Student Experience Matters: Redefining SEM in Community College Recruitment
As the 2016 school year was approaching, registration at North Idaho College was not in good shape: 800 students were eligible to register for courses in the 2 weeks leading up to the first day of classes. Because those students had yet to select courses, NIC's academic team was canceling classes, expecting a drop in enrollment. In the 5 days before school started 400 students came to the Advising Office for walk-in appointments, ready to sign up for classes. With rushed advising appointments and a decrease in course offerings, North Idaho College lacked enrollment management strategy. As a result of this annual pattern, NIC Connect was created.
Understanding enrollment patterns allows a campus to adequately plan for student services and educational needs. A foundational understanding of enrollment patterns start with recruitment. NIC did an environmental scan for the areas in which targeted strategies could help to stabilize expected class size.
High school students offer a unique target market. As students are a captured audience in their high schools, and the high schools are prioritized based upon the community college service area, NIC Connect was developed. NIC Connect includes 5 purposeful visits with the goal of guiding student through the enrollment process. Visits included:
*Apply to North Idaho College
*Enrollment overview to understand what the enrollment process will look like and what documents will need to be obtained and submitted
*Scholarship & FAFSA Workshop
*Proctored English and math assessments
The guiding principles of the program included
*Meeting students where they were in the enrollment process
*Engage a captive audience
*Build trusted relationships to be a continued resource for students
As a result of this program, NIC saw a 25% increase in traditional-aged students from our service region (the 5 northern counties of Idaho), the average student from this population was full time at 13 credits, and the majority of our students were registered for classes before they graduated from high school. Additionally, we saved North Idaho students a total of 500 hours of driving to campus to conduct their student business. This means students were in their high school classrooms instead of on icy winter roads.
While this program offered tremendous benefits to our students, it also helped us to be strategic in our service and course delivery. Instead of eliminating courses because students were not signing up, NIC Connect caused us to add courses to accommodate student needs.
Teresa Borrenpohl North Idaho College
Donya Gadley North Idaho College
Monday, November 4, 2019
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Coral, Lobby Level
First Learning Outcome: Comprehensive Enrollment Pipeline
Second Learning Outcome: Service Excellence
Third Learning Outcome: Campus Planning with Recruitment Data
Core Competencies: Holistic and Systemic Thinking, Communication
Proficiencies: Admissions: Creating a Communications Plan, Admissions: Market Analysis
Intended Audience: Some experience in the profession, General Audience