Recruiting—and retaining—the right student body can make or break an institution. A carefully conceived and executed strategic enrollment plan can help an institution to not only attract but enroll the right number of students, of the quality desired, paying enough to support the university, while fulfilling its mission.
Institutions that fail to attend to the finer points of strategic enrollment management may find themselves failing to thrive. Author Jim Hundrieser explains the essential elements of an effective enrollment plan in his recent publication, What Board Members Need to Know About Enrollment Management.
The essentials presented in the publication not only coincide with the principles and trends that have been identified as components of successful planning processes, but also address the most common reasons plans fail.
Elements of a good strategic plan are:
- Futuristic: Data is used to identify how the institution’s current offerings match the future external environment.
- Comprehensive and integrated: Multiple types of student enrollments and programs are considered.
- Data informed: Extensive data should be collected and analyzed to guide the creation of strategies and programs.
- Academically oriented: The plan should be oriented toward academic and co-curricular programs rather than focused on marketing, recruitment, and retention tactics.
- Technologically current: The process must determine tactics or action items that build or enhance operational system efficiencies, technology enhancements, and services or activities to serve students.