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Meeting of Department and Program Chairs W. Kent Barnds VP Enrollment & Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting of Department and Program Chairs W. Kent Barnds VP Enrollment & Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting of Department and Program Chairs W. Kent Barnds VP Enrollment & Communication

2 My goals for this talk Extend my thanks Explain what we did this summer Explain what we learned this summer Explain what’s ahead for Augustana

3 What we did this summer We faced a considerable shortfall in our first-year student enrollment We aggressively pursued students throughout the summer (first-year and transfers) We made several internal organizational adjustments We commissioned outside research to help us adjust

4 What we learned this summer From an independent external “operations audit” by George Dehne & Associates (GDA) From interviews with 350 admitted students, also completed by GDA From Simpson-Scarbourough

5 What we learned from the operations audit

6 Unique Difficulties We Faced in Lack of buy-in for some faculty, coaches and administrators related to the strategic plan Strategic plan and added benefits have outpaced the student body and some faculty Augustana is in transition and the turmoil has impacted the recruitment environment

7 Conclusions recruiting should not cause grave concerns First-class operation Cyclical business 17 years-olds are hard to figure out!!! Beyond 2008 is cause for grave concern without some significant adjustments Demographic decline More progress needed in building and strengthening relationships “Crisper” message is critical

8 What we learned from the admitted-student interviews

9 Method 350 telephone interviews with accepted students 275 Non-enrolling students 75 Enrolling students Average of 22 minutes with each student

10 Demographics Non-enrolling students tend to be stronger in the classroom than enrolling students stronger test takers more likely graduates of private, independent or parochial schools from out of state more suburban more male more ethnically diverse

11 General Findings Most important factors in deciding where to attend: Strong majors Location The campus visit Relationships and connections Cost is a significant SI & Augie Choice are poorly understood

12 “Major” Findings What factors were “essential” in choosing your college? Strong department in my major field#1 for both groups Preparation for a career#2 for both groups Personal attention from faculty#3 for both groups Prep for grad school & the intellectual environment Tied for #4 and 5 for the kids who attended Accessibility of the faculty & the intellectual environment Tied for #4 and 5 for the kids who chose to go elsewhere

13 “Major” Findings Why non-enrolling students chose another college Why did you go elsewhere? Because the other school was... Strong in my major22% Right size17% Better cost, less expensive17% Better location overall16% Closer to home15% Better academic reputation12% Athletic program11%

14 “Major” Findings Why I chose Augie Why did you choose Augustana? Better academic reputation28% Right size27% Closer to home17% Strong in my major12% Better location overall12% Athletic program8% Better cost, less expensive5%

15 Bottom-line on majors We are not effectively communicating the strength of our majors Strong majors make a big difference: 10% of our non-enrolling pool said “offering a stronger program of major” could have convinced them to enroll

16 Location Rock Island is seen as a net negative 51% of non-enrolling students say our location is “worse” or “much worse” than their enrolling college 23% our enrolling students its “worse” or “much worse” than their second choice college But, it is not crippling

17 Campus visit findings 1/3 of our non-enrolled students did not visit Of non-enrolling kids who did visit, 9% described the campus as “ugly” and “old” and were “turned off” by the visit 16% of enrolled students indicated they chose Augie because of the campus visit 96% of our enrolled students described the visit as having “greatly” or “somewhat” increased their interest in Augustana

18 Relationship findings Quick preview of the bottom line: you matter. 25% of non-enrolling students wanted to meet a faculty member here but couldn’t/didn’t Of the students who do not meet with a faculty member during a campus visit, two-thirds went elsewhere Our faculty are more effective in those meetings than any other college’s: – 8% of our students chose us because of “professor, quality of the faculty” – 0% of the non-enrolled students said that about their current school – 83% of our students said meeting with you substantially increased their interest in the college

19 A bit more on relationships Other relationships matter, too With my staff: 20% of non-enrolling students indicated contact with admissions was “worse” or “much worse” than at enrolling college With coaches: 46% of non-enrolling student-athletes had no contact with an Augustana coach or the contact was “worse” or “much worse” than at their enrolling college

