Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly

Advancing research in enrollment and student success

Editor's Note

Tom Green, Ph.D.


This issue of SEM Quarterly features an array of topics using qualitative approaches to SEM research. We continue our Women in Leadership series with a reflection by Dr. Alicia Moore on onboarding into a new SEM position. It comes from years of advice she has shared with colleagues and helps us think through how we may approach our new institutions. With an estimated 750 or more positions for senior enrollment management officers anticipated in the coming five to ten years in the United States alone, this may be sage advice for a good number of our SEMQ readers.

Many of us know that our students often turn to their peers for advice about college scheduling, faculty relationships, social activities, and other topics that have a great bearing on their success. The research conducted by Aderholdt, Oliveri, Clark, and Seifert examines that dynamic by investigating the responses to those queries when posed to peers. Little has been written about informal peer mentoring relationships, and their work offers a four-pointed framework through which we may better understand the dynamics of these informal relationships and their potential impact on student success.

Performance-based funding takes many forms, but a common theme is completion. This emphasis on the efficient production of college graduates factors into the financial support and/or public perception, sometimes through rankings, of many colleges and universities worldwide. Helen Garrett of the University of Washington examines the impact of the “completion agenda” formed by this emphasis on the work of community college leaders. She offers an insightful study of deans of career and technical education, focused on the potential dichotomy of a completion agenda with the need to provide immediate and often short-term training for employment.

Our third study examines the alignment in perspective between administrators and students, specifically on campus environment. The role of “curb appeal” and the state of campus facilities is a consistent concern of admissions directors for recruitment purposes, but are those concerns aligned with the concerns of students and other administrators, and do they extend beyond recruitment to retention? Scott Secore provides us with a study that examines that alignment, using some quantitative testing of survey results. These surveys sought to tease out the perceptions of administrators at different levels and to align them with existing student perceptions of the importance of the campus environment on initial and ongoing enrollment decisions.

Remsburg and Clawson provide a strong case study of partnerships at the University of Utah. Their work in studying the centrality of partnerships to success in recruiting provides insights into Utah’s work, and also a lens though which we can see these relationships across all institutional types and sizes. While there will be inevitable variances in the partners themselves, the emphasis on sharing of information and the self-examination of their own office’s role in partnerships is extremely helpful in assessing the health of recruitment efforts at any institution.