed for customers. So, what I’d like to do now is just briefly walk you through these four Ps and talk about what courses we offer in each. I’m actually going to start with a brief discussion on marketing strategy, but what courses we offer in each, and then importantly, I’m going to talk to you about jobs that are typically realized by our marketing graduates even across these four Ps. I did mention as well the marketing strategy Ps, and that goes back to the fact that everything you do from a marketing perspective should be consistent across the four Ps, but even moreover should make sense in light of who your target market is.

So, we touch on marketing strategy across numerous courses. Specifically, we first introduce it to you in our basic marketing course, MK 303, but we also get into it in marketing research. We have a capstone course, Marketing Strategy, which is kind of the backend course, the last course you take, where you really pull everything together you have learned, and really, you almost learn in a different way. So taking a step back, in Basic Marketing, you’re learning the principles underlying the marketing, kind of what I’m talking about today. When you take Marketing Strategy, MK 450, you’re applying that, so you have a lot case studies and discussions and things of that sort. I also make note of the fact that we teach an international marketing class. I think most of you are aware of the fact that the market is becoming increasingly international. This is an area of incredibly hot debate today with the tariffs that are being imposed by President Trump. A lot is going on in this area, and that’s one of our more popular classes.

All right, so let’s talk opportunities, and I think this is what’s interesting. Now, opportunities on this slide are a little different. These are far-reaching, long-term opportunities, but a couple of things we see, and when we talk of marketing, and we talk of upper levels of an organization, we oftentimes talk of the C-Suite. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that before, but the C-Suite is where all of your high-level executives are. Your CEO, your chief marketing officer, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief sales officer, whatever it may be, and what we’ve seen, I would even say today more so than what we saw 10, 20, 30 years ago, is that more and more folks are elevating to those high-level positions who have a marketing background, even running the organization.

That’s been a slight change. I think you used to see folks with strong finance background, and make no mistake, in a publicly-traded firm, you have to understand the financial piece, particularly if you’re traded on Wall Street, but there’s an understanding out there, if you’re going to be successful in business, and if you’re ever going to run a business at the CEO level, you have to have an incredibly strong understanding of the market or markets you operate in. That’s why we’re seeing more folks elevate to those levels.

You also see through the brands on the far right-hand side some companies that excel in these areas, and really, just the first two are companies that are typically thought of as strong marketing companies. I mean, Nike is a marketing company. Nike outsources much of their actual production of apparel and shoes. They are a marketing company. Procter & Gamble, with their family of products, a marketing company. Then I put on one here you’re probably not as familiar with, but a company such as Carlson Marketing based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, an incredibly strong and powerful marketing research firm. What you’ll find is there are all kinds of companies out there that need assistance in terms of better understanding the markets they operate in, and the customers they are trying to serve, and these companies can certainly assist them with that.

Now we’ll transition into those four Ps, and we’ll start with product. We deal with product in our basic marketing class. We have a couple of chapters dedicated to product there. Certainly, in marketing research, there’s a heavy focus on marketing, because much of the research that is done from a marketing perspective is done so with the idea that we need to understand what our customers want in terms of products, whether they be tangible goods or intangible services, and then even in marketing strategy, you come back, and there’s a heavy product element in that class as well. Numerous opportunities for students in the product area. You can work in new product development, and you see there on the far right, companies like 3M are really well-known for what they do from a new product development perspective. Companies such as Apple as well. In fact, you’ll hear some people say Apple’s real core competence, and what they do better than anyone else, is manage their new product development process.

I think more reasonably, and what you see in terms of jobs, you can become a brand manager, where you actually manage, and I also make note of a portfolio manager, where you have a group of brands, or a particular brand, you focus on within the company, and your job is to make sure that that brand message is being portrayed correctly such that your customers understand your brand in relation to competitive brands out there. Everything you do is done from a brand perspective, and I will tell you, in marketing, brand is king because you are what your customers think you are. At UAB, we may not agree with perceptions that are out there, but perception is reality, and so you have to understand how customers perceive your brand. So, if you have an interest in product, and are drawn to product, this is one area marketing could be a field of interest to you.

