Guiding Principles and Assumptions
of the Enrollment Management Center, Inc.
Work with the People There
There is enough talent on your campus to meet recruitment and retention goals. While we evaluate the people on campus involved in the recruitment/retention efforts, it has rarely been the case that the wrong people are in the wrong positions. We have found that the staff and administrators in most programs have a sincere desire to succeed, want to give a lot of energy, but need to know more about how to do their work. The focus of much of our work is on developing people on campus to continue to do the work of enrollment management.
The work that you do to develop recruitment and retention success is a continuing process. Once a project is completed, things have to change for the future. Continuous quality improvement is essential in the area of enrollment management. Not only must the school develop better enrollment capacities for today, it must also develop better capacities for the next set of challenges they will face tomorrow and in the future.
Work with Teams
No one person knows enough to do the job of enrollment management. The Center prefers to work with an enrollment team on campus. This team participates in developing and implementing the enrollment management plan. They are highly involved in research, process mapping, developing the vision for enrollment management, identifying enrollment management strategies, and in driving the changes needed for effective recruitment and retention.
Institutions may have to change in some areas to meet enrollment goals. The institution cannot assume that all they need is a few publications, and everything will be fine. Usually there are a number of changes that have to be made to focus parts of the school on consumer wants, needs, and problems. Institutions tend to avoid these types of decisions as they can often be very political. Working with a process team helps to bring about the changes that make the institution competitive each year.
Focus on the Student
Enrollment requires a focus on the consumer. For a college or university there may be many consumers. Our focus is on the potential and present students, and the match between the school and the wants and needs of the student.
Enrollment success requires a systematic and institutional approach. There is no single office or person that can meet recruitment and retention goals. This requires the coordination of five key areas of your campus including: product; data; management; communication; and the institution's climate.
Enrollment success requires processes that are world class. Seamless processes are required from the point of inquiry to the point of graduation and beyond. Mapping processes for students often produces better retention and enrollment results.
You deserve the most up-to-date advice and assistance. With our over 35 years of experience in enrollment management, you receive the best advice possible. But that advice is not valuable if it does not include the most up-to-date approaches. Process management, financial aid leveraging, relationship management, use of geo-demographic and values processes for communication are only a few of the ways your enrollment program can be the best in the country.
Short Term to Long Term
Short-term enrollment success is not enough. Enrollment success needs to be broken into three definite areas: first, immediate results on recruitment and retention that meet current needs; this must be followed by intermediate; and third, long-term strategies. All of these result from our initial audit process, and are refined throughout your project.
Numbers should not always be the focus of the enrollment effort. The focus of enrollment management work always needs to be on student success. Successful students are your best marketing resource. This can lead to immediate results in retention with recruitment results quickly following.
People enroll and stay because they believe. Students do not enroll because of a set of numbers the school quoted to them. They enroll because they believe in your admissions people, the faculty, and the staff. They enroll because of a belief and "feel" for the value they get. The main purpose of our work is to help the school learn how to create and maintain this belief in the school.
Hard work is not enough to create a successful enrollment effort. If hard work were enough, every school in the country would have wonderful enrollment results. Hard work is critical -- harder than most imagined -- but so is staff and faculty belief in the school and the use of the best approaches possible. Everyone needs to believe in the school and the idea of working with students to achieve their success.