Recruitment and retention have always been important for Missouri State. Enrollment is critical to the university’s progress toward its mission and vision.
The enrollment landscape has shifted in recent years. The number of Missouri high school graduates has decreased. We also face increased competition, lower unemployment rates and decreased enrollment at two-year institutions (which reduces the size of our prospective transfer pool). Because of these factors, several years ago indicators began to predict an enrollment reduction on the horizon. Since then, we have worked to ease the impact of this reduction.
The fiscal year 2020 budget anticipates an enrollment decline in the fall, reducing the university’s revenue between $4 and $5 million. If we don’t change our strategies and move the needle, indicators project that we will likely face another enrollment decline in fall 2020.
The die is not firmly cast. We still have time to double our efforts and implement new recruitment and retention strategies. It is critical that we all work together to prioritize enrollment in the coming academic year.
Developing a strategic enrollment management plan
This year we will develop a strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan to coordinate our recruitment and retention efforts. This will not be a “top-down” plan developed in a silo by senior administrators. Rather, we want the plan to come from the ground up, incorporating input and feedback from stakeholders throughout the university, many of whom regularly work face-to-face with current and prospective students.
We have developed a framework to create the SEM plan. The framework includes a steering committee that will develop long-term enrollment goals, manage the work being completed by the councils and task forces, and communicate with the president and senior administrators throughout the process.
Four councils will report to the steering committee and develop strategic goals and action plans in the following areas:
- Recruitment and outreach
- Retention and completion
- Academic programs and deliveries
- Marketing and communications
Numerous ad hoc subcommittees and task forces will be established to develop specific strategies and work through identified issues. A data support team will inform all committees and councils.
Mark your calendar: Sept. 18
We will kick off our SEM planning process with an event from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Darr Center (2401 S. Kansas Expressway). Details about this event will be forthcoming.
We want your input as we develop the SEM plan this year. If you would like to participate on a SEM committee, council or task force, or if you would like to be added to the invitation list for the Sept. 18 SEM planning kick off event, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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