SEM Communication

SEM Communication

March 22, 2017

Bloomsburg University is closer to implementing a coordinated, strategic enrollment management plan (SEP). This plan addresses specific institutional needs while capitalizing on our unique opportunities. Key elements of the plan include the continued adoption of best practices in undergraduate student recruitment, a consistent and coordinated set of retention strategies, and a new approach to the first-year summer freshman program.

The initial set of 15 Action Plans are complete with associated enrollment and budget projections applied. As BU prepares to finalize the overall university plan, we will refine our focus and strategies designed to facilitate and enhance student retention and success. This includes reviewing and recommending administrative and structural changes needed to ensure the effective execution of the proposed retention strategies. Additionally, we will conduct a capacity analysis and determine which of the proposed action plans will be included in phase one of implementation.

The steering committee meets again on March 28 and 29 to review the SEP strategies selected for implementation in year one; review the projected impact of each strategy; and discuss the development and implementation of the full five-year written plan.

More than 160 members of the campus community are engaged in developing a strategic enrollment management approach best for Bloomsburg University. Thank you for your continued support and participation.

Jan. 2, 2017

Over the last nine months, the SEM steering committee has identified 15 action plans to align Bloomsburg’s enrollment strategies with our mission and changing environment. In early December 2016, the steering committee met with consultant Brad Goan from Ruffalo Noel Levitz for the sixth of eight scheduled visits. During this visit, the committee:

  • Discussed progress on revisions to the first and second waves of action plans
  • Reviewed the third wave of action plans
  • Identified next steps for action plan completion

Action plan authors are refining the documents based on recommendations from Brad and the steering committee. The next step in the process is to begin to formulate the SEM plan for Bloomsburg University.

As we move from action planning to prioritization and plan formation, we should remember enrollment management is more than numbers. Strategic enrollment management is planning for the future needs and demands of our current and prospective students. It is about student success and helping them progress and persist through the college experience.

As highlighted by our consultant, we must firmly establish points of connection for faculty and students in support of our students. A majority of the action plans outline student support initiatives. Internal evidence demonstrates that collaborative and intentional pathways for student success positively impact our students. One example is the Student Success Collaborative (SSC) implemented in 2015. The current SSC pilot has been running simultaneously with the SEM planning process. Of the 655 students in the pilot, students advised through the SSC have a ten percent higher persistence rate (89.2% vs. 79%). This is essential as student persistence is a critical component of enrollment management.

The next SEM meeting on February 1 and 2, 2017 will focus on goal-setting and budget planning. The steering committee and executive team will review and prioritize the complete set of strategies and action plans, discuss implementation and the development of the comprehensive strategic enrollment plan for Bloomsburg University.

June 20, 2016

When BU’s Strategic Enrollment Planning process began in early spring, we established an ambitious timeline during meetings with our consultant Brad Goan from Ruffalo Noel Levitz. He kept us on track to implementation in January 2017 during his two-day visit in mid-May.

BU has undertaken this planning process to align enrollment strategies with our mission and the changing environment, establish realistic enrollment goals, and foster long-term enrollment and fiscal health. At the early spring launch at the Greenly Center, Brad charged the five working groups —Undergraduate Programs, Student Success, Finance and Financial Aid, Marketing and Recruitment, and Graduate — to develop situation analyses in the key areas, based on solid, reliable data.

By the time Brad returned in May, nearly two dozen themes had emerged from the situation analyses. They include the following “first wave” that were presented to the Steering Committee and are ready for the action planning process:

  • Course scheduling (mechanics)
  • Sophomore success program
  • BAS-TL program
  • Academic program recruitment
  • Segmented recruitment communications flow
  • Early-alert programs
  • Recruitment of BU undergraduates to BU graduate programs
  • Academic advising
  • Undeclared student experience

The next steps in the process involve identifying any additional themes or strategies; collecting additional data, as needed, on topics ranging from the university’s academic reputation to student retention; and developing action plans that include key performance indicators, timeline, estimated enrollment impact and revenue/expenses.

Oct. 7, 2016

Strategic enrollment management at Bloomsburg University has three “legs” — recruitment, retention and completion — and all three are necessary for student success in and out of the classroom. Enrollment management is about attracting and recruiting the right students.

These are students who are not only interested in the majors BU offers, but those who will benefit from the programs, services and support BU provides as an inclusive comprehensive public university that prepares students for personal and professional success.

In late September, the enrollment management steering committee met with Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) consultant for the fifth of eight scheduled strategic enrollment planning (SEP) visits. During the visit, the “second wave” of action plans was reviewed.

Just like in mid-August when the “first-wave” was reviewed, the goal was to answer three questions:

  • Does the action plan strategy move Bloomsburg toward the targeted key performance indicators outlined in our initial meeting in February 2016?
  • Is the plan consistent with the planning assumptions highlighted in the SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – analyses?
  • Are these plans financially viable?

Additionally, a “third wave” of action plans was identified as:

  • Military initiatives
  • Global education and partnerships

The next step involves setting enrollment projections around each plan for the next five years, including projections for associated instructional costs and related expenses. Discussions at the September meeting also focused on the significant overlap and interconnectedness of some strategies. It was recommended that several strategy teams collaborate to identify areas for consolidation to strengthen plans and coordinate efforts.

A significant theme of the conversations focused on the institutional need to help students connect the dots in their BU experience. The steering committee agreed that the BU student experience is not linear and that a critical element in strategic enrollment planning is faculty and staff awareness of multiple student pathways. Many of the SEP strategies being developed build upon this understanding.

In addition to reviewing the action plans, RNL shared results from the academic program demand analysis conducted on BU’s behalf. This survey research tested a variety of possible academic programs with 318 college-bound high school students in BU’s primary recruitment market. The results support some work already underway at BU and provide direction to several potential SEP strategies in development. An overview of the research results is attached.

During the next strategic enrollment meeting, the steering committee will select which of the 17 action plans will be integrated into the first phase of BU’s final strategic enrollment management plan. Plans will be selected based on overall impact and the institution’s capacity in terms of fiscal and human resource allocations.

The plans presented over the last two months highlight many opportunities and areas for collaboration across campus as we continue working under an aggressive timeline to prepare for a fall 2017 implementation.

Sept. 2, 2016

Bloomsburg University will be the premier choice among students by offering an affordable and accessible portfolio of academic programs, recognized across the region and the nation, in a welcoming and inclusive environment. As such, attracting students who are most likely to succeed at Bloomsburg, and then providing support for their success, is a top priority. This vision forms the basis of our strategic enrollment planning process currently underway.

Bloomsburg is making significant progress toward the development of an intentional, data-informed enrollment plan that meets the university’s enrollment goals. In mid-August, consultant Brad Goan from Ruffalo Noel Levitz returned for the fourth time to meet with the steering committee and campus representatives. During the meetings, Brad reviewed the “first wave” of action plans identified during his visit in mid-May and provided feedback.

The goals in reviewing the action plans were three-fold:

  • Does the action plan strategy move Bloomsburg toward the targeted key performance indicators outlined in our initial meeting in February 2016?
  • Is the plan consistent with the planning assumptions highlighted in the SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – analyses?
  • Are these plans financially viable?

The submitted plans will be revised using the feedback from the discussion. Additionally, the “second wave” of action plans were identified as:

  • Sophomore success program
  • Academic advising
  • Undeclared students
  • ACT 101 and summer admit programs
  • Graduate academic program mix (including accelerated programs)
  • Marketing key programs of distinction
  • Partnership programs/corporate and continuing education