Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly

Advancing research in enrollment and student success

Editor's Note

Clayton Smith, Ed.D.


Collaboration has long been an essential tool in the enrollment manager’s toolbox. Due to the pandemic's impact on our enrollments and the looming demographic challenges that we face daily, it has never been more important to find ways to collaborate, both on campus and off campus. This issue of SEM Quarterly identifies and discusses four ways to enhance inter-campus and intra-campus collaboration. It also speaks to practices we can learn from our international colleagues.

To optimize student enrollments, the institutional chief enrollment management officer (CEMO) should go beyond their direct authority to socialize SEM across the institution. Maggie Hinojosa, Paula Luff, and PJ Woolston suggest that CEMOs should exert influence on processes that span multiple areas, on structure that maximizes the impact of the enrollment work, and on culture that bridges people across the entire institution. By doing this, CEMOs will positively and profoundly impact student enrollment behavior and student success.

From politicians to educators, concerns around access to a postsecondary education and degree completion top the higher education agenda. Jim Brooks and Jen Parker describe the collaborative efforts undertaken at the University of Oregon to prioritize scholarships to influence student decisions as a way to improve student access and grow campus racial and ethnic diversity, and to remove financial barriers to postsecondary education.

With the much-talked-about “enrollment cliff” coming more into focus, institutions are increasingly exploring ways to partner to support institutional sustainability and advancement.  Andrew Crawford, Jonathan Gates, and Donald Bean discuss the partnership developed between Kent State University and three regional, two-year institutions to develop high-impact pathways that prioritize the transfer student journey and increase student success rates.

Each year, thousands of college students across the U.S. leave higher education before earning a credential, a phenomenon know as “dropping out” or “stopping out.” Z. W. Taylor, Sara Pauter, and Karla Weber Wandel point out that a major reason is due to students' lack of success in meeting financial aid-required satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policies. They suggest that enrollment managers should work with their financial aid counterparts to smooth students’ re-entry to higher education, focusing on SAP alleviation strategies.

An overview of enrollment practices and tactics used by higher education systems around the world that take into account jurisdictional political and social systems and its higher education system can provide valuable insights to SEM practitioners. Muhammad Kashif Rahimoon explains how admissions quotas in India and China are used for two different SEM objectives, with China using them to control and manage enrollment, and India using them as part of its affirmative action policies.

In this edition, you will find something new. Tara Hisert Winter provides us with a review of Paul Marthers’ book, Managing the Whole Student Life Cycle: A Handbook for Higher Ed, which should be helpful to higher education professions who support various stages of the student life cycle. Winter points out that in a time when higher education continues to redefine its purpose, and students and families question its value, applying the best practices identified by Mather could be an important pathway to remaining relevant.

By finding ways to enhance intra-campus and inter-campus collaboration, socialize SEM across campus, learn from our international colleagues, and support students at different points in the student life cycle, we will position our institutions so they can achieve sustainability, relevance and student success.

Happy reading.

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