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December 7, 2017

Present: Shahida Dar, Julie Dewan, Jen DeWeerth (chair), Dayton Elseth, Matt Fikes, Chrono Ho, Kristen Skobla, Tim Thomas
Excused: Dan Ianno, Lew Kahler
Guest: Stephanie Reynolds

1) Cabinet Feedback

Steph reported that Cabinet is pleased with the timely information that comes to them based on the EMC work calendar. The projections and trend analysis are helpful. Data-informed recommendations have also been helpful. Since EMC is functioning well, she asked a series of stretch questions: What else does EMC want to be doing (to not just stay comfortable)? What gaps do we fill (so that our contribution is distinctive and doesn’t step on the roles of other groups? What is the “blue ocean” for EMC?

Tim raised the topic of retention. To date EMC has mostly focused on recruitment. How could we play a role in retention on campus? “Culture of retention”: How to better promote this culture? The individual student I am focusing on at this moment is most important. Not just do my little piece and pass them on, but attitudinally, feel responsible for their continued success and enrollment. What does this look like when done well?

Examples in this direction cited included: Commit to complete campaign, Data Summit about food insecurity and helping students overcome barriers, customer service focus in offices, Vision: transforming lives through learning—every interaction with a student either fulfills or destroys that.

2) What are the next steps for EMC?

Following the conversation with Steph, the group continued to discuss retention as well as raise other blue ocean questions:
  1. What novel data might EMC explore that hasn’t been considered yet? For example, 73% of students in the business cohort continued from fall to spring. That beats the general retention rate, so does that indicate we need to look at a set/block schedule approach for more of our students? Make block or administrative schedules a default for every student?
  2. Dayton brought up a Washington Post article about jobs and skills in the new economy. How do we prepare people for jobs that actually can support a family? This also raised questions about how millennials fear debt and this may influence their approach to education. They also have a different understanding of workplace culture. What are the opportunities to experiment in the non-credit sphere and then move toward credit offerings?

3) Action Items & Next Steps

  • Lew will look into online student success data (old business 11/9/17).
  • Dan will connect with high school counselors in Madison County school districts. What programs/careers are their students looking for? (old business 11/9/17)
  • Where do these pieces of data and others suggest for a hybrid and/or Rome recommendation?
  • Deadline for revised enrollment projection based on February census data is March 15
  • Where do we take retention discussion?