Price. Obviously, if you’re going to sell a product, you have to set a price. You have to have a really strong understanding of where the market is, and more so what the market will bear. We use a term in marketing, or really, that’s not a marketing term, I’m sorry. It’s a economics term. We talk a lot about price elasticity. How much of a shift do we anticipate in terms of sales based on pricing changes we make? I’ll be honest with you guys, I didn’t know this when I graduated with a marketing degree years ago, and I went into industry. I did not realize at the time, and I took a job in marketing eventually, and I would go, or I would come forth, with all kind of promotional ideas and price cuts and such, and every time I did, our finance group would call me in and would say, “We need to know what the corresponding bump in sales is going to be based on this price decrease, because ultimately, this has to make sense.”

We talk about price, once again, in the basic marketing course. You talk about it as well in marketing strategy. Price, as I was mentioning just a bit ago, and it’s interesting that economics is housed with us within our department, really, price is something that they dealt with continuously in the economics department, but there are opportunities out there, and those opportunities are for pricing analyst. I had a retailer, who’s regional to where we are located here in Birmingham, contact me just a few months ago. He’s the CEO of the company, and he said, “John, we really need someone to help us with our pricing piece. We just don’t feel strong. We don’t feel as though we have a good understanding of how our sales will and should move based on pricing changes we’re making in the market.” We were able to offer up some folks who, actually, we offered up some marketing students and some econ students for that role.

The other thing I’ll say is you have to have a really firm understanding of customer value, and price obviously plays into the customer value piece. Value is nothing more than what you get versus what you give up. I show the Black & Decker piece, I used to work for Black & Decker in industry, and price is somewhat at times counterintuitive. We launched a sub-brand when I was with Black & Decker, some of you may be familiar with the DeWalt brand, and we changed everything about the brand, the product, the way we promoted. The other thing we did, we changed price, and interestingly enough, we took price up. We took price up because we knew those four Ps had to be consistent with one another, and interestingly enough, as we took price up, sales went up, because the perception from the consumer’s point of view changed, and they viewed that DeWalt line as a much higher-grade product, which was very important to them.

The next piece I’ll talk about is place. Place is a huge facet in the marketing mix, and here we start getting into that demand fulfillment piece I was talking about earlier. We talk about place in our basic marketing course and our marketing strategy course. We also offer a retailing course. Opportunities related to place, you can be a channel manager, I held this role when I was in industry. Basically, as a channel manager, I worked in marketing, and my job was to ensure that for a particular customer, all of our efforts around one of our brands were consistent, and we were pushing that brand as it needed to be pushed. I worked with the Sears account, and on my end, I was focused on those DeWalt products, so I had to make sure everything was consistent from that way.

The other really big area as it relates to place right now is supply-chain management. You see there SCM and logistics management, and they’re closely related. They’re operational in nature. Logistics, as I like to tell students, deals with the planes’, trains’, and automobiles’ physical movement and storage of products from producer to consumer. Supply-chain management encompasses even more than that, as it takes into account relationships and collaboration and information sharing and technology and things of that sort, which really allow supply chains to compete against supply chains. One of the things you hear in business today is that it’s no longer company versus company, because you are only as good as those other companies that operate within your supply chain. If there is a weak link, despite your best efforts as a company, you will succumb to that.

And I’ll say this to that final corner [inaudible 00:19:01] opportunities, there are tremendous retail opportunities out there. Now, I know, and I may get questions about this, there are some students who will say to me, “Dr. Hansen, I really didn’t come back and get a degree to go into retail. The hours are long, there’s some weekends, things of that sort,” but guys, I’m telling you, tremendous opportunities, and I use the term leadership intentionally. If you graduate with a degree from UAB, for example, they’re not hiring you just to work on the floor. They’re not hiring you just to move products. They’re hiring you to ultimately lead stores, lead districts, lead regions, and elevate to the higher levels of that retail organization. We have students who have gone off to work for Target, and Lowe’s, and Home Depot, and they’ve done exceedingly well, so there’s some opportunities there.

