Improve Access and Retention

Welcome to the spring semester!

Thank you to Student Support services, faculty, chairs, deans and everyone involved in the enrollment process, particularly the last few weeks when we adjusted schedules to accommodate students joining us this spring semester. Our collective efforts are remarkable and will need to be repeated.

The college budget we’re currently using is based on a two-percent enrollment growth projected last year. If our enrollment goal is not met, the budget will need to be adjusted, which means we would lose funding already allocated. Although NVC hasn’t had to do that, our on-campus enrollment has declined by 900 students over the past five years, with 300 enrollments this spring semester (comparing spring 2018 to spring 2019). So far, we haven’t felt the decline because enrollment in dual credit has been increasing. Those students, however, do not pay tuition and we can’t count on dual credit picking up the loss continually.

We will need everyone on board in growing NVC enrollment and improving retention. Part of that process has already begun. In the coming months, we will be making improvements in our enrollment management process district-wide. At the same time, I invite and urge each faculty and staff member to work collectively within their own discipline or work unit on finding new or enhancing already existing enrollment and retention strategies. Please note, I am not asking that we lower our standards. Our standards will remain high but we will pay extra attention to provide students with needed resources to help them stay the course and persist. Part of our work may include forgoing our old ways of doing things in order to support progress and get more students through the enrollment and admissions pipeline. We’re also looking at online enrollment and marketing strategies.

I appreciate all the ideas and questions that were posed on Friday at our faculty meeting as well as the tremendous showing and enthusiasm at our January Bragging Breakfast. Please continue to send me ideas and also create your own individual as well as discipline work group action plans around enrollment and retention.

The new Welcome Center and Parking Garage is projected to accommodate future growth of 20,000 students. To get there, we will need everyone on board. I have full confidence that we will achieve this goal because all of us believe in the community college mission to improve access to higher education. Thank you for taking part in this process.


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