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.

Planning Process

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.