Strategic Enrollment Management division to improve student success
With the creation of a new Division of Strategic Enrollment Management, Lamar University is working to better serve students from the time they begin considering LU as their college choice until they leave as successful graduates.
The new division, which officially got its start on Sept. 1, is led by Sherry Benoit, associate vice president for strategic enrollment management. Benoit previously served as Lamar University’s registrar.
Benoit leads a team that includes admissions, campus relations and tours, enrollment marketing, enrollment research, financial assistance, records, recruitment and scholarships. The division also is working closely with all academic departments, retention, student advising, student affairs and web communications.
“We are very student friendly when it comes to our decisions and policies, but sometimes in implementation, our processes become obstacles unintentionally. We are working to improve our processes to make sure we anticipate students’ needs and give them the most concise, informative, accurate response possible from us quickly,” Benoit said.
Benoit has begun regularly meeting with her team and with a variety of leaders from across campus to identify strengths and challenges to help determine the early focus of strategic enrollment management initiatives. A steering committee of faculty, staff, alumni, community members and students has been established to assist in making the effort a success.
LU President James Simmons announced the move to a strategic enrollment management model during his August convocation speech.
“All facets of student success are our concern, and it is essential that every one of us work together to make a difference,” Simmons said. “Goals will be strategic. Decisions will be data-driven and quickly enacted – and each of us will be a key element in what will become a new campus culture.”
Many colleges and universities across the country use the strategic enrollment management model to maximize efforts to recruit and retain students who will become successful alumni. LU’s move to this model came as a response to recommendations from Stanley Henderson, an enrollment management professional and senior consultant with AACRAO Consulting that the university began working with in the spring.
Already Benoit and her team have been working to refine the recruiting process and recruiting materials and to collect appropriate data needed to make strategic decisions. Benoit said one of her goals is to remove barriers and better serve the growing student population both on campus and in online programs. LU set an enrollment record this fall with 14,522 students.
A comprehensive public university and a member of the Texas State University System, Lamar University offers online and on campus programs with more than 100 degree programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.