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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

In the first of our trilogy of commentaries entitled ‘Ready to Launch: New Engines of Entrepreneurial Startup’ – we featured the new Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This commentary provided an early national higher education media context highlighting UM-F’s downtown commitment – put in play by sponsored business incubators, product accelerators, and entrepreneurial launchpads.

Roxanne Shiels is alumni strategist for Penn State Outreach and Online Education. She can be reached at rch104@psu.edu.

As growing numbers of students pursue degrees online, a new constituency in higher education is being created: alumni who have completed their studies without setting foot on campus. That presents a challenge for those of us in alumni relations.

Wine Spectator Learning Center

Sonoma State University (Calif.)

The $9.2 million Wine Spectator Learning Center will be a 14,500-square-foot centerpiece of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, the only school in the U.S. that offers a wine industry MBA.

Asian and Pacific Islander Family Night at Des Moines Area Community College.

Des Moines is becoming more diverse, with a growing population of Latinos, Asians and Africans. The events are aimed at creating a college-going culture in local communities, and give families direction on career choice, applying to college, and paying for college.

The College-Bound Student E-Expectations Survey asked 3,000 college-bound high school seniors and juniors about their digital habits and expectations—from the start of the recruiting cycle. Here’s a selection of the top insights from the study.

Aaron Mahl is a vice president and consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Large public universities and smaller liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their male enrollments. The National Center for Education Statistics projects that, by 2020, men will represent only 41 percent of college enrollees.

Strengthening the community: An entire residence hall at Onondaga Community College is now dedicated to about a dozen themed living/learning communities—proving you need not be at a four-year institution to experience the living/learning experience.

A dozen or so living-learning communities at Onondaga Community College are designed around themes such as wellness, criminal justice and STEM. About 30 percent of students who live on campus will be a part of such of community this school year.

Almost all U.S. colleges and universities now award certificates, digital badges and other forms of microcredentials. Driving this fast-growing trend are workforce millennials who want to learn, for instance, how to operate an Amazon delivery drone or repair a self-driving car without having to earn another degree.

At the University of Oregon’s Collegiate Recovery Center, students can relax in a lounge with free coffee and tea.

To combat a surge in opioid overdoses and continued abuse of alcohol, colleges and universities are expanding services and facilities that aim to keep students in class as they recover from addiction. 

Female graduates receive fewer solicitations for donations, and they give at a lower rate than do their male counterparts, according to the “Alumni Engagement and Giving” survey by Alumni Monitor, a higher education consulting service.

Just hours before it was scheduled to be administered in June, the ACT college admission test was canceled in South Korea and Hong Kong. Approximately 5,500 international students were turned away from testing centers after ACT Inc. announced that it had received credible evidence that test materials in these regions had been leaked in advance, thus compromising the integrity of the exams.

John L. Gann, Jr., consults, trains, and writes on marketing. He is author of "The Third Lifetime Place: A New Economic Opportunity for College Towns."

Although their leaders might claim otherwise, ratings by U.S. News, Princeton Review and others are of outsized importance to universities today. But what about the many colleges that didn’t rank high with these reviewers? How can they compete with the list-toppers?

Need-based financial aid was supposed to give everyone an opportunity to get into college and better their lives and career prospects. Nearly half of the public, four-year colleges studied in a new report leave the most financially needy students on the hook for more than $10,000 of debt per school year.

Remember the “Flutie Effect”? That’s the claim that Boston College applications increased as a result of Doug Flutie’s last-second Hail Mary pass that won a football game against the defending champs from the University of Miami. Now we may be seeing the opposite—let’s call it the Scandal Side Effect—where a school’s bad publicity can drive applicants away.

Jeffrey R. Docking is the president of Adrian College in Michigan and the author of "Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan To Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America."

Sometimes, well-known propositions lead to predictable conclusions. But not always. Occasionally, they lead to surprises—and even busted myths. Here’s one: Wealthy, private institutions willing to invest large endowments in financial aid for poorer students do the best job of expanding access to higher education.

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