May 2020 - A COVID-19 recap, change management in higher education, and coming webinars

Dr. Wendy Kilgore |
May 29, 2020
  • Admissions
  • Enrollment Goals
  • Enrollment Management
  • Market Analysis
  • Retention
  • Special Topics
  • Transfer Credit Practices
  • Academic Aspects of Enrollment Management
  • admissions and recruitment
  • change management
  • covid-19
  • Transfer


We are entering our 10th week of work from home at AACRAO.  Although I have worked from home for 10 years now, these last 10 weeks have been quite different for me.  I hope you are all well and that those of you working from home have found a way to do so comfortably.  

This month’s blog will focus entirely on AACRAO’s research in the last couple of months rather than attempt to report on the other COVID-related data released by others.  Research on the non-COVID front has been quiet.  I have noticed that other organizations are surveying the higher education community on the same topics that we are.  In response, we have made the decision to suspend surveys for a while to help with survey fatigue, which is evident by the decreasing number of responses to our surveys.  I am very grateful to everyone who has responded to ours.  The data has helped AACRAO shape our COVID-19 response-related practice recommendations on a number of topics. 

It appears from the most recent COVID-19 survey that many institutions are seeing enrollment indicators that point to a decline in enrollment in the fall. AACRAO will offer insights into this topic via a TBD webinar or coffee break.

More than 1,000 members completed some or all of our member satisfaction survey.  I read through the comments related to research and contacted a few members for ideas.  One thing that became clear is it is not well known that the data I report in the aggregate can be disaggregated by institutional characteristics of size, type and control by request.  For the larger projects, when I have more time to examine the results, I look at data in this manner.  If statistically significant differences exist, I will report on them.  The 60-Second Survey data are turned around in such a short time that I don’t look at the data by institutional characteristics in detail.  However, when asked, I have been able to slice the data in a way that is more useful to individual institutions.  


AACRAO Research Update

Student Plans

AACRAO and ACE partnered on a survey of more than 2,000 current U.S. college students.  Half are transfer students, and half are not.  We asked students about their ability to complete spring courses and plan for fall.  This data is from a few weeks ago, so it is likely out of date already, but it provides a snapshot in time.


COVID-19 Impact Surveys 

AACRAO conducted four COVID-19 impact surveys.  The most recent was completed on May 19th.  These surveys were meant to serve as a set of benchmarks on how institutions are faring with enrollment indicators and institutional plans to adjust to COVID.  As evident by the most recent survey, much is still up in the air about fall 2020 course plans.  The links below are listed from most recent to oldest.

  • COVID 19 #4: Enrollment Indicators Update, Fall 2020 Calendar and Course Delivery Plans

  • COVID-19 #3: Transfer Credit Evaluation, Official Transcript Receipt & Delivery, Test Score Receipt and Fall Calendar/Sessions Plans

  • COVID-19 #2: Undergraduate Enrollment Indicators, Impact on Admissions Practice and Fall Course Delivery

  • COVID-19 #1: Impact on Grading, Transcript and Commencement Practices

Change Management in Higher Education Report and Webinar

The Change Management in Higher Education report will be released widely on June 1st but is available here. In these times of previously unheard-of levels of forced changes in policy and practice, this report will provide insights into how institutions have been successful in managing change pre-COVID-19.  We will host a webinar on this report June 24th.  This is the link to register for this free webinar.

Prior Learning Assessment Webinar

The webinar on the prior learning assessment project with WICHE, Lumina and others has been rescheduled for July 15th.  

Academic Records and Transcript Guidance Webinar

A webinar on the new 2020 Academic Records and Transcript book and the recent AACRAO survey will take place on June 10th. This is the link to register for this free webinar.


Looking Forward AACRAO Research 

As mentioned above, we have made the decision to conduct as few surveys as possible for the next few months.  We do have a couple in the hopper as well as other shared research projects in the development phase.  Here is what I know as of this blog:

  •  I will revisit the Chief Enrollment Management Career Profile Survey data collection later this summer and will resume collection at a later as yet to be determined date.  

  • As part of a sponsored project, we will survey our U.S. primary contacts about stranded credits in late June. 

  • We are working on another transfer-related project with ACE that will last through this October.

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