The last piece, and this is a monstrous piece where we have significant opportunities is promotion. From a promotional perspective we will use the term, and you see, I think it’s like my third or fourth bullet point down, ICM, which is shorthand for integrated marketing communications, which simply suggest that all of the communicative efforts of the firm should be integrated and consistent across all platforms, whether it be advertising, social media, you name it, and resonate with the customer. This is a hot area. This is an area our students love. We offer a social media certificate or concentration area. I think we actually call it web marketing or something to that effect right now, but that’s basically what it is. I can’t tell you how many companies we have calling us up saying, “We need people who understand social media, and we need people to help us with it, because we don’t know what we’re doing.”

And I’ll be honest with you guys. I’m 46. If I were to work for a company today, I may hold in title a good job, but when it came to social media, I’d be lost. They’re turning to younger, more recent graduates who have some understanding of social media perhaps through a program such as this one and can help the organization because of that. The other big, huge area that I’m closely involved with is sales, and you see there the first two bullets under the promotion mix, actually the first three, professional selling, sales management, and advanced selling. We offer all of those courses. Sales is interesting, guys. It elicits a range of responses from students. I’ve had students tell me, again, “Dr. Hansen, I really didn’t come back for a degree to go into sales.”

A large percentage of marketing graduates start in sales. It’s the entry point into the organization, and one of the primary reasons it is so is because it’s the job where you come to understand the customer. I don’t care how many training courses you sit through, if you want to really learn your customer, go out and sell. Sell to your customers every day. You’ll learn everything about them. What makes them tick, what motivates them, what irritates them. You name it. My career path was extremely common. I started in sales, I was promoted to sales management. Then, and only then, did I go into marketing. That’s how our company worked, and that is very common. We offer a professional sales certificate where you take these three courses and an elective of your choice, and our placement rate for those students is ridiculously high. Exceedingly. I mean, we’re talking 95% are getting the jobs they want, and that’s because hiring company know these students have a leg up when it comes to sales, and these students have come through a program which has pushed them as it relates to their interpersonal communication skills, which is important.

See there as well we offer a sport entertainment course, and some of the opportunities I’ve already talked about, sales, social media, advertising, if you are interested in advertising, you could go that route. Now, most marketing graduates who go into advertising do so not from a creative perspective, but rather from an account management perspective. You see some companies here, Starbucks has a strong social media platform, General Electric is a company that is known for having a really strong formalized sales force, and that third brand you see at the bottom, that’s actually Lucky, which is an advertising firm here based out of Birmingham where some of our students get placed. Whatever you may be, there’s going to be … If you’re in a large city, there’s probably one or two, or three, large advertising firms. Even in smaller cities, you typically see these boutique firms who work with local businesses.

So, pulling all of this together, here you see, and I’ll close with this slide on my end before turning it over. You see the courses that we offer listed out, both in terms of the upper level core, okay, and within that we see marketing 303, basic marketing; we see our international marketing course, and then we have our marketing core. Retail marketing, professional selling, marketing research, integrated marketing communications. We didn’t talk a lot about Entrepreneurship and Marketing Planning, a great course taught by Professor [Aires 00:24:31], where you really do learn the planning process behind marketing. I didn’t get into that much today. Also, any of you that may be interested in entrepreneurship, I would argue it’s virtually impossible to be a successful entrepreneur if you don’t have a really strong understanding of your market and your customers, hence you need to have a marketing orientation.

We also have the distribution management course within the marketing core, DB 320, and that is there in large part because it helps us capture what I was speaking of earlier, logistics, the place component, and it ties in nicely to our industrial distribution program. Lastly, you see from a capstone perspective, and I mentioned this earlier, our marketing 450 course, Strategic Marketing, where it all comes together. So, with that, I’m going to turn it over to Donna, who will close, and then, at the end of this, I’ll be glad to take any questions.

