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Updates in Academic Affairs - January 13, 2014

You can help boost undergraduate enrollment

by Christopher Tremblay, associate provost for enrollment management, and Penny Bundy, director of admissions and orientation

It takes the entire campus community to enroll a student at WMU, and we need your assistance in recruiting the fall 2014 freshman and transfer student class.

The student recruitment process doesn’t end when an undergraduate student is admitted to the University.

You can help boost undergraduate enrollment

Once a student is admitted, a process known as “yield” begins. The yield process involves cultivating relationships with students and convincing them to select WMU over any other university, ultimately moving students from “admitted” to “enrolled” status.

Students admitted to WMU often have several other universities from which to choose. For instance, our National Student Clearinghouse data indicate that our strongest competitors for freshmen are Michigan State, Grand Valley State and Central Michigan universities.

You can play a role in improving our yield rate in the face of competition and other challenges. The yield rate for the fall 2013 freshman class was 27 percent. With a current population decline of prospective freshmen, our yield rate must increase by 2 percent to meet our fall enrollment target of 3,400 new students.

Outreach to admitted undergraduate students with specific information about majors and program opportunities has a positive impact on helping students visualize the benefits of a WMU education. Our initiatives to improve yield provide critical, persuasive information for students and families.

Our yield process includes, but is not limited to, admitted student events, scholarship competitions, telecounseling calls from current students, handwritten notes from alumni, and contact from faculty and admissions representatives.

As a faculty or staff member, you can help increase our yield by participating in admitted student events, placing phone calls, or sending email and notes to prospective students.

Admitted student events — a chance to get involved

You have several opportunities to take part in one or more of our upcoming admitted student events, formerly known as Gold Pride receptions. In 2013, 78 percent of students attending an admitted student event enrolled at WMU.

From Feb. 4 through March 12, WMU representatives will have the opportunity to engage with prospective undergraduate students in five locations throughout Michigan and the Chicago area.

The focus of these admitted student events is to provide admitted students, and their families, with direct connections to University representatives, to share important information and to link them to valuable resources. We provide “next enrollment steps” opportunities at these events, including financial-aid information and registration opportunities for housing and orientation.

Our goal is to help these students choose WMU and to facilitate important enrollment processes.

If you are interested in helping admitted students decide to attend WMU, or would like to participate in admitted student events, contact your department chair/director or Penny Bundy at penny.bundy@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2010.

Medallion and Multicultural Leader scholarships competitions set

Three very important admitted student events are the 2014 Medallion Scholarship competition—set to take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 1—and the Multicultural Leader Scholarship competition, set for Saturday, Feb. 22.

Medallion and Multicultural Leader scholarships competitions set

Each competition for these prestigious scholarships includes a written essay and a group problem-solving activity. The problem-solving activity is completed by small groups of students and must be scored by at least two observers.

If you are willing to serve as a problem-solving observer for one of the competitions, register at wmich.edu/admissions/internal/observers.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to help recruit the next group of outstanding students to WMU, and to your academic program. If you would like to meet and speak with prospective students, please contact your department chair or director.

Prospective students and their parents almost invariably tell us that meeting our faculty, staff and students is the highlight of their campus visit for the competition. Our visitors leave with a positive impression of WMU because of your efforts.

If you have questions regarding the competitions or the role of the problem-solving observers, please contact Dr. Carla Koretsky, Lee Honors College dean, at carla.koretsky@wmich.edu.

Other important upcoming events:

We look forward to having constructive discussion and feedback from the academic community at this forum. Two additional forums will be held later in the spring semester.