Countdown: 13 days to HLC visit: Enrollment
Editor's note: Ranger Today continues a series of articles on the future directions contained within the university's self-study.
Future Direction: Optimal Enrollment
By DeAnn Possehl, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
The institution recognized several years ago that the dramatic shifts in state support and the need for increased accountability would present significant challenges for the university. This recognition was exemplified by the identification of the need for a strategic, data driven-approach to enrollment as an important strategic direction for the campus. Since that time, the institution has developed the structure, technology and data necessary to begin to align and integrate academic, enrollment and financial priorities and increase student success at the institution.
Over the last several years, Enrollment Management has partnered with many areas of the institution to implement new technology (e.g. STAR, Image Now and EMAS Pro), increase access to data (e.g. Interactive Reporting), integrate marketing and communication (e.g. Stand Out campaign) and improve the student experience (e.g. Transfer Task Force). The desire to improve new and transfer enrollment, maintain our commitment to diversity and improve student retention has guided our work. To date, UW-Parkside has been able to increase the number of new transfer students, improve the academic profile of the incoming freshman class and increase first to second year retention while maintaining our commitment to under-represented minority students.
UW-Parkside has definitely achieved a great deal over the last several years and as a result has seen some positive results. The challenge, however, remains a significant one for UW-Parkside in the wake of the recession, increased competition and the sweeping demographic changes in the student population on the horizon.
We must, however, move forward with improving enrollment as a future direction. It is imperative that the development of an institutional wide strategic enrollment plan (SEP) with specific targets and concrete recruitment and retention strategies remain an institutional priority. As was recently referenced in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the "S" in SEP now stands for both strategic and sustainable. This work is designed to improve both the success of our students and the sustainability of our institution.The groundwork for beginning the next phase has begun. A SEP team has been formed consisting of representatives from each of the four colleges and other areas of the institution. OIE and EM have been working to gather the detailed data necessary to inform our work as we continue on the "Pathway to our Promise."