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What tops the current list of priorities for college administrators?

 

Fall retention, remote student support and enrollment.  

Learn how institutional leaders are planning to direct resources as they seek to recover from the pandemic’s initial impacts on student success

The Covid-19 pandemic is creating unforeseen challenges for colleges and universities — impacting almost every facet of recruitment, enrollment and classroom practices. In order to better target its support for higher education institutions, InsideTrack surveyed senior administrators on their  planning horizons and priorities.

Below are some key takeaways and you can use our interactive dashboard to further explore the results.

 

View Interactive Dashboard

WEBINAR

SUPPORTING STUDENTS CONSIDERING STOPPING OR DROPPING OUT

On Friday, April 10, we will discuss supporting students currently considering stopping or dropping out with experts who will share actions you can take immediately.

We hope you will be able to join us in this discussion.

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Join Us Friday, April 10

10AM PST / 1PM EST

 

Additional Resources

As we learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic, InsideTrack's Operations team will be adding resources that we have found to be more relevant to students, their families, staff, faculty and surrounding communities.

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Medical Resources

Needy Meds - 800-503-6897

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Financial Resources

Hospitality Industry -Text: "Help ME" to 619-313-5235
 

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With the pandemic closing campuses in spring, the current focus is on fall 2020 and the top priority is retention

While institutions would like to be looking at long-term strategic planning, most are still embroiled in short-term decisions related to the upcoming fall semester. When asked to select where their primary focus is today, 77% of respondents chose the fall 2020 term. When asked about their top three priorities for student success, retaining current students (80%), offering more online/hybrid classes (55%) and enrolling more students (48%) topped the list.

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When it comes to enrollment, traditional students are prioritized

Despite the rapid growth in working adult, online and part-time learners over the last decade — and the high numbers of these post-traditional students expected to pursue further higher education in an economic recession — most institutional leaders indicated they are much more likely to focus on enrolling traditional-aged, first-time, full-time residential students. 

Among leaders at four-year public institutions, 42% listed enrollment of traditional students among their top three priorities versus just 15% who listed enrolling post-traditional students. The results from four-year private institutions showed an even wider range, with 62% listing traditional student enrollment in the top while only 16% cited working adult, online and part-time learners. For leaders at public two-year schools, the numbers were a coin toss, at 34% versus 32%. 

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With budgets strapped, leaders turn to staff development

Facing uncertain enrollment numbers and budget shortfalls, higher ed leaders surveyed expect budgets to either remain similar or be cut across most student success areas. As a result, they plan to address their student success concerns with training and development for existing staff, rather than hiring new staff or contracting with outside services providers.

Even amid the economic uncertainty, there are a few areas where a significant number of administrators are optimistic about having additional financial resources. This includes student financial aid (53%), mental health/counseling services (38%) online/hybrid program development (34%) and closing equity/achievement gaps (26%). Respondents said they are most likely to leverage outside services providers to support mental health/counseling services (31%).

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Certain priorities vary by institution type and size

While the top-level results were fairly consistent across institution types and sizes, there were some interesting distinctions.

  • Four-year private institutions collectively rated enrolling more first-time students (62%) as their second-highest priority, ahead of offering more online/hybrid courses (46%)
  • Two-year public institutions collectively gave retaining current students (73%) and offering more online/hybrid courses (71%) nearly identical weight
  • Larger institutions (21%) were three times more likely than smaller institutions (7%) to rate re-enrollment of students who had stopped/dropped out as a priority
  • Smaller institutions are more likely to enlist the support of outside service providers, except when it comes to offering more online/hybrid courses. Here, mid-sized institutions (27%) are more than five times more likely than smaller and larger institutions (5% each) to seek outside support
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WEBINAR

SUPPORTING STUDENTS CONSIDERING STOPPING OR DROPPING OUT

Responding to a student who is thinking about dropping or stopping out can be extremely challenging.
 
On April 10 we hosted a webinar that explored tools you can use to understand your students and ensure that you’re responding to students in the most productive way.
 
Included below is the recording for those interested in the topic or missed the live session. 
 
 
Download Slides
 

You are Awesome. Don't forget it.

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Additional Resources

Our easy-to-use interactive dashboard lets you select the institution size and type, along with 10 different student success priority areas to review the data. It's a great way to see how your priorities compare to those of similar institutions

 

Explore the Results
 
*Methodology:

The research was fielded online by Hanover Research from May 5-15, 2020. Respondents were drawn from the 2019 MDR list and included educational administrators at post-secondary institutions with 2,000 or more students. We received 137 responses, of which 45% were from 4-year private colleges/universities (N=61); 30% from 2-year colleges/community colleges (N=41); and 24% from 4-year public colleges/universities (N=33). This is representative of the makeup of colleges nationwide.