February 8, 2019

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

1. Follow up: Post Labor Day Start

Matt Fikes handed out a chart showing the percent change in student count since 2013 and since last year across all 30 SUNY CCs. Question is whether we can tell whether starting after Labor Day in the fall of 2017 (and 2018) shifted us in relation to our trend line. Because enrollments have generally been down for a number of years, is there a way to determine whether MVCC’s change in 2017 led to a smaller decrease than the average of our SUNY CC peers, especially compared to the previous year? Matt will continue to look into this data in the SUNY BI tool.

2. Follow up: Online Courses and Programs to boost enrollment

Dayton noted that he had talked with colleagues about the challenges of trying to increase online enrollment and compete in the online course/program market given the costs under the current PA contract. Jen noted that she was forwarding a white paper from SUNY about the challenges of competition in the online learning market. SUNY is behind many other state systems and universities in the number of offerings and enrollments. Because of our cost challenges, MVCC has declined in offerings and enrollments online, giving up market share both within and outside of SUNY, as is clear from a review of Open SUNY. It seems urgent to address this enrollment challenge, not just with A&P for HIT but more widely across MVCC’s offerings.

3. 2019 Enrollment Projection development using spring 2019 data

There was discussion about an analysis Matt had sent out via email regarding how dual credit seems to be in a position once again of keeping us on target with 2018-19 budget projections, even though the non-dual credit enrollment has come in below projection (at more than -4% down in FTEs this spring.) Dan noted that applications for fall may not be the best indicator of new student enrollment. For example, for fall 2018, applications were down 15% but new students only 6% FTE. The key is not always to capture more apps, unless those are students that can be converted to enrollments. MVCC is still capturing an enviable 30% percent of our Oneida high school graduates.

4. Next steps for enrollment projections

The group was tasked with thinking about factors that could impact enrollment for 2019-20. Along with trend analysis, this will shape our projection. Will Guided Pathways impact enrollment either through changes with clearer program paths and getting students on them, or greater efforts keeping students on their path (retention?) Will MVCC see an impact if some of our CC neighbors struggle even more with enrollment or keeping housing open? Is there a way to change our approach to online enrollment before we have lost the chance to capture market share? All unknowns for future conversation.

Next meeting: Friday, Feb. 22, 1:00-1:50 pm.