Updates from the Provost
- Tuesday, October 13th, 2020
Like many of you, I have learned to appreciate the small things and, for me, that means cooler evenings and fall colors. I do hope that each of you is finding enjoyment in some of life’s small pleasures. As we continue to navigate these unusual times, I thought I would take to share an update on some of the strategic work that has been happening on our campus. We began this work so long ago that the initial conversations were face-to-face.
Over a year ago, in a continued partnership between the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Enrollment and Student Experience, more than fifty WKU faculty and staff worked together with Ruffalo Noel Levitz to develop a comprehensive multi-year Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP). The overall purpose of the group is to develop strategies to increase enrollment of qualified students. Six Planning Committees were formed in areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Success, Recruitment/Marketing, Financial Assistance, Academic Program Evaluation, and Colonnade. Each developed an action plan that was presented to the SEP Steering Committee. The action plans were designed to provide a narrative that described the intended goals, evaluation metrics, budgets, and enrollment projections.
Based on mission fit and connection to institutional priorities, return on investment, enrollment impact, and likelihood of success, the five-year plan includes the following strategies as Phase One/early year priorities. Clearly, the groundwork on some of these strategies has already begun.
Increase enrollment of adult learners
Increase out of state recruitment
Increase transfer student recruitment
Expand URM recruitment events
Expand URM recruitment marketing
Student success strategies
Expand financial aid counseling
Implement gateway course redesign
Expand living learning programs
Expand outreach coordinators/advisors
Phase Two priorities include international recruitment, first year experience, and individual student success plans. “Just do it” strategies include “Did not enroll” recruitment, stop-out recruitment, and WKU Connect. While a written document will be developed soon, we began this process with the understanding that, to be successful, a strategic enrollment plan must be a living tool. The faculty and staff have done solid work in building a strong first set of SEP strategies and we are committed to moving this process forward in a dynamic way.
At this point, we are moving from the planning phase to the implementation phase. Our forthcoming formal launch of WKU’s SEP will provide an opportunity to explain the approaches and strategies more fully and engage the entire campus in this exciting work.
Thank you for all you do to help our students succeed.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience