Tom Green, Ph.D.
Welcome to the last issue of this volume, our seventh year of publishing SEM Quarterly. This issue features a strong array of research topics. Two of the articles involve the strategic use of data in enrollment, although all articles utilized some level or aspect of data around SEM, as it is a cornerstone of practice. It is also hard to miss a strong Texas influence on the issue, as several of our authors are working in that state or have strong historical ties to it.
The “Data Science Playbook” is a strong article on how this growing area of practice is impacting higher education. Discussed through the lens of a single institution, a community college in Texas, authors Chavez and Mullen describe
how an institution can evolve its practice from simple applications of data science to those that are more complex. “Big Data” is a term bandied about across many (if not all) fields in society today. However, its application and ability
to produce meaningful, insightful information is far less common. The authors provide a good and practical look at this in a higher education setting.
Another popular application of data science is the creation of enrollment projections. Used to help institutions predict the implications of various enrollment initiatives and possible outcomes, author Kelly Perez-Vergara provides a very well-written
and easy-to-follow article on a complex topic. She combines practical steps with theoretical constructs to help readers understand the art and science of this work.
Creating a SEM plan is a popular pursuit on college and university campuses. However, creating a plan in and of itself does not change enrollment outcomes. The ability of an institution to monitor and track implementation progress and success often
makes the difference in SEM success or failure. Author Ginnifer Cié Gee discusses project management techniques and options learned from practice at her large, public university in Texas. This area of SEM practice is often overlooked, and
she offers a strong entry into the literature for us.
Brand management is a term borrowed from corporate practice but is becoming more standard in higher education. As we look for ways to leverage our scarce marketing resources, it is important to understand what works (and what doesn’t). Authors Orosy and Kilgore examine the factors of mission and social media utilization as means to leverage institutional resources into enrollment results. It is an extremely well-written and well-researched article and one you are certain to enjoy and from which any institution, large or small, can benefit.