Enrollment Growth Hero

If you’re interested in all things related to university enrollment, admissions, and recruitment, I would recommend reading the Enrollment Growth Playbook from Helix Education.

Here’s my take on the playbook from earlier this year:

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.

Recently, the team at Helix Education contacted me about a new interactive game-based version of the Enrollment Growth Playbook.

Continue reading Enrollment Growth Hero

Blogging Student Affairs and Technology

Inside Higher Ed - blogging about student affairs and technology - Eric Stoller

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!

Honorable mention:

Julie P-Kirchmeier: Stoller: Resistance is Futile

Niki Rudolph: Epic Stoller

Justine Carpenter: Tech Tips for SAPs

Christopher Conzen: The Stoller Coaster

Student Affairs + Jobs + RSS + Email

Using RSS to conduct a student affairs job search

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 – 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:

Student Affairs jobs via higher education publications / job sites:

West Virginia University appoints Registrar

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…

288 degree requirement discrepancies

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.

via UWire

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!

Economics of SEM

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 update

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.

University of Oregon is out of rooms


The University of Oregon is steering hundreds of freshmen to off-campus apartments next fall because its dorms lack sufficient room to handle an unexpected surge of enrollment.

The university expects 3,800 freshmen next fall, a 400-student increase, which will exceed dormitory space and force the university to provide more classes and services.

Some parents are anxious, angry and disappointed, and some students have chosen to go elsewhere because of the housing shortage, says Robin Holmes, vice president for student affairs.

Chemeketa Community College Scholars

Chemeketa Community College - Salem Oregon
Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon wants to know if you are a Chemeketa scholar…because if you qualify, Chemeketa will give you a full tuition scholarship for 2 years!

Are you a Chemeketa scholar?

Are you graduating from high school this academic year?
Do you currently have a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 3.5 or better (as of 7th semester grades)?
Do you live in the Chemeketa service district?

Are you willing to:

Begin your college career the fall after you graduate high school?
Enroll in 12 or more credits per term?
Commit to maintaining at least a 3.25 GPA in your Chemeketa classes?

Then you’re a Chemeketa scholar

Chemeketa Scholars qualify for

* A full tuition scholarship for up to two years.
* Placement in an on-campus, paid position such as student ambassador, peer advisor, tutor, or mentor. Job placement not guaranteed. Positions are limited.

MIT Admissions Blog

MIT Admissions Blog

I’m currently subscribed to 104 RSS feeds. My bloglines is sometimes a bit overwhelming as I peruse content from around the blogosphere. One of the blogs that I always read, no matter how busy I am, is the MIT Admissions Blog(s). The site is written by several MIT students and staffers. I love the breadth and depth of the content on the MIT Admissions Blog. Blog posts are full of student stories, campus and event photographs, and important procedural processes.

MIT Admissions Blog

In my opinion, it’s the premier admissions blog in the United States in terms of content, diversity of bloggers, comments, and overall aesthetics. A Google search for “admissions blog” places the MIT Admissions blog in the 4th spot on the results page, just below the Oregon State University Admissions blog.

A recent post on the MIT Admissions blog on a talk by Noam Chomsky contains a wonderful mix of text and photographs.

Ben Jones, the MIT Director of Communications, even posted his own, custom made Lolz Catz post!

I think this student-written post on Application Cycles is a wonderful example of informing students about application policies while simultaneously telling a narrative of what it’s like to be a student at MIT.

The MIT Admissions Office has set the admissions blogging bar at a high level. It’s a wonderfully constructed group blog that is impressive within and outside of the admissions blogging context.