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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

THE BIG EVENT—In 2016, when President Barack Obama visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha, more than 10,000 higher ed students, faculty, staff and community members attended an event at the campus arena.

Colleges may already prepare extensively for VIPs, but a deeper level of cross-campus coordination can ensure a smooth visit even when protests or other disruptions occur.

Adults need more flexible higher ed programs that allow them to do college coursework remotely and at their own pace and at any time. (GettyImages.com: Kali9)

A newly formed advocacy organization hopes to smooth the process for busy adults looking to attend college.

Keeping college students emotionally healthy comes down to the resources campuses are willing to provide. (GettyImages.com: Solstock)

The growing demand for mental health treatment on campuses resulted in part from a national effort, mounted over the last decade or so, to eliminate stigmas and get more students to seek help when grappling with emotional distress.

Today, with increased attention on student success and the long-term effects of unpaid accounts, institutions need to recognize the impact financial services staff have on recruitment and retention. It’s a shift to thinking more about the big picture.

“The last thing colleges want to do is put a former student in collections,” says Harrison Wadsworth, executive director of the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations. But when internal efforts to collect tuition don’t work, it’s important to have somewhere to turn for help.

MOBILE MINDFULNESS—UT Austin higher ed students and faculty using  Thrive at UT can take a few minutes to read daily and weekly gratitude reflections. Interactive quizzes help students apply the concepts to their own lives.

A well-being app encourages students at The University of Texas at Austin to stay in the moment—via the device that often takes them out of it: their phone.

Leslie Crosley is a higher ed enrollment management consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Jim Scannell recently retired as senior consultant for enrollment management at Ruffalo Noel Levitz and is the former president of Scannell & Kurz.

Now more than ever, enrollment leadership requires a coordinated campus team to respond to emerging internal challenges as well as shifting external forces.

The Core Campus Project—a mixed-use addition to Clemson University—includes student housing, retail and residential dining, and is also a centralized home for the Calhoun Honors College.

Barry Mills has been appointed higher ed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Barry Mills has been appointed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Higher ed administrators are using apps and platforms behind the scenes to help create efficiencies, increase productivity, and manage projects and workflow.

A link to Virginia Tech’s We Remember website, created immediately after the tragedy, holds a prominent place at the top right of the university’s home page.

Each spring, updated commemoration event information gets posted to the site, www.weremember.vt.edu—with all previous content remaining accessible and the victims’ photos and biographies easy to find.

“Nothing has ever been taken down,” says Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information at the university. “It’s there as public record.”

Community colleges in two of California’s biggest cities have announced plans to substantially expand access to public education by offering residents
the chance to earn an associate degree for free.

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

Higher ed researchers Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos, in their book Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt, say the real challenges facing student lending are obscured by the popular myth of looming crisis.

The student debt crisis—despite dire warnings from the media—is not as bad as it is portrayed, researchers Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos say.

Higher ed institutions in the U.S. lead the world when it comes to producing graduates who go on to create unicorns—private start-up companies worth in excess of $1 billion, such as Uber, Facebook or SpaceX.

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