Sometimes it’s worthwhile to create a post that spans a variety of inter-related topics as a way of sharing a collection of ideas. When I was outlining this piece, I was struck by the seemingly disparate lens in which these topics are often looked at from an institutional perspective. However, with a deeper glance, it’s the connections between these areas that are the strands that form essential aspects of the student experience.
To those who believe deeply in the power of higher education, all while tenaciously pushing for its betterment.
Enrollment management has long been one of my professional areas of interest. As a core function within higher education, enrollment growth matters. Recently I had the chance to read a new book on this particular subject from Helix Education.
The Enrollment Growth Playbook represents next generation thinking about how universities and colleges think about their enterprise-level goals, growth, marketing, enrollment, retention, and data intelligence.
One of the first UK higher education organizations that I found whilst researching UK HE + technology was Jisc. After attending a couple of their events and connecting with their social media team, I was invited to share my thoughts on social media, student services, Yik Yak, and digital engagement. Here are excerpts and links to those posts:
Student services teams that capitalise on the reach and utility of digital channels have an opportunity to enhance their work, create campus connections, and lead the way for successful student experiences.
For now, Yik Yak is the dominant player in the anonymous geo-social mobile app space. Educators should learn how to use Yik Yak today as preparation for the next big thing. I’ve been posting, up-voting, and down-voting on Yik Yak. Sure, the anonymous aspect is a bit different compared to my preferred social media channels, but at least I can be confident that I’m engaging in lifelong learning in the digital realm.
There are enhanced educational opportunities that come from getting digital. Educators who are student-focused will always be ready for the challenges of the present and the opportunities of the future. It’s up to institutions to provide support, resources, and rewards to those who are using social media to benefit the learners that they serve. So let’s get digital in order to get learning.
I’ve been blogging for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) for 6 months. The word cloud represents the most-used words in the 45 posts that I’ve written for my “Student Affairs and Technology” blog. Twitter has been one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s such a wonderfully versatile social media tool.
I’m thoroughly enjoying my ride as a blogger for IHE. I write at least 2 posts per week. As a seasoned blogger, having deadlines and a post quota has been incredibly motivating. My editor has a fantastic sense of humor. He has been a delightful boss. I can’t wait to see if I can crack 100 posts in 2011.
The only caveat of course has been that this blog has been a bit neglected. I’ve been much more active on Twitter in 2010. With a paid blogging gig and Twitter taking up more of my publishing time, I do try to put something up on this site from time to time. Stay tuned for significant site updates. I plan on incorporating more of my consulting endeavors on this blog as I continue to navigate the “Stoller Coaster.”
I am thrilled to announce that I’m going to be blogging about Student Affairs and Technology for Inside Higher Ed (IHE). As an avid reader of IHE, I am very excited to join the IHE blogging team. I think that my posts on student affairs + technology will complement Joshua Kim’s blog on Technology and Learning.
Recently, I held a contest via Twitter to name my new blog. The incentive — a $100 Amazon gift card — courtesy of Inside Higher Ed. Several folks came up with interesting/creative blog names. I think the #SAChat Community provided the majority of ideas. Student Affairs folks are uber creative.
Here are my 3 favorite submissions:
- Jeff Jackson: The Stoller Strikes Back, Return of the Blogosphere, Student Affairs….I am Your Blogger
- Zack Ford: Challenge and Tech Support
- ACUHO-I (sent via DM): Binary Code of Conduct
Choosing a winner from these 3 has been extremely challenging. Star Wars references, Sanford, and an entire Association…how cool is that?!! After more than a week of deliberate (intentional ;-) ) deliberating I have decided that the winner of the gift card is:
Zack Ford’s submission made me laugh. It’s subtle….and I love subtlety. The obvious nod / homage to Nevitt Sanford warms the heart. Challenge and Support is one of my all-time favorite, and oft-used, student development theories.
It should be noted that Julie Larsen was correct…the official name of my new blog is going to be: Student Affairs and Technology. The name needed to be something that would be simple enough that any IHE reader would know exactly what it was about. The blog also needed to be search engine friendly…”Students Affairs + Technology” is simple and searchable.
Stay tuned for my first official post on Inside Higher Ed!
Julie P-Kirchmeier: Stoller: Resistance is Futile
Niki Rudolph: Epic Stoller
Justine Carpenter: Tech Tips for SAPs
Christopher Conzen: The Stoller Coaster
Conducting a successful student affairs job search requires patience, networking, and technology. That’s right, technology. One particular tech tool that is extremely useful for conducting a search is RSS. Job postings delivered to your feed reader via RSS means that new job announcements are efficiently delivered to your virtual doorstep.
If you aren’t familiar with using RSS, please watch this video for more information:
If you need an RSS feed reader, I would highly recommend using Google Reader:
There are a few student affairs websites that offer job postings via RSS feeds, including:
Remember to look for the RSS symbol – – or for a link to RSS data. Ideally, all student affairs job sites will offer RSS feeds in the near future as this makes conducting a search ultra-convenient.
An alternative to RSS feeds for job postings is the “Email Alert.” Several sites offer email alerts based on a variety of search queries. ACPA, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Placement Exchange, and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium all offer student affairs job search updates via email alerts.
In addition to the RSS and Email solutions mentioned above, most student affairs associations / higher education news sites offer job listings on their websites. Here are direct links to the student affairs job listings for the following associations / resource sites.
