Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Planning
Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) planning supports the vision and mission of a higher education institution. SEM planning is a transparent, collaborative process involving faculty, staff and students; and informed by other key stakeholders. As Kutztown University experiences the challenges and opportunities associated with today’s enrollment demographics, it must recognize important regional and national social, economic and educational shifts and be prepared to respond with evidenced-based enrollment goals, strategies and tactics. SEM planning is a transparent process that is flexible and subject to outcomes analysis.
The SEM Planning Process was developed based on best practices as noted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).
August: The planning process was announced at the University’s Convocation
September: With the input from the University’s Cabinet, Strategic Planning and Resources Committee, Enrollment Management Committee and Student Success Team, the process began in late September.
Committee Roles: The Strategic Planning and Resources Committee serves as the SEM Steering Committee; the Student Success Team serves as the Retention Council; the Enrollment Management Committee serves as the Recruitment Council; and the Data Team is comprised of representatives from Institutional Research, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Administration and Finance, and Academic Affairs. The members of each team is listed here.
October: The Data Team was charged with providing institutional and external data for committees to utilize in developing goals. The Data Team provided a Data Portfolio (click here for an outline of the data elements) in mid-October.
The Retention Council and the Recruitment Council were charged with reviewing the Data Portfolio and asking for additional data elements and clarification if needed. Requests from the Councils were presented to the Data Team which responded to each request.
November: Dr. Tom Green from AACRAO presented a day long workshop to all parties involved in the process. The workshop covered among other things, general information on enrollment trends, the steps to developing a SEM Plan, and how to formulate enrollment goals based on evidence.
The Councils were charged with utilizing this information to develop 6-8 (3-4 for recruitment and 3-4 for retention) enrollment goals before early February.
The Steering Committee was charged with developing a process of reviewing and approving the recommended goals from the Councils. The Steering Committee decided to create a sub-team to discuss the process that will be used to evaluate the recommended goals from the Retention and Recruitment Councils.
The Data Team was charged with creating a draft Environmental Scan by early March and a final Environmental Scan by early April. The Environmental Scan provides a summary of key data that informs the plan.
December: The Recruitment Council created sub-teams to create one goal for each of the following areas: new freshmen enrollment, new transfer enrollment and new graduate enrollment.
The Retention Council created sub-teams to create one goal for each of the following areas: freshman (FTFT Cohort) retention, transfer student completion, and persistence.
January: The Steering Committee (SPRC) met to discuss the progress and the process the committee would utilize moving forward to complete the plan. A call out was made to populate the sub-team that will be evaluating the goals recommended by the Recruitment and Retention Councils. Additional discussions regarding the new scholarship structure occurred.
February: The Retention and Recruitment Councils have submitted 5 goals to the Steering Committee for review/approval. An additional goal regarding transfer completion is anticipated. Each council is working towards developing a list of potential members for the sub-teams that will work on the action plans, timelines, and strategies for each of the six goals. Dr. Tom Green is scheduled to be on-campus on March 17 to train the sub-teams on the process to develop action plans, timelines and strategies.
March: Due to COVID-19, the training for the sub-teams was postponed. Instead a two hour meeting was scheduled for April to discuss how to finalize the goals of the plan in light of the disruption of the global pandemic.
April: SPRC meet with Dr. Tom Green to discuss considerations for finalizing the goals of the plan. Minor revisions to the goals were made and sent to SPRC for review.
May: SPRC approved six goals with the understanding that the goals would be revisited after the fall freeze (census) date to determine if the goals need to be revised.
August: The goals along with next steps in the planning process were presented to the campus community via the online Faculty and Staff Convocation.
September: SPRC determined that the transfer recruitment and graduate enrollment goals needed to be revisited. A workshop for the sub-teams is scheduled for October. The workshop will ‘train’ the sub-team members on creating the timelines, strategies and action plans for the plan. As with rest of the planning process, the sub-teams will include faculty, staff and students. Due to the pandemic, the plan which was intended to be a four year plan (2020 to 2024), will now run from 2021 to 2024.
October: 49 faculty, staff, and students as part of six sub-teams attended a workshop on October 9. The workshop ‘trained’ the sub-team members on creating the timelines, strategies and action plans for the plan. The sub-teams submitted proposed strategies for review by SPRC.
November: SPRC approved the strategies from each of the six sub-teams. The Transfer Recruitment sub-team revised and added a strategy. All sub-teams worked on developing 3-5 tactics for each strategy with a due date of December 18. SPRC was provided an update on the process.
December: All sub-teams submitted tactics prior to the due date. The tactics will be reviewed and feedback provided by the VP for EMSA and AACRAO consultant. It is anticipated that the final tactics will be provided for review and approval to SPRC and the Enrollment Management Committee by no later than late January/early February.
January: All tactics were reviewed by the VP for EMSA and AACRAO consultant and feedback was provided to the six teams. The teams and members of SPRC met with the AACRAO consultant to review feedback on the tactics and discuss next steps including tactical updates.
February: All updates to tactics were made and submitted. The revised tactics were submitted to SPRC and the Enrollment Management Committee for review.
March: Feedback was received and provided to each team. Teams have been asked to provide any revisions by April 13 with the understanding that further revisions to timelines and metrics will need to occur before the fall freeze date. It is anticipated that the final plan will with goals and strategies will be completed by the end of the spring 2021 semester.