20 Findings about finances Finances are important, value is more important 55% of our non-enrolling students said Augustana would have cost “more” or “much more” than the college they chose 38% of non-enrolling students said financial aid would not have convinced them to come here 55% would not attend even if the cost to attend Augustana was equal to that of the institution at which they chose to enroll One-third did not even submit financial information so they could get an aid offer from us

21 S.I. and Augie Choice Findings 74% of our enrolled and non-enrolled students did not know enough about Senior Inquiry or Augie Choice to form an opinion about either program

22 Break down by gender Messages for menMessages for womenImproved message for both Strong major International study Strong athletic programIntellectual environmentCost/value Meetings with facultyRight sizeGraduate school preparation and placement Campus visit to increase interest Opportunities for involvement in arts and music Location

23 Break down by ACT ACT (22%) ACT (50%) ACT (28%) 1. Strong in my major 1. Better cost/less expensive 2. Right Size2. Right size (tie)2. Better location overall 3. Better academic reputation 3. Better location overall (tie) 3. Strong in my major 4. Other items (res hall, academic facilities, etc.) 4. Better cost/less expensive 4. Closer to home

24 Low importance <45% rate as “Essential/Very Important” Transitional importance 45-54% rate as “Essential/Very Important” High importance 55% or more rate as “Essential/Very Important” EnrollingNon-enrollingEnrollingNon-enrollingEnrollingNon-enrolling High effectiveness 55% or more rate us as “Better/Much Better” than the closest competitor Student:faculty ratioAttention by faculty Acad. Reputaticon Personalize ed. Student:faculty ratio Access to faculty Attention by faculty Acad. reputation Irrelevant WinsCritical wins Transitional effectiveness 45-54% rate us as “Better/Much Better” than the closest competitor Well-regardedInternational opps. Well-regarded Strong major Career prep Grad sch prep Intellectual env. Strong major Access to faculty Irrelevant opportunitiesCritical opportunities Low effectiveness Under 45% rate us as “Better/Much Better” than the closest competitor US News Diversity US News Diversity International opps. Internships Social life Internships Social life Career prep Personalize ed. Intellectual env. Grad sch prep Irrelevant lossesCritical losses The Big Picture: What Matters Most

25 What we think we’ve learned The non-attending students are a very desirable bunch They see us “another nice little college” but not much more – we suffer on questions concerning the presence of an intellectual environment on campus, strength of major, and grad school prep We want to talk about “liberal arts,” they want to hear about majors We need to think and talk differently about Rock Island Two major strategic initiatives (Augie Choice and Senior Inquiry) are poorly understood We have not gotten students excited about the opportunity for international study The students weren’t reassured about our ability to help them prepare for a career Students are still very much influenced by traditional forms of communication – print materials and personal contacts with teachers, coaches and counselors Non-attending students felt that our faculty was inaccessible Our personal contacts went much more poorly last year than we realized

26 What’s ahead Dehne’s bottom line Three new things we’re going to try Three new ways to help faculty help us

27 Conclusion #1: Don’t Sweat “Given the quality of the admissions recruitment operation and the College’s commitment to marketing the new strategic plan there is no question in our minds that if two or more of the above factors had not been in play this year the new student enrollment goal would have been met once again.” (George Dehne & Associates, August 2008)

28 Conclusion #2: Sweat 2008 and beyond “Augustana is in a difficult spot because… The demographics of the upper Midwest generally and Illinois specifically have changed The number of high school graduates is in decline Interest in small private colleges is declining. Private is no longer perceived as better than public on grounds of program quality or quality of education The market that served the College so well for so long, fueled by the generous Illinois scholarship program, is no longer there... It is being replaced by a demographic with fewer resources, less pride in stretching to pay for their child’s education, and more affinity for larger less expensive public universities.” (George Dehne, August 2008)

29 Three new things we’re going to try 1.We are hiring a much cuter, aggressive and persistent admissions staff 2.I’m switching from a bowtie to major bling 3.A puppy – the Augie Doggy -- for every new student!

30 Four new ways to help faculty help us Better communication, advance notice and coordination Departmental liaisons Explicit recognition by Faculty Welfare Better record-keeping and follow-up information for you


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