Donna Gordon: Well, thank you for that overview, John. My name is Donna Gordon, and I am a enrollment advisor here for the undergrad degree program for the Collat School of Business. Just so I’m going to touch some points here to let you know that we do have three entry points, which is our fall term or spring term, and also our summer term. With our bachelor’s degree program, we are on a semester base, and some of the courses are between 7 weeks, 10 weeks, or even 14-weeks courses, but just to let you know, between the the 7-week courses, there is always a week break in between each session. The courses that students normally would be registered for is a mixture between the general-ed courses, and also the core courses at the same time, pretty much.

Our application deadline is approaching, which will be around July 25th, and our complete application deadline is around August 1st. We are now also offering a thousand-dollar scholarship if you apply before the fall deadline application, which is around July 25th. With our admission requirements, you can see that for freshmen, a minimum of a GPA of 2.25 to a 4.0 GPA, and minimum of ACT score of 20, with SAT of 950, and an official high school transcript. That will be the requirements for our freshmen. For our nontraditional freshmen, we look for obviously a high school graduate, and also their GPA need to be a 2.75 as well, and transfer credits of 2.0 and higher. For a transfer student, 24 credits, and also a 2.0 GPA, which is need to be also into good standing. Those are [inaudible 00:27:43] the requirement that we would need for admission. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Maggie: Awesome. Thank you, Donna. We will now open it up to questions, so everyone, please go ahead and use that Q&A box on your screen. We will start by asking the questions that we’ve received so far. As we’re going through these, we’ll answer as many as we can today, but if we don’t get to your question, we will definitely have an enrollment advisor follow up with you.

Okay, so the first question here, I will go ahead and direct this over Donna’s. It’s regarding the tuition rate. What exactly is the tuition rate for the marketing program?

Donna Gordon: That’s a good question. For our tuition rate, for our general-ed courses, it is at 4.33 per credit hours, and earning three credit hours, and with our business core classes, it’s at 6.67 per credit hours, again earning up to three credit hours.

Maggie: Okay, thank you.

Donna Gordon: Sure.

Maggie: This next question I will actually direct over to you, Dr. Hansen. Do this program offer any type of networking opportunities, so I guess, keep in mind anything that is for those who may be local to Birmingham, or those again that are across the country that are taking the 100% program.

John Hansen: Sure, that’s a good question, because I know that one of the things students are most interested in is the outcomes and the jobs, and networking plays a key role in that. Obviously, when we’re on campus, we do things, and I’m going to transition to the online setting in just one second. We do a lot of things with industry. Now, when I say industry, that’s all these events we have, and all these class presentations we have, where folks from industry are coming in, and that’s before you even get to activities being put on by our career services department.

We make an effort to transition as much of that as we can into the online environment. Now, that’s not without challenge, but for example, I know we have professors who have worked with folks from industry who have recorded presentations, for example, and done things of that sort such that you get the industry influence in the class. Now, from a networking perspective, I’ll just talk about what I experience, and I think it’s fairly common. I have a lot of companies who come to me and say, “Dr. Hansen, this is what we need,” because companies work in varying ways with the university. They go through career services, but they also have relationships with professors. Now, I’m tied to our sales program, so I have a lot of companies that will contact me directly and say, “Hey, John, this is who we’re looking for,” and they like coming to me, and they like coming to professors, because we really have a good understanding of fit. We get to know you guys.

Now, it’s a little more challenging in the online environment, but we make every effort to really figure out who you are, what you want to do, and I think most importantly what you would excel in. Therefore, when we get these requests, we can say, “I got a candidate for you. I know who you should talk to,” and what I’ll typically do is I’ll go directly to those students and say, “This is what’s going on. This is our opportunity here, and I think you’d fit well to it, and such.” Now, the good thing is, and again, guys, I’m speaking a little more specifically to sales, but we place so many students in sales jobs post-graduation. We have a lot of companies that aren’t necessarily looking for Birmingham hires. We place students all over the place, and so, let’s hypothetically say you’re in Chicago, or you’re whatever. That can actually be a good thing. They’re looking to fill those positions, so I think from a networking perspective, as much as anything, at UAB, at least, the professor is kind of this center point who brings together industry folks and students, and we’re constantly trying to do that.

