Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Connected Community
October 22, 2021
On Monday, we welcome students to our final fall 2021 session as 7.5-week classes begin. We remain at about 80% of our enrollment goal for the fall semester, and this session will help us close the gap we are experiencing. It is imperative that we focus efforts on spring 2022 enrollments and encourage students – especially those on target to complete in May – to register. We plan to offer more in-person instruction in the spring, which we know many students prefer. Please let them know that spring enrollment begins Monday.
As ambassadors of Westchester Community College, we regularly share information about the successes we help students achieve in order to encourage others to enroll at our institution. As such, we can be valued partners with our Enrollment Management Team assisting in all efforts to reach and enroll students. One way to assist is to alert potential students of our upcoming Fall Open House on Saturday, November 13 starting at 11 a.m. Please think of ways you can help spread the word about this virtual event to students and bring attention to our 65 degree and certificate programs and co-curricular learning opportunities. Please be sure to touch base with Admissions Director Gloria De La Paz to share ideas or participate in the Open House.
This early touchpoint in a prospective student’s academic journey bears weight on whether a student moves forward through the application and enrollment processes to ultimately become a valued member of our college community. What we do, what we say, and how we connect with students at this and subsequent touchpoints are critical to student and institutional success.
Also critical to our enrollment goals is retaining current students and re-enrolling those who may have stopped out. This Chronicle of Higher Ed piece discusses how campus culture can contribute to this objective citing how “all of us — as faculty members, administrators, and staff members — shape campus culture, intentionally and inadvertently. And we can mold it in ways that will help students of all stripes feel more connected to us, to one another, and to our campuses.”
Sometimes just checking in is enough to keep a student on track. College and all the processes that occur before a student even steps into a classroom can be overwhelming and unfamiliar – especially to first-time or first-generation students. As the article suggests, the student experience may begin at “medium impact” practices like helping students to enroll, encouraging them to participate in clubs and attend events and lectures. Think about attending a seminar with your classes to create a shared experience. This type of engagement lets students know that you see them, you hear them, that we all belong here, and we are all valued members of a caring college community.
Thank you for bringing your best selves to your work and for taking time to let students and colleagues know that they are valued #Vikings!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles