by John M. Braxton and Don Hossler
Enrollment management (EM) officers must use empirical research findings to guide their professional practice, and not “shoot from the hip” or experiment with trial-and-error forms of professional action. EM officers depend on the work of the research community of EM (e.g. faculty members affiliated with graduate
programs in higher education, doctoral students engaged in dissertation research, institutional research officers, and researchers associated with the American College Testing Program, the College Board, the Educational Testing Service, and the National
Student Clearinghouse Research Center) for research findings useful to practice.
Such a dependency requires a two-way practitioner-research loop: a loop from practitioners to the research community and a loop from the research community back to practitioners.
The loop from practitioner to the research community depends on a practitioner-generated research agenda, whereas the loop from research community to practitioners depends on the research community to disseminate the findings of their research on
topics of a practitioner-generated research agenda to practitioners of enrollment management. In our SEMQ article,
we described the particulars of the development of both loops.
Research findings can be useful to policy and practice, and the interests of faculty members
and the gaps in the literature drive academic research and scholarship. Consequently, both enrollment managers and research-oriented faculty share a commitment toward making research and scholarship useful to practice. To make it useful to practice,
we need a two-way research loop.
We encourage members of AACRAO involved in EM to be practitioner-scholars by suggesting research needed in enrollment
management work. What kinds of studies will address day-to-day EM issues and concerns in the real world
Some possible research domains include: student recruitment practice, the
selection of applicants for admission, the impact of types of financial aid on matriculation decisions and the retention of students, and the effects of developmental education on student success. If domains of importance to you are missing, please
delineate such domains.
Please email your suggestions for research to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will
take your suggestions and work to disseminate them to the research community of EM.