Peek Behind the Curtain of Academia

SEMYou and your daughter may have passed her on a campus tour on the way to check out the student union restaurant offerings.

You didn’t recognize her, but she is one of those behind-the-scenes experts who can crunch the metadata to assess the probability of your daughter being admitted, and importantly, successfully hitting the finish line—graduation day.

Enter the Strategic Enrollment Manager.

While you are mulling whether the school is a good fit for your offspring—academic options, financial aid, teacher-student ratios and that campus food–the Strategic Enrollment Manager has taken taking a much more holistic approach.

“When applied astutely and ethically, [Strategic Enrollment Management] recruits students for success, links them to faculty and other mentors and helps them become college graduates and lifelong achievers,” said Paul Orehovec, consultant and longtime enrollment management officer.

Colleges need to balance such factors as academic program development, recruitment policies, faculty, student-living programs with special attention on retention plans and procedures. Indeed, the SEM is weighing dozens and dozens of factors, from socioeconomic status to high-school extracurricular activities to where mom and dad went to college. The enrollment team develops a strategic model that maximizes success—not only for the incoming four-year student, but for the stature and financial well-being of the university itself.

The SEM thrives on the concept of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)—Recruitment KPIs such as diversity, Retention KPIs such as probabilities of at-risk students and Operational KPIs such as total incoming revenue and social-media marketing expenditures.

And from the pool of potential students the SEM can parse “market niches,”–probable nursing students or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors or Citizen Club aspirants.

So while connecting with the regional recruiter and financial-aid officer is crucial, also consider finding the SEM, by email at least. Ask about the shifting number of declared majors, how the school parses urban from rural candidates, etc. Make sure your daughter is active on social media…Follow on Facebook and keep your profile clear of questionable activity; include the college on her RSS Feed; download the college’s student app; follow and be active on the university’s Twitter accounts; post an Instagram picture from your campus tour…

Success breeds more success. Your needs as a student/parent overlap more than you think with your top school choices….Just do the math. The SEM already has.

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