SEM-EP Capstone Project spurs innovative research

by Tim Rees, Director of Admissions, Liberty University

One of the basic tenets of SEM is the holistic view that the learning process is lifelong. We, as educators, are concerned about students for life--not just a short period of time. We are to be invested in their progress before and after their interaction with our institution. Pondering this led me to attempt an outreach strategy using a dialer technology solution to endeavor to reach a population of former applicants who did not attend.

While utilizing such technology is standard practice for my unit, reaching backward into our student information system was new. We decided to split test the population and try different automated dialing modes, one predictive and the other being preview. Our measure for success was based on not only how many applications were gathered but also how many matriculations resulted from the effort. Over the course of the pilot it was determined that the preview mode was clearly superior at yielding applications, however, neither method resulted in any additional matriculations for the term tested.

Catalyst and future questions

AACRAO's SEM-EP was the catalyst for the thought process that generated this project and should be strongly considered as a next step for any enrollment management professional. Gaining additional insight from colleagues and a different vantage point with which to view institutional data were very beneficial in expanding my view of the enrollment horizon.

One potentially great use of time would be to conduct a study focused on stop-out students who are within one semester worth of credits from graduating and conducting a proactive outreach campaign to enroll this group of undergraduates for an upcoming spring term. Marketing efforts could also be focused on achieving their credential in time for graduation exercises in May. There are many other pilots that could be derived from using such a strategy and hopefully this brief article has triggered some ideas that will be a fit at your institution.

Keeping pace with higher education trends may seem sufficient at times, but to truly stay up to date within your profession, greater action must be taken. Earning a certificate in enrollment management from AACRAO can provide the credentials necessary to prepare you for your next career step, or sharpen your skill set.  

About SEM-EP

Participants will engage in a pre-approved curriculum offered and taught by highly experienced faculty. The curriculum includes online courses, webinars and field visits to approved institutions. Individuals completing SEM-EP will receive formal recognition by AACRAO representing professional readiness to meet current and future challenges in the field of Enrollment Management. SEM-EP is valuable for both individuals seeking customized industry credentials and institutions seeking a better way to evaluate the preparedness of prospective employees for SEM positions. For more information regarding the program and registration, please visit our AACRAO SEM-EP site.