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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

North Carolina's controversial “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act" jeopardizes $4.5 billion in federal higher ed funding.

In March, North Carolina passed a law that public colleges and universities require individuals to use restrooms that match their birth gender. Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina system, which serves more than 220,000 students, confirmed that all 17 campuses will comply.

Jo Allen is president of Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The role of women’s colleges—far beyond their origins in offering access to college degrees—is to help women flourish. Some women’s colleges have focused on women’s leadership; some on career preparation in STEM and other areas where women have been under-represented; and still others on health care, education and areas where women excel.

Also at UConn: The La Comunidad Intelectual learning community focuses on Caribbean and Latin American cultures.

The University of Connecticut’s recent announcement of a planned learning community intended for first- and second-year African-American male students has reignited a decades-old debate regarding ethnically themed living spaces on campus.

Accommodations in action: Administrators from several Bentley University departments worked together to help ensure Deyven Ferreras—who entered college with a mechanical device for his weakened heart—could safely and successfully pursue a postsecondary education.

Increasingly, colleges and universities enroll students with a wide array of physical and mental health conditions. Legal guidelines that put the onus on students to request accommodations—plus the departmentalization of services—can make it difficult to come up with a coordinated plan for a student.

More than half of students go to colleges within 50 miles of their homes.

The twin goals of affordability and diversity dominate the nation’s push to expand access to higher ed, but another critical factor—geography—is drawing more attention for the role it plays in where students go to college.

Wake Forest U’s 2014 commencement speaker, Jill Abramson, was no longer New York Times editor-in-chief when she gave her speech, but the talk was still well received.

Choices for commencement speakers are making headlines this season, and higher ed officials are aiming to make sure those headlines are positive. For one thing, many colleges now prioritize student input and diversity when choosing commencement speakers. 

Jon McGee, vice president for planning and public affairs at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, says many colleges and universities are too focused on the present to prepare for the changes ahead.

In his book, Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education, Jon McGee says higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary transitional period that has significant implications for how colleges understand their mission, their market and their management.

Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz higher education enrollment consultants, a Ruffalo Cody company.

The shift to the use of families’ Prior-Prior Year (PPY) financial data on the FAFSA has come to pass. This shift has far-reaching implications not only for timing of financial aid awards, but also in other aspects of enrollment, such as marketing, recruitment and institutional budgeting.

Some campus officials worry energy drinks contribute to students' risky behaviors.

Citing that energy drinks have been linked to health problems, Middlebury College has stopped selling them to students. School officials also suggested the popular beverages, which are often mixed with alcohol, have been involved in incidents of binge drinking, “high-risk sexual activity” and other unsafe behaviors.

With the need to host both one-on-one donor chats plus receptions for a hundred or more alumni and friends, campus alumni houses tend to be versatile venues. While great rooms must have space for that next big event, the aim is for an intimate group not to feel swallowed up by the space.

Craig Weidemann is vice president for outreach and vice provost for online learning at Penn State University and Karen Pollack is assistant vice provost for online undergraduate and blended programs.

Online learning has expanded dramatically over the past two decades, reaching a high of more than 5 million enrollments in 2013. While that expansion has slowed recently, it still far exceeds overall growth in higher education. Yet by 2025, the phrase “online learning” could disappear from the common vernacular.

Reentry Project class speaker Jamil Watson addressed his peers at a completion ceremony in December 2015.

New momentum has built behind higher education’s pivotal role in helping prison inmates turn their life around and re-enter society. So, what if a city offered convicted felons a college education instead of a jail sentence?

Early adopters tout virtual reality as the next big thing, and in higher education, 360-degree videos are adding exciting, immersive experiences. The best indicator that the time is right for “VR” can be found in the investments made by two competing tech giants, Google and Facebook.

Oral Roberts University students have to walk an average of 10,000 steps each day.

All first-year students must buy and wear a Fitbit fitness-tracker. While some critics called this requirement an overreach, school officials say Oral Roberts has long had a fitness component as part of its “Whole Person Education,” which focuses on mind, body and spirit.

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