Strategic Initiatives

Recruitment & Growth

  • Reorganize admission recruiting organizational model to increase travel and effectiveness in marketplace.
  • Expand the purchase of names and increase prospect funnel.
  • Increase visitations and outreach with all Michigan Community Colleges.
  • Increase visibility and presence in the Detroit-metro area and southeastern Michigan target areas.
  • Revise campus admission events to better display institutional assets and key messages.
  • Revise and continuously enhance daily campus visit and tour program.
  • Purchase, implement and utilize an enterprise CRM system to improve communications at each stage of the recruitment and enrollment process.
  • Improve the coordination and collaboration between the Office of Admissions, Academic Deans and recruiters from each college.
  • Identify opportunities to utilize Alumni in recruiting and yield activities.
  • Continue to improve and implement new strategic processes that increase efficiency and timeliness of admission office operations and services.
  • Develop a comprehensive communications plan that reaches our target audiences and improves our marketplace visibility.
  • Increase institutional articulation agreements with key partners.
  • Expand the use of market-driven data to drive our annual recruitment plan.
  • Engage and identify new opportunities to improve our relationship with local and regional high schools.
  • Increase our service to the local region through Pre-college programs and services.
  • Incorporate the names of all institutional prospects into our CRM and maintain an institutional presence with them over time through strategic communications.
  • Initiate a communication strategy to improve institutional messaging with local region and student prospects.
  • Establish an institutional benchmark of 30% non-resident students as a percentage of our total undergraduate enrollment.
  • Establish an “Institutional Enrollment Committee” that involves all key stakeholders and charged with planning, monitoring and developing recommendations to address short and long-term institutional enrollment outcomes.
  • Increase the recruitment and yield of Honors College students and National Merit Scholars.

Retention & STudent Success

  • Establish a university-wide team committee to evaluate institutional policies and practices and develop recommendations for changes that will promote increased retention and graduation rates.
  • Promote an institutional commitment of a maximum professional advisor/student ratio of 300-1 and establish minimum institutional standards for consistent and quality advising practices across all colleges.
  • Increase the visibility and connection of students with CAREER Services and employment outcomes.
  • Expand and implement new residential themed learning communities.
  • Develop and enhance messaging on the value of residential living to influence and increase the percentage of students living in on-campus residential units through sophomore year.
  • Expand and continue to refine the scope and mission of the “Office of Student Transitions” to promote a more defined and comprehensive student transition approach to orientation, welcome week, extended orientation, first year seminar, transfer student services, off-campus student services, senior transition, and adult learner support programs.
  • Increase the number of FTIAC’s who take Freshman Seminar in initial semester of enrollment.
  • Revise the content and purpose of the Welcome Program to increase academic messages and institutional affiliation.
  • Expand the use of assessment tools and technology to improve student services and targeted practices.
  • Develop and implement a new organizational model that promotes greater centralization, minimizes duplication, expands student service and communicates a clear message of service availability for students across all colleges.
  • Initiate and encourage the university to change “Exploratory Advising” to “University College” to increase institutional support, service and recognition of value for undeclared students.
  • Examine and redesign New Student Orientation to improve academic messages and student transition services for all first time students.
  • Increase institutional commitment to developing programs and activities to build student engagement on weekends.
  • Improve and expand campus services, facilities, and hours of operations to meet student needs.
  • Develop new approaches to increase off-campus FTIAC’s affiliation, campus engagement and retention.
  • Increase the number of FTIAC’s annually who have established a 4-year degree plan at the point of their initial enrollment.
  • Develop new approaches to increase Transfer Student affiliation, campus engagement and retention.

Marketing & Institutional Communications

  • Utilize digital technologies and social media in promoting contact with prospects and admits.
  • Highlight institutional goals, priorities and tenets as a backbone for all strategic communications.
  • Initiate collaborative strategies in marketing and promotions.
  • Respect the institutional brand strategies and identity standards.
  • Develop print materials that focus on consistent and clear messaging and cost-effectiveness.
  • Establish a communication plan for both FTIAC and Transfer students that support yield outcomes.
  • Ensure that each phone staff is well trained and highly effective as an institutional representative.
  • Initiate the use of mobile technology as a strategic communication link to admission prospects and families.
  • Develop a virtual tour in multiple languages for greater institutional visibility.
  • Promote an annual assessment of WMU’s position among peers in the marketplace with prospects. 

