Linda_BeerEnrollment Management (EM) – what is it? AACRAO defines EM as “…a comprehensive process designed to help an institution achieve and maintain the optimum recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students.” Student success and enrollment management have been at the forefront of many SCC efforts this academic year. We have begun to think about student success as a continuum – from recruitment to retention, then on to graduation/transfer and ultimately placement. To address the student needs along that spectrum, many different strategies, plans and ideas have surfaced. Here are a few of them:

In 2010 a team from SCC attended the Minnesota Student Engagement Institute. The topic for that two-day institute was Strengthening Student Engagement and Success in Minnesota’s Two-Year Colleges. Student satisfaction data from the CCSSE was used as the starting point for this institute. Areas of concern identified by SCC students were examined. After discussion surrounding best practices in student engagement, priorities were identified for SCC to address these student concerns.

The priorities included:

  1. Creating a Connected College
  2. Learning Communities
  3. First Year Experience
  4. Supplemental Instruction

Nancy Genelin brought this draft action plan to AASC during the 2010-11 academic year.

Another team from SCC attended the MnSCU 2011 Promising Practices for Student Success Faculty Forum at MCTC. The forum provided several concurrent sessions for faculty regarding promising practices as well as a keynote from Dr. Kay McClenney, Director, Center for Community College Student Engagement. At the conclusion of the day, the SCC team gathered and created a draft plan of promising practices that may be effective at SCC for future implementation which included: intrusive advising, learning communities, and supplemental instruction.

During the summer of 2011, Beth Danberry and Linda Beer attended the Noel Levitz National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention. As representatives of SCC’s Retention Committee they have provided a wealth of resources regarding best practices, strategies, and ideas to the committee this year. Of significant value is the focus on data-driven decisions and the need for incorporating these measures and assessments in the development, implementation, and evaluation of student engagement strategies.

During Spring and Fall 2011 the SCC Retention Committee began discussion of best practices and crafting the action plan for the next several years. Commitment to connecting with students is evidence by the name change for the committee to the “Student Engagement Committee.” In an attempt to synthesize much of the information listed above along with individual committee member research, a Retention Retreat was held on campus January 3rd.

A very brief summary of ideas generated at the retreat include:

1. How do we organize SCC’s efforts, committees, and leadership to manage student retention along the entire continuum?

  • Leadership needed, recommend a coordinator/director or small steering committee
  • Work could be done by action teams/sub committees that are topic specific
  • Membership MUST be representative of SCC’s faculty, staff, admin
  • Professional development necessary to ensure effective student engagement

2. What are some ways to create an effective Retention/Enrollment Management Plan?

  • Support training for faculty and staff on best practices
  • Conduct analysis of characteristics of SCC students – use data to identify barriers or at-risk students
  • Create a comprehensive advising strategy for the college
  • Focus early on career exploration and goal setting

Looking forward, MnSCU has asked a team from each institution to attend the Developmental Education Summit on February 15-16, 2012. In the memo from Larry Litecky, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, this conference “ will continue to build upon efforts from the previous two years, the promising Practices for Student Success Conference from 2011 and the Plenary Session for Building Student Success from 2010 to promote efforts to scale promising high-impact practices. These practices align with Chancellor Steven Rosenstone’s priorities to dramatically increase student retention, transfer and completion of degrees by targeting underprepared, developmental learners.” Some of the concurrent sessions will focus on developmental education redesign, first year experience courses, supplemental instruction models, and partnerships with adult basic education. Then, February 16 will focus on topics including: learning communities, undergraduate research, service learning, and first year experience. “As a take away, each campus team will be asked to prioritize their institution’s plan to scale promising practices for increasing student success and begin conversations on setting appropriate target measures for increasing student success outcomes during these conference sessions.”

To improve student success and persistence we need to identify at-risk students, the barriers they face, and implement strategies and interventions to help them meet their educational and career goals. As we focus on student success, and consider the entire continuum -- from recruitment to graduation -- the SCC Student Engagement Committee will be creating a new action plan, and a work group is being formed to begin discussion about advising strategies for SCC students. MnSCU is providing some resources and guidelines as well. In response to those MnSCU requests, SCC will be creating action plans to address providing an extraordinary education and a new focus on college readiness. Your input and ideas are greatly appreciated as we continue to address student success at SCC.