Hocking College Details Plans To Improve Enrollment

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Following a third consecutive year of declining autumn enrollment, Hocking College is looking at new strategies and tactics to boost enrollment not only for the upcoming spring semester but long term.

Interim Director of Admissions Laura Alloway, who is also the director of marketing and public relations, addressed the Board of Trustees on Monday evening with ideas to boost enrollment and retain current students.

Two objectives were outlined as part of the spring semester enrollment and marketing plan presented by Alloway. Those objectives were to drive an increase in applications to a goal of 1,150 for the spring semester and to enroll 60 percent (694 students) for the semester. With the application now free, Alloway noted that the number of applications has increased, but the number converted to registering students has dropped.

Strategies to meet the objective include encouraging those who previously applied but did not attend the college to once again apply; make contact with all spring 2015 applicants; communicate with those who have inquired about information but not yet applied; reach out to previous students who were near completion; and implement a social media strategy.

The second objective is to retain 80 percent of the students who were enrolled on the 15th day of the autumn semester. The 15th day is considered the official count for the semester for reporting.

Strategies to help meet the second objective include retention campaigns both collegewide and by individual academic departments; and, focus on the individual student and their needs to return to the college.

If both of the two objectives are met then the college would see flat enrollment from fall to spring.

Alloway, who began the interim position on Oct. 6, spoke of the efforts already being taken and what is planned for the remainder of the year. She is currently meeting with admissions staff to discuss and plan recruiting in specific areas, schools and programs. Evening hours will also start for the admissions department allowing the department to reach more non-traditional students who may not be available during normal business hours. Advertising and marketing campaigns will also launch in the coming weeks to promote the spring semester.

As for the long term enrollment concerns, the college will meet with Noel Levitz, a company that will help to create a plan for enrollment in the future. The first consultant visit is set for Dec. 1 and 2.