The one thing I would encourage you to do, and it’s perhaps a little more challenging in the online environment, get to know your professors. Especially on the online environment. Talk to them, call them up, do whatever you need to do, especially if you are intent on a field in a specific area where a professor has a level of expertise and has those contacts. Get to know them, and the networking kind of evolves from that. A professor can really help you with that. So, yeah, that occurs on a fairly regular basis, and then obviously we have career services as well within the school of business.

Maggie: Awesome. Thank you so much, Dr. Hansen. This next question I’m going to direct over to Donna. Someone was asking about the online environment. Are there fixed class times that they would need to dial into?

Donna Gordon: Okay. That’s a great, great question. Because UAB is one hundred percent online, all of our courses are asynchronous, and what that mean is that there’s not a specific day or time that you need to log into Canvas, which is our learning management system that we use. Our typical UAB students log in maybe three times a week, but if you’re the type of student wants to log in every day, you are more than welcome to do so, but no, there is not a specific day or time to log in because it is asynchronous type of setting.

I also want to do a follow-up about the application deadline. To confirm, the start of the fall classes will start the week of August 27th. All application deadline is going to be around July 25th, and that’s the timeframe you need to submit your application if you want to be qualified for the thousand-dollar scholarship, pretty much. The August 1st deadline is when a student must submit all of their official college transcript. Again, transcript must be official to be sent directly to our undergrad department for any type of evaluation. Thank you.

Maggie: Thank you, Don. I’m actually going to expand on that question too and hand it over to you, Dr. Hansen. Could you elaborate a little bit just with examples on courses that you teach, what your homework assignments are like or how the test and quizzes are assigned, how that works?

John Hansen: Yeah, and I’ll start with tests and quizzes. We have completion windows, and that is a period of time that is set up for you to come in at your choice of time to complete either the quiz or the exam. For example, I may have a midterm set, and I may have a, I don’t know, a two or three-day window on that midterm. I may say, “Look, between Monday October the 21st and Wednesday October the 23rd, for that 72-hour span, your midterm will be open for completion. You can take it at any time you want. You can take it at 2 a.m. in the morning if you choose, but you got to get in and take it during that time,” and I think that gives students some flexibility as to when they’re actually going to take the exam. When you take exams through our learning system, you see your grade automatically. It happens quickly, so I think that’s fairly user-friendly.

Now, we do have a assignments, and assignments are either individual or team-based in nature depending on what they may be. For some assignments, now, what I’ll do is I will have a completion deadline on an assignment, and it may be, in fact, in the class I’m teaching right now, this Friday, midnight, is a completion deadline. They can submit whenever they want, so long as they submit by Friday, midnight. I have learning materials associated with the differing modules I teach, and you can go on and view those learning materials whenever you want. Again, if you’re a night owl and you want to do everything at 2 a.m., you can do it at 2 a.m. so long as I receive that assignment by Friday midnight, we would be fine.

The only thing to keep in mind is there is some team-based work, which does require some coordination and planning. I haven’t found it to be too great an issue, because let’s say for a module, I might set it up towards a two-week module, and so, basically if you have like two other students on a little team you’re working on to complete an assignment, you would need to find a time where you guys could get together and talk via phone or do something, probably get together somehow, within that two-week time period. Now, I use in my class, and I don’t want to get too technical, we use a service called GoToMeeting, and it’s provided to all students who are enrolled in the course and students at UAB. They have access free of charge to GoToMeeting, and so you can conduct a virtual meeting if you choose to do that.

But again, and I’m very consistent with other professors like this, we just have dates set to a syllabus where things are due, and you have a lot of latitude in terms of when you can come in and submit that assignment, and then we, obviously, we turn it around and grade it for you and give you feedback.

