Student Recruitment & Retention

Recruitment

General
In my two years at FHSU, enrollments increased by over 3% annually, while either decreasing or remaining flat at our peer institutions within the state.  Academic Affairs plays an important role in student recruitment by supporting faculty participation in showcase events and one-on-one meetings of prospective students with faculty.  I have modelled this behavior by participating in regional recruiting trips at FHSU, and attending events like Major and Minor Day, and Prospective Student Day, where I personally thank faculty for their participation.  I also participated in planning the Hispanic College Institute, a four-day residential program aimed at encouraging Hispanic high school students to apply to a college.  In addition, I have served on numerous student recruitment and retention committees. 

Online
The Virtual College, with over 50 fully online associates, baccalaureate and masters programs (not counting concentrations) and 7,000 students actively enrolled, was within my area of responsibility at FHSU.  Enrollments grew annually by around 7% under my leadership.  In addition, FHSU’s US News and World Report baccalaureate programs’ ranking moved from 26th in the nation in 2016 to 15th in 2017. 

International on-campus
During the re-engineering process at FHSU I created an integrated service center for international students and study abroad, to increase recruitment and retention of this student group.  This center housed the offices of International Student Admissions, Intercultural Integration, Study Abroad, and English as a Second Language.  It is managed by a newly created Associate Provost for Internationalization & Global Partnerships and provides integrated services from recruitment through graduation for our international students. 

International abroad
At FHSU, we had over 40 faculty living in China teaching over 3,000 students at partner institutions.  I played a significant role in developing a new partnership with the American University of Phnom Penh which has the potential to generate a similar number of enrollments.  We were engaged in recruiting similar partners in other countries, particularly in Asia and South America.  At Radford, I led the development of a comprehensive business plan to implement English language and cultural support services for international students.  This plan included creating similar centers at international sites to recruit students to Radford and partner institutions abroad.

Retention

Academic Affairs plays a crucial role in student retention.  To focus our work in this area I created a Student Success and Engagement committee, in partnership with Student Affairs, at FHSU.  I served on similar committees at Stony Brook and at Mercy, and was also a member of the steering committee for the Foundations of Excellence™ assessment process at both institutions.  

I have encouraged and supported implementation of meta-majors, structured learning assistance (SLA) and supplemental learning instruction (SLI) programs, and a restructuring of the delivery and design of the undergraduate math curriculum to improve student success and retention.  I also implemented ePortfolios at both Mercy and Stony Brook, so that students could showcase and reflect on their work and successes.  At Mercy College, I supported an innovative inter-session intensive tutoring program for students who had failed critical core courses, that resulted in a significant increase in pass rates and student retention.

Faculty who know our students best, need to be encouraged to communicate with student support staff about student academic and personal challenges that could impact retention.  With responsibility for student tutoring services at Mercy (a major component of the College’s retention strategy with over one million dollars in annual operating budget), I was involved in designing these communication processes, and implementing policy to strengthen this partnership, including tracking and setting metrics for faculty referrals of students for tutoring.