Strategy Pillar 4 – Promoting Enrollment Growth, Strategic Programs, and Visibility
The competitive environment in Christian higher education is challenging and destined to be more competitive in the next 5-7 years. Forecasted declines in the number of traditional aged students coupled with lower levels of family disposable income make recruitment of traditionally targeted students increasingly competitive as institutions vie for a larger share of a shrinking population. Regionally competitive institutions are reacting by competing on price, facilities, athletics, marketing, special programs, amenities, and other means of differentiation.
Achieving long-term enrollment growth requires focused efforts in marketing, recruiting, institutional effectiveness and new program introduction. In recent history, Huntington University has launched several programs that have been successful in this competitive landscape. These programs should be leveraged to reach full potential and used as models for other successful launches. Adaptability, speed, being an early market entrant, excellence, and allocating resources to reach full potential are key attributes of success.
Recognizing that sustaining current levels of enrollment is the first step for growth, we will work diligently to ensure our current processes for reaching, connecting, and impressing new potential students are continuously improved. Staff, faculty, and engaged students will work collectively to ensure that enrollment in current majors is met or exceeded. Majors not meeting enrollment targets will be considered for consolidation in order to provide resources for growth. We will grow upon the current enrollment foundation by aggressively pursuing new programs that have desired growth qualifications and potential. We will develop a cross-functional process that identifies opportunities, assesses their growth and launch potential, and leads efforts to be early market entrants.
We will demonstrate adaptability, rapid time to market, and excellence as key values of the Huntington University launch process. Central to achieving enrollment growth will be the identification of signature programs that will be resourced and marketed to attain full program enrollment potential. Signature programs will have large enrollment capacity and distinctive attributes that set them apart from competing schools programs. In addition, smaller, revitalized and distinguished academic programs of excellence also will provide the opportunity to raise interest, visibility, and experiences locally, nationally, and globally. New graduate degree and certification programs will diversify enrollment sources and lessen reliance
on traditional undergraduate tuition.
A list of future potential programs and bold moves is included as Appendix A. Faculty, staff and students will elevate proposals and ideas for on-going consideration. The list will be regularly updated and evaluated. Maintaining enrollment and advancing growth programs will be supported by increased marketing and other initiatives aimed at raising the visibility of Huntington University and its many distinctives.
- Achieve long-term enrollment growth targets of 1200 traditional undergraduate and 500 graduate and adult students by the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Identify “Signature” programs and academic programs of excellence that will be resourced and promoted to reach full potential.
- Develop a best-in-class creation, approval and implementation process to identify and launch new growth programs.
- Increase marketing efforts and other initiatives aimed at raising Huntington University and growth program visibility.
- Align university branding strategy with clearly articulated enrollment goals for 2022.
Recommended Success Indicators:
- Enrollment targets by department and major regularly met.
- Growing list of program opportunities.
- New growth program proposal and evaluation tools available.
- Increasing number of potential student campus visits and summer events.
- Consistent increases in graduate, professional, and certification programs.
- Signature programs and academic programs of excellence gaining local, regional, and national visibility and interest.
- Bold moves identified and initiated for positioning and marketing.
- Marketing effectiveness benchmark measurements like marketing ROI implemented.
Measurements of Success:
- Enrollment targets – Met annually; Average 6% overall enrollment growth per year by 2022
- Residence hall capacity – 90%
- Marketing budget – Consistent Increases; 5% of Total Expenses by 2018
- Visitor/Enrollment yield – Consistent annual increases
- Bold moves – 3 significant moves producing intended results by 2020
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