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April 21, 2016

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Enrollment Management Council

April 21, 2016

Present: Jen DeWeerth (chair), Julie Dewan, Dayton Elseth, Rich Haubert, Dan Ianno, Lew Kahler, Bill McDonald.
Excused: Jason Carpenter, Shahida Dar, Matt Fikes, Jake Mihevc.
Guest: Stephanie Reynolds
The Council discussed a variety of issues with charter contact Stephanie Reynolds.
1. Progress and next steps and plans
  • The wiki and its maintenance.
    • Rich reported on the wiki. He is looking for suggestions on the tracking table: how to keep the links but not have it get too long and cluttered.
  • Enrollment data and projections.
    • Steph reported that this has been very positively viewed by Cabinet and BOT. Both the trend analysis with considerations/factors and the enrollment drivers/recruitment efforts with numbers document have provided a firmer foundation for budgeting.
  • Recommendations not just to SPC but also the key leaders connected to them.
    • This has helped the recommendations move forward effectively.
  • Database of research on ideas solicited from college community
    • This is a good idea. The key is not just use it to pack away unwanted ideas as rejected. Even if the timing or resources are not right ideas can be kept as possibilities. This could help with continuity as ECM turns over in membership.

2. Questions about our approach and performance
  • What does it mean to make recommendations that are out ahead/out of the box?
    • EMC should be on the leading edge based on our research, not just training efforts already underway, with this caveat: It’s not necessarily helpful just to keep adding ideas for new academic programs. We already have so many that this is not the best avenue to enrollment growth unless very careful/strategic. Recommendations can also be along the lines of populations (adult learners, international, NYC) or about format (cohorts, evening college, etc.) There will always be a challenge of how far out to go in the future with market opportunities. Examples: Some health fields are saturated. Even the nano building locally will be over within a 5-10 year timeframe, and the jobs will be filled. Auto mechanic expected to decline soon with computerization of car repair, but will that new industry require for skills?
  • EMC: source of ideas vs. researchers?
    • In terms of new ideas whether academic programs or otherwise, generally the ideas should come from others or data discovery. Our job is to be the preliminary researchers—to consider whether there is opportunity to capture enrollment—is there a market, then pass off to Academic Affairs to determine costs/value, feasibility.
  • Did we give Cabinet what was needed for enrollment projections? What does the timetable look like for continuing to do that?
    • Steph passed out a Planning and budgeting calendar that was shared at SPC recently. Based on that the key date is March 1st for giving Cabinet our “final” projection for the following fall, with factors and data. However, as early as October, preliminary data can be compiled that can start to shape that picture, and by Dec.1st we have a good picture that can be shared as budget managers develop proposed budgets. There was discussion about the importance of keeping an eye on the bigger trends, not getting lost in daily enrollment reports. We might want to run a monthly report and archive it so that our modeling can be continuous.
    • An important step will be EMC’s creation of an annual calendar with month by month calendar of what we do when. This will provide continuity as membership turns over.
  • Is our method of making recommendations working?
    • Steph reports that it is working well. The biggest thing that could be done to strengthen the recommendations is to add timelines to them. That would help Cabinet and other stakeholders track them and move them along while still relevant.
    • There was discussion about what happens if the way responsible parties respond to recommendations doesn’t seem like it will meet the market demand. EMC may not be the right body to give that critique/feedback. It should come via Cabinet and cabinet members. EMC can help by providing guidance/resources. The creator handbook will include such pieces, for example, a guide to best practices for those developing evening/weekend or other adult learner or cohort programs.
3. Additional thoughts about EMC moving forward
  • We briefly discussed EMC’s charter. It has not really worked that we are reporting directly to SPC, partly because it is more relevant to report to Cabinet, and partly because the strategic plan really does not have specific enrollment goals. The suggestion is to revise the charter to keep SPC informed (“Does”) but to make the Cabinet the charter sponsor. Another addition is to state that when recommendations are made, they are sent to administrators directly involved, as we have been doing.

There will need to be adjustments to membership because of the academic restructuring, but that will wait on later announcements.
Action Items

1. Jen send Steph revised charter draft.
2. EMC develop annual calendar for its work, including enrollment projections.
3. Add a new section to the recommendation memo template for deadline/timelines.
4. Develop new request for ideas and manage research in a database.