Cost & Affordability

  • Increase institutional programs and services that expand financial literacy.
  • Establish a university goal for maximum “GAP” for Pell Eligible students.
  • Initiate institutional consideration for changing out of state resident tuition and residency policy to improve non-resident enrollment.
  • Establish and enforce new billing parameters that eliminate student enrollment without full payment by the 3Rd day of classes.
  • Maintain all holds from registration for any student owning the university more than
  • Establish a process for not allowing students to register for classes at orientation if they have not met the minimum expectations for processing requirements with Financial Aid.
  • Simplify university tuition structure levels to become more customer friendly to consumer.
  • Ensure that any rise in tuition and fee costs will result in adequate institutional support to meet financial aid requirements.
  • Analyze and evaluate all institutional scholarships award practices to improve leveraging of resources and improve student recruitment and retention.
  • Target rising seniors with high debt and low options to establish graduation completion plan with institutional financial support for improved persistence and graduation.
  • Increase institutional focus on students that do not pre-register or have institutional financial holds prohibiting registration.     
  • Increase the use of analytics to improve awarding strategies and outcomes in the Office of Financial Aid. 

STudent Experience & Affiliation

  • Increase university emphasis, communications and messaging on campus safety, academic integrity, undergraduate research, student involvement and campus engagement, and institutional pride.
  • Increase institutional commitment to developing programs and activities to build student engagement on weekends.
  • Encourage faculty to increase academic demand and expectations on student engagement in out of classroom intellectual activity.
  • Identify new opportunities for student interaction and development of mentoring opportunities at WMU.
  • Expand the availability of courses available in hours outside of traditional 9 am – 2 pm to improve service to adult learner populations.
  • Expand the number of courses taught on Fridays while decreasing the number of courses scheduled on a Monday and Wednesday schedule.
  • Decrease the use of “Holds” as an enforcement mechanism.
  • Expand our assessment practices to minimize anecdotal assumptions and gain a more accurate picture of who our students are, what they expect and how effective are our institutional practices in meeting their needs.
  • Promote opportunities to expand institutional recognition on the value of transfer students in the WMU community. 

Academic Support initiatives

  • Establish a comprehensive understanding of the range of support services throughout campus, define populations served, and assess total institutional budget allocations.
  • Evaluate a new organizational model that promotes centralization, minimizes duplication, expands student service and communicates a clear message of service availability.
  • Establish minimum institutional standard for consistent and quality advising practices across all colleges.
  • Rename exploratory advising to “University College” and develop a more comprehensive approach to developing learner support programs for cohorts that fall under that umbrella.
  • Rename “FYE” to the Office of Student Transitions and Success Programs and create a more defined and comprehensive approach to orientation, welcome week, extended orientation, first-year seminar, transfer student services, off-campus student services, senior transition, and adult learner support programs.
  • Encourage faculty to increase academic demand and expectations on student engagement in out of classroom intellectual activity.
  • Promote institutional conversations on space allocation and student support office locations to encourage the development of a campus-wide plan to improve student service.
  • Annually increase the percentage of undergraduate students utilizing DegreeWorks as a tool in each semester’s academic planning and registration activity.

Community Engagement & Institutional Affiliation

  • Increase university emphasis and consistency in messaging on campus safety, highly competitive academic university, and the foundation of our work through the three institutional pillars.
  • Increase institutional commitment to developing programs and activities to build student engagement on weekends.
  • Expand the range of courses taught on Fridays.
  • Decrease the number of courses scheduled to be taught on a Monday and Wednesday schedule.
  • Expand the availability of courses available in hours outside of traditional 9 am – 2 pm to better serve adult learner populations.
  • Develop more consistent messaging on the value of residential living and student engagement in the life of the campus.
  • Establish a greater awareness of life-long relationship and affiliation to WMU beginning in freshman year.
  • Identify new opportunities for student interaction and increase the development of mentoring opportunities at WMU
  • Promote the use of student focus groups as a means to increase insight into the student satisfaction and the student experience.
  • Expand campus wide attention to addressing the needs of a growing out of state student demographic
  • Implement the use of prior behavioral history questions in the application process to increase institutional emphasis on community safety. 
  • Increase the overall participation by new beginners in the institution’s Fall Welcome program.