Maggie: Dr. Hansen, thank you. I do want to clarify too with the program being one hundred percent online, and Donna, you can also clarify this. You do not have to come to campus at all for any reason. Go ahead.

Donna Gordon: Yes. Again, because the course is one hundred percent online, normally, student do not need to attend the campus for any reason whatsoever.

Maggie: Yeah. You do have the option to if you would like to, to come to campus, if you are a local to the area and if you wanted to come and check it out.

Donna Gordon: Yes, you can. Yes, you can, but again, to confirm, as a online student, everything is done for and with a student a hundred percent online.

Maggie: Awesome. Thank you. [crosstalk 00:38:44]-

John Hansen: I’ll just add to that, I’ll teach an online class, I’ll have a students who may be in Birmingham, I’ll have students from Texas, all over the place, and it matters not. We know, there’s a designation as a teacher, so we know it’s a distance class, that there’s no meetings. There’s no physical meetings, and there’s no requirement if you come to campus, so the professor knows this in advance.

Maggie: Perfect. Perfect. A question has just come in, I know this is just what we were talking about, about how would you take a test for the online students. Could you talk a little bit about if there was any proctored exams, or things along those lines?

John Hansen: Yeah. Honestly, it varies by professor. The way it works, if you sign up for a UAB class, you have two proctored exams paid for, and we do use a proctoring service. It’s called ProctorU, some of you may be familiar with it, and the basic idea there, it’s a little bit of Big Brother, but they watch you take the test. You can probably understand as a student why we need that. Now, some professors may use an open-note test, and so there’s really no need for proctoring, so it just depends, but in some instances, they are proctored, and others, they are not. The test-taking mechanism itself is very simple. You literally just log on to a webpage and you start, and you’re presented questions, and you answer, and you go that way. You’ll have a time limit set, and it’s to be quite honest with you, it’s very similar to what we do in class.

I think the testing environment may be better online. But yeah, there will be some situations where proctoring is required by the professor. In some others, it won’t be.

Maggie: Perfect, thank you. Another question came in about contacting professors. In your experience, Dr. Hansen, what exactly would you say would be the turnaround time when it comes to students reaching out to the professors who have questions or anything along those lines?

John Hansen: Well, it should be quick. Now, most of us will state in a syllabus that we will be back in no more than 24 hours, and [inaudible 00:41:27], there are times we go to conferences, and we do other things, but if you’re taking an online class, at a minimum, or at most, it’s a 24-hour turnaround. Most professors, myself included, I turn it around a lot quicker than that. If I get a question, as soon as I get it, I’m turning it around, so I would like to think I am almost instantaneous, or if not, within an hour or two, I’m getting back.

The other thing I do as a professor, and I would encourage you to follow up with your professors to kind of feel their lead on this, if I sense a student is not understanding an assignment, just not getting it or something’s lost in translation, I will say, “Let’s talk over the phone.” As opposed to a three-page email, I say, “Let’s just talk. I want to make sure you get this and you understand what I’m looking for, as opposed to completing the assignment incorrectly.”

But, yeah, it should be a quick turnaround from the professor.

Maggie: Perfect. Thank you. This next question, I’m going to pass it over to Donna. Someone said that they’ve never done an online program before, so what are the resources available to help someone new to this platform?

Donna Gordon: Okay, great. Some of the resources that we have for our online students, even though they have the same benefits as a campus student, meaning that we have a 24/7 help desk, we do have an online library, there’s tutoring services system for those who need it, we also have with our student service advisor, our online students will be working with their advisor one-on-one, and what the student service advisor normally do is just creating their courses from the start to end, if they need to add classes or drop classes, they will have their advisor to work with throughout that process.

As with their enrollment advisor [inaudible 00:43:39] basically partner with those students, and we work with them one-on-one just to make sure the process of enrollment goes through smoothly without any problem or concern. So, if the students feel comfortable or want to reach out to us, they can call us, schedule a follow-up call or by email, so we are basically there to assist them throughout the whole process without any problems.

