Presenters Stephen Hundley and Boyd Bradshaw propose a GREAT organizing framework to ensure colleges are following an Enrollment Management model as opposed to an enrollment services model. GREAT, which stands for Graduate, Retain, Engage, Admit, and Tell - helps shift the SEM focus away from solely admissions/recruitment to involve the entire campus as stakeholders. Further, it helps ensure colleges and universities serve as good stewards of messages and promises on the front end - all the way through to when they graduate and beyond.
The presenters argue higher education is often challenged to answer the value proposition statement- why should students and their families buy from, invest in, or do business with your institution, and how are you different from your nearest competitor? To help answer these questions, the presenters suggest conducting a SWOT analysis to identify stakeholder roles for each GREAT outcome. Conducting a SWOT for each individual component of GREAT helps ensure the experiences leading to the desired outcomes, such as interactions, relationships and touch points are made clear for the campus community.
For students to graduate, they must be retained. For students to be retained, institutions must engage them, both in and out of the classroom. Student engagement supports persistence, satisfaction and success. Retention is an outcome of engagement, and to meet the needs of a changing workplace, our admissions practices and experiences, especially for diverse students must be integrated and well-coordinated. And finally, to attract students, we must be able to return to the value proposition question- what value are we creating for students and why should they come to us?
by Kimberly McNair, EdD, Director of College Access and Enrollment at Montgomery College in Maryland