Developing the SEM Plan
Edmonds Community College developed our first Strategic Enrollment Management in 2016. While enrollment planning was not new, developing a published plan based on market analysis, strong data, and organizational climate had not yet been done. It was important for this plan to be collaboratively created and data-informed. The SEM Leadership Team worked diligently alongside many passionate faculty, staff, administrators to create and refine this project. We are proud of the end product and the process by which we have arrived here.
To the right, you will see the seven month planning process as it rolled out on our campus. Below is more information about each of these important steps.
We visited department and division meetings, Instructional Leadership, Student Services Leadership Team, Student Government, and President's Cabinet. We hosted enrollment workshops, individual team meetings, and engaged in hallway conversations. We looked at qualitative and quantitative student data to find out what our student voices are saying. We asked these questions: What are barriers to enrollment? What data do you need to make good enrollment decisions? What could Edmonds CC be doing to improve enrollments?
All of these were processed using qualitative data analysis and were coded into themes presented back to the campus and it's leadership. This process yielded many great insights from people who are on the front lines of supporting our students.
We coupled our qualitative listening tour data with hard quantitative enrollment data from Institutional Research and other regional data sets. We regularly communicated data sets to the campus community in efforts to improve enrollment data literacy through visual snapshots. Here is a sample of the data used to inform this plan:
- EdCC enrollments by demographic (age, gender, race/ethnicity, full-time/part-time), 5 year and 10 year trends
- EdCC enrollments by program and funding source, 5 year and 10 year trends
- EdCC Persistence rates by full-time/part-time, 5 year and 10 year trends
- EdCC Graduation Data by program and division, 5 year trend
- EdCC Graduating Students survey (N=5,000+)
- Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) results, 5 year trends
- Achieving the Dream student focus groups
- State Board of Community and Technical Colleges Annual Reports
- Snohomish County Blueprint
- US Census Data
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
- Community College Research Center
- National Clearinghouse & IPEDS data
- Ruffalo Noel Levitz enrollment management research
Draft Plan Roadshow
After data analysis was complete and themes were compiled, goals were created to address barriers. These goals were arranged into immediate opportunities, 5-year plan, and a 10-year vision and were grouped by structural headings. The first draft was shared back out to the same listening tour stakeholders and the process of input, feedback, wordsmithing, and re-arranging began. Many iterations of the plan were circulated and improved upon, creating a solid and fully vetted plan that the campus had opportunity to collectively create.
Working with an in-house graphic designer, conceptual prototypes were developed to present the plan in an attractive and quickly readable format. We intentionally designed a piece that is usable and short so that it does not become a plan that sits on a shelf.
After all edits were completed, we presented the final draft to President's Cabinet for approval. On June 1st, the plan was approved and published. We accomplished our goal of sharing the final document with the wider campus community before the end of spring quarter.
We are so thankful for all of the support, investment, and dedication the Edmonds Community College faculty, staff, and leadership provided to this project.