BOT Academic Committee Meeting 12-10-18

BOT Academic Committee Meeting 12-10-18

The meeting was called to order at 1:02, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll call was taken, the following individuals were present:  Alan Bennett, Charles Bernstein, Richard Jarman, Kirk Overstreet (sec. Pro Tempore), Cheryl Bamboch-Caplan, Bob Hazard, Carol Carlson-Nofsinger

Comments:  No comments made by Committee Chairman or members of the public

Meeting Minutes Approval:  A motion was made to approve the November 13, 2018 meeting minutes.  Minutes were approved.  One member abstained, as they had not attended the meeting.

INFORMATION: Strategic Enrollment Management Initiative Update

Dr. Mark Curtis-Chávez, Provost, presented an update on the Strategic Enrollment Management Initiative.

Dr. Chavez offered opening greetings, and began his presentation by providing a definition of a Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) initiative, stating that it is a process to achieve optimal enrollment and achievements rates as defined by an institution.  He continued, stating that strategic enrollment planning is a continuous and data-informed process that:

  • Provides realistic, quantifiable goals
  • Uses a return-on-investment approach
  • Relies on detailed action plans
  • Transparent internal communications
  • Aligns the institution’s mission, current state, and changing environment.

COD’s SEM plan will be a comprehensive strategy that engages the full college community to shape our student recruitment, enrollment, retention and completion efforts.  Dr. Chavez stated that SEM is not a marketing plan, recruitment plan, contain enrollment goals without academic goals, or is only about new students.

Why implement SEM?  Dr. Chavez noted that there are changes in the landscape that are impacting enrollment.

The economy is strong, and that the Department of Employment Security pins the unemployment rate at 4.2%.  When employment rates are strong, enrollment at community colleges typically decline.

High School enrollment is down.  DuPage County has experienced a 5% decline in the number of school aged children (5-17 year olds).   The state’s population has decreased for the fourth consecutive year, and Illinois’ population ranking has dropped from 5th to 6th most populous in the country.  While some of the population decrease can be attributed to retirees moving to presumably warmer climes, according to the Illinois Policy Organization, those in the 25-54 age range are moving out of state, and with them go the children.

Competition for community college students from both public and private institutions is increasing.  While UIUC’s enrollments are strong, student enrollment at all other Illinois public universities are dropping.  In response, many of these schools are changing admission standards, so students with lower GPAs and ACT/SAT scores who might have attended a community college no longer need to do so.  Also, many of these institutions are creating dual enrollment programs, which historically had been the community college’s territory.  Additionally, private schools are discounting tuition, drawing students away from COD.

Student “out migration” is also playing a role in declining enrollment at Illinois institutions. In 2016, 46% of college-going high school graduates went to a college outside the state.  All of these factors adversely impact the institutional revenue streams.

Dr. Chavez discussed how COD could address these issues, including who should be responsible for increasing student enrollment.  At many institutions, the Student Affairs office, which often consists of a small team of employees, are tasked with increasing enrollment.  Dr. Chavez, however, asserted that at COD it’s everyone’s responsibility.  He went on to complement the quality of COD faculty, and noted that full time positions at COD are difficult to get.  Quality teaching happens at COD.  However, he noted that although faculty do a fantastic job, some students still do not return to COD.

Dr. Chavez stated that SEM will help identify ways to get students to return to COD.  However, if enrollment remains the sole responsibility of Student Affairs, enrollment might not increase. Greater success can be realized if constituencies across campus are given a voice in helping increase enrollment.  Dr. Chavez stressed that SEM Council Members (more on that below) will be responsible for working with groups from other teams, gathering feedback and delivering information back to the SEM Council.

Dr. Chavez discussed “Pre-SEM” culture, whereby decision making is made using hunches and anecdotal information; little environmental scanning; poor data management; lack of internal communication; enrollment “isn’t my job;” and financial illiteracy.  He noted that COD has the best institutional research team he’s ever seen, however, others need to see and work with the data.

“Post-SEM” culture includes data-informed decision-making; shared understanding of the impact of market forces and institutional process; broad awareness of the relationship between enrollment and fiscal health; communication and collaboration between the faculty, staff and administration; and enrollment as an institutional-wide function.

The plan for the SEM organization will include eight teams, including

  • New Students
  • Marketing
  • Current Students
  • Stop-out students
  • Retention
  • Momentum Points
  • Graduation
  • Processes

SEM plan will have four priorities:

  • Process efficiencies
  • Enrollment
  • Improved retention
  • Heightened completion

Dr. Chavez outlined a four phrase plan, including:

  • Preparation and Data Analysis (KPI, Data collection, Situation analysis)
  • Strategies (Strategic Development, prioritization, ROI considerations)
  • Enrollment Goals (Enrollment projection, goal setting and written plan finalization)
  • Implementation and continuation (Implementation of plan, SEP council reconstituted to include SEM function, monitor, evaluate, and update the plan)

The goal is to begin implementing the plan in April, 2019.  However, a fully-developed plan will not be implemented at that time because of time constraints.  The plan’s goal is to address student enrollment, marketing to students from the time they are in elementary school to when they find employment. Full implementation will take approximately 1- 1 ½ years.  He also stated that instituting Pathways is essential for the success of the plan.

Several questions were asked by committee members, including how long it will take to implement each phase of the program.  Chavez answered that it will take at least a full year to implement.  While the full plan cannot be implemented quickly, parts of the plan can be, such as looking at new markets, focusing on the increasing student enrollment at the Centers, and working with local high schools to create dual enrollment programs.

Question – How will SEM success be measured?  Chavez answered that increased enrollment, and how courses align with academic and local employer needs.

Dr. Caputo noted that the COD Cabinet has discussed and supports the plan, and hopes that the BoT sees its value. He also noted that SEM does not displace other COD initiatives but rather complements them.

Dr. Chavez was asked how the SEM groups will collaborate.  He responded that there will be conversation between group members, and teams will meet with the Council and vice versa.  He will update groups, and a team website was created that contains readings and presentation.  It is open to all employees to view.  He will provide the BoT with a list of council members.  He also noted that McHenry CC instituted a SEM plan, and he thinks they are the only Illinois CC that has recently seen an increase in enrollment.  Dr. Chavez noted that COD is currently working with local school administrators, and is reaching out to Hispanic students.

Dr. Chavez mentioned that the College has been trying to follow up with a student who spoke at the last meeting.  They have now scheduled a meeting with that student.

The meeting adjourned at 1:56pm.