When academic and enrollment teams collaborate, great things can happen for your institution.
From being able to effectively educate prospective students about your academic programs to incorporating faculty to strengthen your recruitment initiatives, an institution that recognizes the importance of these two areas working together can set itself apart.
There are several ways your institution can ensure academics and enrollment are successfully working toward the same mission, including:
- Training. Hold regular training sessions with academics and enrollment and allow both departments to facilitate and lead training topics such as, 1) what sets your institution’s nontraditional degree programs apart from the competition, or 2) the latest trends in marketing to prospective nontraditional students. Faculty’s input can help ensure your enrollment team members fully understand your degree programs and are presenting to busy working adults the value of your offerings and how they may enhance professional and personal goals. Further, enrollment’s insight on trends in nontraditional enrollment can assist faculty in developing programs that meet the needs of today’s adult learner.
- Communication. Schedule brainstorming sessions and dialogue between the two departments to discuss enrollment goals and plan recruiting initiatives such as information meetings where faculty speak or joint attendance at events. Regular communication not only allows enrollment to ask questions to ensure they understand program details, but can also encourage the birth of new ideas that can enhance enrollment results.
Once you’ve implemented strategies for your teams to work together, you’ll want to gauge effectiveness. There are many ways to evaluate your efforts, including:
- Secret shopping. Regular evaluation of your enrollment team can help expose areas where additional training may be needed and ensure prospective students are receiving the right message from your institution.
- Review of results. Meet with your teams regularly to review the effectiveness of your initiatives. Keeping academics and enrollment aware of conversion and recruitment goals as well as subsequent results will ensure those targets remain top of mind.
The takeaway. Better together. While it may seem that academics and enrollment have vastly different roles, the work they do leads to the same mission: attracting and retaining new nontraditional students for your institution. In the wise words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
If you ever need a partner you can count on to help you build effective strategies that encourage departmental collaboration, we’ll be here.