Student Affairs jobs via professional associations:
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
- American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
- Association of College Unions International (ACUI)
- Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA)
- Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals
- National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
- National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
- National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS)
- National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
- The Placement Exchange (NASPA, ACUHO-I, NACA, NODA, ASCA and AFA)
Student Affairs jobs via higher education publications / job sites:
Earlier this year, AACRAO Consulting found that West Virginia University had erroneously awarded 288 degrees. 29 recommendations were made to enhance WVU’s student academic records management. One of the recommendations was to create and appoint a university registrar position at WVU. It didn’t take very long for WVU to create a position description for the newly created Registrar position. 3 months later, WVU has appointed a Registrar to be the “official custodian of student academic records.”
I wish Dr. Steve Robinson all the best in his new position. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can counter the institutional-wide issues that led to inaccurate degree reporting / auditing. System-wide issues are extremely difficult to mend, regardless of the appointment of a centralized leadership position. It will take coalitions of folks working in conjunction with one another to create a more focused, error-free system of degree granting.
As I ponder this situation, I keep thinking about the role that academic and faculty advisors will need to have in order to fix things at WVU. Student Information Systems are wonderful tools for most folks in higher education, however, the components that academic advisors utilize are often lacking in terms of both function and usability. Without solid systems for academic advisors, degree audits and degree granting at WVU will still be an issue…
Academic advisors tend to get cold sweats over this type of thing. Fortunately, the institution where I work has a pretty solid degree audit system that is bulwarked by a solid system of humans. Class substitutions and transfer course equivalencies are part of my daily routine. Plus, I have my abacus at the ready in case of emergencies.
The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers found that West Virginia University awarded 288 degrees despite discrepancies in credit requirements.
The investigation began in the wake of a degree scandal at the University in which Heather Bresch, Gov. Joe Manchin’s daughter, was inappropriately awarded an Executive Master’s in Business Administration degree.
Along with Bresch’s degree, AACRAO Consulting found that 27 students in the WVU College of Business and Economics, and 261 additional undergraduate degrees either fell short of credits or had other discrepancies.
Degree requirement discrepancies stemmed from several sources, said Jonathan Cumming, assistant vice president of Graduate Education. The discrepancies originated because the records-keeping process was incomplete. Credit-hour deficiencies could also be due to errors in class substitutions or mistakes made in recording transfer credits.
The mission of AACRAO Consulting’s work at WVU is to “provide professional development, guidelines and voluntary standards to be used by higher education officials regarding the best practices in records management, admissions, enrollment management, administrative information technology and student services,” according to the final report.
The final report from AACRAO Consulting is quite lengthy but it’s worth reading as it provides a lot of insights into what went wrong at WVU. The Registrar’s position at WVU was probably fast-tracked at light speed. The position description is already online! One of the requirements for the position is that your degree cannot be one of the 288….just kidding ;-)
Lastly, I wanted to point out this quote from the AACRAO Consulting report: “Many faculty find the Banner system difficult to use, instead opting to keep records in paper form.”
SunGard Higher Education, ARE YOU LISTENING? The interface for Banner is horrendous. I would say that it’s horrible, but I don’t want to insult horrible! Let it be known that if anyone can create an interface/system that does what Banner does, and is actually friendly to humans, the higher education institutions of the world will grant you immortality and a cash prize!
SEM in this context stands for “Strategic Enrollment Management“. A recent article on strategic enrollment management in the Shepherd University enrollment management newsletter provides insight into the structure of strategic enrollment management components:
Revenue is an important part of the SEM strategy building. The institution must determine its Optimum Revenue, defined as the sum of appropriations and tuition revenue. Like Optimum Enrollment, (benchmark enrollment figure that indicates revenues and expenditures are in balance) Optimal Revenue is a benchmark that fluctuates and is impossible to calculate with absolute precision. An institution’s Optimum Tuition rate may actually be lower or significantly higher that the tuition currently charged. Current Revenue is then compared to Optimum Revenue. The difference becomes the SEM Revenue Goal.
- Current Enrollment x Current Tuition = Current Revenue
- Optimum Enrollment x Optimum Tuition = Optimum Revenue
- Optimum Revenue – Current Revenue = SEM Revenue Goal
Strategic Reinvestment, a key economic model of SEM, is a function of the SEM Revenue Goal rather than an absolute dollar figure. This refers to allocating resources saved from existing revenue streams, or allocating new revenues generated by SEM strategies to further the success of the SEM program. An example of this is setting financial aid levels as a function of revenue. The flexibility of this reinvestment provides unexpected control in bringing in the class at or above numerical and quality expectations until optimum levels are achieved. Such an approach eliminates important opportunities through miscalculating yields on financial aid offerings or putting continuing students in competition with new students for limited financial resources.
Shepherd University Enrollment Management Newsletter:
Additional information on strategic enrollment management:
Enrollment Management professionals love data. High school student demographics including race, ethnicity, geographic location, standardized test scores, etc. are all part of a strategic enrollment management toolkit. Unfortunately, the Princeton Review had a recent long-term information breach of that same sort of information that is so often of interest to higher education enrollment management divisions:
The Princeton Review, the test-preparatory firm, accidentally published the personal data and standardized test scores of tens of thousands of Florida students on its Web site, where they were available for seven weeks.
One file on the site contained information on about 34,000 students in the public schools in Sarasota, Fla., where the Princeton Review was hired to build an online tool to help the county measure students’ academic progress. The file included the students’ birthdays and ethnicities, whether they had learning disabilities, whether English was their second language, and their level of performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which is given to students in grades 3 to 11.