“Access Success” with David McDonald of Western Oregon University

Student Paths Q & A for Enrollment Professionals by Western Oregon University's David McDonald Q: What’s the key to increasing freshmen student retention? A: Student retention (success) is the result of equal levels of effort and commitment by the student and the university. College graduation must be the students’ goal from the first day. Students must be open to changing work and study habits to meet the increased expectations and independence of college. Students must be willing … [Read more...]

Becoming a Clutch Leader

Your basketball team is down by 1 with 5 seconds to go. Are you the player that demands the ball and calmly sinks the game winning shot? Or are you the player that wilts under pressure and fumbles the ball out of bounds? In sports, the analogy is easy, and athletes spend countless hours working on it. But as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz point out in their Harvard Business Review article, "The Making of a Corporate Athlete," very few leaders develop the skills necessary to star under the most … [Read more...]

Do your employees “have to” or “want to?”

Pretend you are in a railroad tunnel and you see a train entering the opposite end and heading your way. You run as fast as you can to exit the tunnel, yet once you are out and off the track, you stop. Why? As Doug Wick astutely writes in his Positioning Systems blog, it is the difference between “having to” and “wanting to.” Unless you are on some sort of death-defying training run for a marathon, there is no benefit to continue running once you are out of the tunnel. Now take a moment to … [Read more...]

The “Brag Book”

It’s now October and your college view books are being handed out like candy at Halloween. That view book maybe a trick, because the treat is the “brag book.” The “brag book” or alumni business card notebook gets noticed by prospective students and parents because of its content. Actual business cards from graduates of your institution catch the attention, whether the families are visiting campus or taking in a college fair. Assembling is rather easy - get three ring binders and plenty … [Read more...]

Rally Time

It’s showtime. School’s back in session, meaning visits are being scheduled, trunks are getting filled, and your counselors have a sense of excitement and anxiety (newbies) or ambivalence and possibly worse (veterans). Most leaders do the basic blocking and tackling – territories are assigned, fairs are chosen, and priorities are set – but are missing one key thing. They forget to make it fun. The start of a new school year is where the top admission offices really separate … [Read more...]

Delegate and Elevate

I recently wrote about the important leadership skill of decision making and focused on the “how.” And equally important, for the sake of living up to my moniker and saving you time, is the helping with the “what.” As leaders, we play Whac-a-mole every day. Tons of info and requests bombard us from all corners forcing us to try to quickly synthesize and prioritize. What needs to be addressed right now? What can wait? And then those lists change as quickly as something else hits our … [Read more...]

Google Analytics and your Admissions Team

Are you using Google Analytics to enhance your Admissions Marketing? If not, you should be; it helps makes sure that your website is offering what your visitors are looking for. Google Analytics is a free tool that with a little assistance from your IT Webmaster allows you to evaluate your webpage. Google Analytics has helped the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Wisconsin-Stout reevaluate our web request form, website layout and track marketing campaigns. In our … [Read more...]

A Bad Decision is Better than no Decision

The dog days of summer are upon us, which means orientations, vacations (hopefully) and strategic planning meetings for the upcoming school year. This is our rare opportunity to elevate to 10,000 feet, think more broadly about goals, processes, people, etc., before the frenzy of the new recruitment cycle starts in fall. And as a leader, it’s also time to make some decisions to shape the upcoming year. Fascinatingly, one of the most crucial aspects of leadership that is rarely, if ever, taught is … [Read more...]

Paying Attention to the Long-term Impact of our Decisions

In my community, we have a weekly lecture series run by the Chamber of Commerce. It’s called People You Should Know and influential people are invited to talk about a topic of interest. As a new person to the community, I have found this to be a great way to meet community leaders quickly. Recently, one of the speakers referred to “seventh generation sustainability” from the Constitution of the Iroquois Nations. He was speaking on the topic of a community renaissance and the importance of laying … [Read more...]

“Reaching Retention Goals Through Collaboration with Academic Affairs” with Paige Illum, Ph.D. of Avila University

By: Paige Illum, Ph.D. Coordinator of Retention and the First Year Experience Avila University Kansas City, MO Departmental collaboration is a must in this era of limited time, money and personnel resources.  Not only is it smart in regard to resources but working interdepartmentally makes campus relationships stronger.  Additionally, student success and attainment of enrollment goals are more likely. Specifically, here are three ways to increase the connectivity between retention and … [Read more...]