1. Decide if you wish to conduct a “retention study” or a “prospective new student study.”
2. Select a population of at least 100 or more students and divide them equally into a control group vs an experimental group.
3. Choose an outreach medium and develop a strategic message that will be used on both groups over a period of time. However, the experimental group will receive some additional method of contact, frequency or message delivery.
Outreach devices may include: direct mail, email, Skype, live telephone calls, automated outbound calls, campus visit invitation, field receptions, or any communication method that you can devise to contact your population(s).
Messaging examples may include incentives such as premium registration opportunities, deadline awareness, priority housing, private auditions/tryouts, scholarship opportunities, study abroad, early advisement or any motivator you might think will cause students to be responsive.
You should schedule your campaign well in advance of a target term (it does not have to be the fall term) giving your outreach tool(s) ample opportunity to produce results. Once these data are collected you should prepare a 4 to 5 page narrative describing your methods with an additional table or excel report that illustrates your findings.