We hope the academic year has started well for you. We are emailing today with an update on the campus wide Strategic Enrollment and Student Success efforts initiated last spring. The SESS project collected information through interviews, document review, and meetings with the steering team while also utilizing recommendations from the Task Force work last fall. The SESS Plan has four key priorities, which include; strategically enroll a greater number of first-year students, increase transfer enrollment, develop an integrated network to support student success, and develop a proactive strategy for coaching students at the greatest risk of attrition.

Each priority has a dedicated Action Team who is responsible to review, research, and recommend solutions to address recruitment and retention initiatives. The collaborative work of the SESS Action Teams are driven by specific measureable goals that include strategically growing enrollment, improving 1st year student retention, improving the 4-year and 6-year graduation rates, and eliminating attainment gaps.

Each Action Team worked on specific objectives this summer and we are proud to report that we are making progress across each priority. Some of the “wins” from this summer include a systematic review of holds that prevent students from registering for courses, improved process to review transfer evaluations, implementation of personalized outreach to admitted students to decrease summer melt, and a collaboration between SOAR, Monfort College of Business, and the School of Nursing to proactively support newly enrolled students with a high-school GPA below 3.0.

For the fall semester, each Action Team has identified initiatives to continue the momentum from the summer. A few of the objectives are:

  1. Coordinate an integrated marketing and communications plan to achieve a unified approach across admissions-related communications
  2. Enhance onboarding strategy to be a seamless experience for incoming students
  3. Create marketing & recruitment plan for high school students participating in dual enrollment courses
  4. Create a standing committee that is comprised of faculty, advisors, Student Affairs units, Bear Central, Admissions, and Student Academic Success to learn from students and identify their highest-priority needs that should be addressed by an integrated network, and
  5. Evaluate and update degree planning and coaching pathways that will benefit all students. 

The SESS Implementation Team has collaborated with Institutional Reporting and Analysis Services to create a dashboard for all UNC stakeholders to monitor the progress of the SESS efforts. Visualizations are now available to view historical enrollment, retention, and graduation rates as well as review attainment gaps for first generation, underrepresented minority, and Pell eligible students in each of the primary metrics associated with the SESS work.

Find more information and monitor SESS progress

We will provide a SESS monthly update via UNC Today as well as email to division leadership for distribution throughout colleges, departments, and programs. If you have questions, you can email or call either Joan or Sean and we would be happy to visit with you or attend a department meeting.

Go Bears!
Joan Clinefelter, SESS Plan Co-Chair and Professor of History
Sean Broghammer, SESS Plan Co-Chair and Interim Assistant Vice President for Strategic Enrollment