Tom Green, Ph.D.
Welcome to another edition of the SEM Quarterly (SEMQ). In this issue, we find four articles that are as diverse as our institutional types and as broad as the issues we face in today’s higher education landscape. As a reader, you will find perspectives from the two-year, four-year, and Canadian sectors, covering issues as different as faculty involvement, collegiate athletics as enrollment strategy, honors program metrics, and career reflections on our field of practice. These reflect the multitude of issues that impact enrollment at student success at our institutions.
Michelle Gierman brings us a faculty perspective on the interconnectedness of faculty support, networks of support across the campus, and student success in developmental course work. This is an issue of great interest in higher education today, as we look for solutions to the ever-growing need to meet students as they come to us and develop programs and supports that give them the best possible chance to make the leap into college learning. Her concepts and perspectives come from leading work in the US community college sector but are universal in the way they connect investments in faculty, especially adjunct faculty, to student success.
Fall brings thoughts of football to many of us, whether we follow our own university’s team, the team of our alma mater, or just enjoy a Sunday afternoon of NFL rivalries. Brian Dalton and Patricia Somers have a different take on this revered American fall sport, as they examine the role of football programs as enrollment strategies. They carve a niche for their work that draws us away from big-time power conference programs to our smaller, private colleges and universities, where starting a football team has serious enrollment, financial aid, and cultural implications.
On many campuses, we cannot talk about sports without someone bringing up academic rigor and honors programs. For an appropriate counterpoint to the scholarly work on small-campus football, this edition of SEMQ offers a study of honors program selection criteria and student motivations to join honors programs. Michael J. Roszkowski and Richard A. Nigro offer us a study of the roles of GPA and SAT scores in honors program selection. Readers here will quickly realize that their work goes well beyond these traditional selection metrics to examine motivational and personal factors associated with student decisions to enter honors programs. It offers us an extremely well-researched study of how honors students perceive themselves and their peers, as well as their desires to be with other students who share their intellectual curiosities.
Susan Gottheil uses her wealth of successful work in SEM to provide perspectives on the key elements that enable enrollment managers to implement SEM at their institutions. A long-time and highly respected colleague, Gottheil’s work in Canadian SEM translates across any border. You will find this to be not only sage advice but also an article that pulls out some of the most fundamental and important issues that are too easily lost among the flood of daily pressures and responsibilities among enrollment managers. Managing enrollments at any institution can be a plate-spinning act, and Gottheil helps us find balance and focus among what can, at times, appear to be chaos.
This edition of SEMQ is my first as editor-in-chief. As I take the reins, it is impossible not to recognize the work of the founding editor-in-chief, Dr. Bob Bontrager, whose legacy in SEM is immense. Bob’s vision for SEMQ was to expand upon the scholarly work in our field and add to it a forum for serious and well-researched studies of student success. In keeping with the principles of SEM, it adds evidence and information that can improve our institutional decision making.
It is also important to note the invaluable work of editor Heather Zimar, who manages SEMQ with aplomb. It would not be possible to publish this journal without her tireless efforts and keen eye for topics and authors that fit the mission and high standards of SEMQ. Thanks, too, to our editorial board, which represents leaders in our field in both thought and practice.
It is an honor to guide the publication and also an auspicious responsibility. I hope to continue Bob’s vision for SEMQ, to continue to both inform and challenge our profession through a combination of scholarly research and practical application of SEM principles to our work.