Maggie: Great, thank you. At this time, I’m just going to pause for a couple of minutes and [inaudible 00:44:09] see if there are any other new questions there. Again, just use that chat box on your screen, and we will continue to answer your questions as long as new ones are coming through.

A question that was [inaudible 00:44:55] in regards to transcripts, how exactly do you go about the process of ordering your transcript and have it [inaudible 00:45:01]?

Donna Gordon: Okay, sure. For our students who are submitting transcript, regardless if it’s high school transcript or a college transcript, again, every transcript must be official and coming directly from the institution to UAB. There’s two ways that a student can have their transcript sent. They could have it by snail mail, or they can have it emailed directly to UAB undergrad. It depends on what method their institution rather use, but because the deadline is approaching on the 27th for the application and for the complete deadline [inaudible 00:45:40] which is on August 1st, complete deadline meaning that all official transcript need to be submitted, I think if they will go through the email method to submit their transcript, that would be a faster way to do it, but if their institution doesn’t offer the email, then they obviously can have their transcript mailed directly to our [inaudible 00:46:01] undergrad.

Maggie: Where exactly could they find the email, or … Could they reach out to you, and you could provide them with-

Donna Gordon: Sure. Normally when they have programming overview with their enrollment advisor, we normally would email. The next best step is to [inaudible 00:46:21], and also, in the body of the email it has the mailing address as well as the email address to where the unofficial … not unofficial, the official transcript need to be sent directly to. Nope, we don’t use unofficial. We use all official transcripts.

Maggie: Great. Thank you, Donna.

Donna Gordon: Sure.

Maggie: Okay, I’ll hold again for a couple of minutes, just to see if there’s any last-minute questions that come through. Okay, there’s a question I’m going to go ahead and pass to Donna. Could you please clarify the differences between the freshman, the non-traditional freshmen, and the transfer student again?

Donna Gordon: Sure. For a freshman student, for the admission requirements, again, for a freshman who, this is their first time applying for college, they haven’t graduated from high school less than four years, the requirements is that their high school GPA must be a 2.25 or higher, they must have an ACT score of 20 or higher, and SAT of 950 or higher. The official high school transcript, again, can be mailed or email directly to our undergrad department. So, again, for our freshmen: high school GPA 2.25 or higher, ACT score 290, SAT is 950.

Donna Gordon: For a non-traditional freshman, that’s someone that graduated more than four years, the GPA for high school must be 2.75 or higher, and also if they have some college credits, that GPA must be 2.0 or higher.

Donna Gordon: For a transfer student, again, they only would need to submit all official college transcript, and in good standing as well. The GPA again must be 2.0 or higher to be consider for admission.

Maggie: Okay, great. Thank you. Let’s see. We have about 10 minutes left, so I’m going to just hold again for a couple of minutes, see if there’s any other questions that come through. Otherwise, we can go ahead and conclude, but I’ll wait a couple minutes.

Okay, I’m not seeing any other questions come through, so I’m going to go ahead and conclude the webinar for today. I wanted to thank everyone again for joining us. Thank you, Dr. Hansen, thank you, Donna, for sharing insight into our marketing program and answering all these wonderful questions for us. Just a reminder again about the app deadline being on July 25th, especially if you want to be eligible for the thousand-dollar scholarship, and that classes do start [inaudible 00:51:19]. If you have any additional questions, you can reach out to your online enrollment advisor.

If you do not know exactly who your advisor is, you can reach out to Donna directly, and Donna, you can go ahead and let them know what your email address is, or is your phone number, or your direct extension. We can send that out with the recording with the link, and again, there is an option to be able to schedule an appointment with an advisor, too, so you can always be directed to the appropriate advisor that is yours. They’re on the screen. There’s also a link at the bottom left-hand where you can click directly to schedule an appointment. You can pick a time that’s convenient with you, and an advisor that’s available at that time will be able to reach out to you.

Yeah, yeah. The link right there, that schedule an appointment with the enrollment advisor link. Thank you again, everybody, so much for participating, and we hope you have a great rest of the day.