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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Enrollment Management

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Enrollment Management Committee Report and Review of Strategic Priority Goals

The Enrollment Management Committee (EMC) was created out of the Enrollment Management Task Force (EMTF). The Enrollment Management Committee is charged with reviewing and making recommendations for planned enrollment growth and management at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The EMC has reviewed the 2010 Strategic Goals developed by the EMTF. We find that most of the goals developed by that group remain relevant and should be followed. We have made some changes to some of the goals and added additional areas.

In the report that follows, we have listed the goals laid out by the EMTF. Actions by the EMC are noted in the gray highlighted areas. Full details are available in the report. A summary of the proposed 2010 goal changes follows:

  • Goal B1 (New): Set enrollment targets for University Extended Education at 1700 new (duplicated headcount) students by 2010, for a total FYE of 15,000.
  • Goal C3: Plan for decreased enrollment of traditional–aged (18–24) students, based on demographic trends and increased competition for these students. This also means to plan for increased enrollment in students outside the 18–24 age band.
  • Goal C5: Increase target for under–represented ethnic group enrollment from 8% to 9%.
  • Increase contract admit student limit to 250, with added support for the Contract Admit program.
  • Increase transfer students to 1,250 per year or more.
  • Improve retention and graduation rates, with a 1st to 2nd year retention rate of 80% (up from 77.5%) and a six–year graduation rate of 52% (up from 48.7%). These are increases from the current rate but lower targets than the original EMTF plan.

We also propose the following priorities for 2005–2006:

  • Increase enrollment in upper–division and graduate courses.
  • Increase enrollment in upper–division and graduate courses.
  • Set realistic goals for University Extended Education enrollment.
  • Focus attention on retaining students from the 2nd to 3rd year.

Enrollment Management Committee Members:

Michael Fagin, David Gjerde, Tom Gjersvig, Joel Johnson, Rosemary Kinne, Patricia Lipetzky, Jan Marble, Randall McClure, Linda Meidl, Christopher Mickle, Anne O'Meara, Ann Rosenquist–Fee, Warren Sandmann, Walt Wolff

Strategic Goals to Meet By 2010 Developed by the Enrollment Management Task Force

Updated by the Enrollment Management Committee 2004–2005

  1. As a state–assisted institution, we recommend maintaining our service to the state.
    We propose in 2010 that no more than 80% of our students come from Minnesota. In 2002–2003 our students from Minnesota made up 82.9% of the entire student body.
    Goal AFY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
     Head countPercent of totalPercent of totalPercent of Total
    MN Residents11,43382.9%80.0%No change proposed
    Other States1,77012.8%15.0%No change proposed
    International5924.3%5.0%No change proposed. However, the EMC notes that this goal may be more difficult given the overall decline in international student enrollment in the United States.
  2. We recommend planned growth to 14,300 FYE or higher total enrollment on campus through better utilization of current resources and/or the addition of new resources.
    We propose that the number of students could grow to 14,300 FYE (full year equivalents) on campus by 2010 if we can identify new ways of using current space, adding new space, and/or increasing extended studies and adding appropriate numbers of faculty, staff, and administration. The Facilities Master Plan called for 300,000 NSF (new square feet) beyond our existing space in FY03 in order to accommodate anticipated on–campus growth. To continue our growth beyond 14,300, MSU must increase the numbers of students served through extended studies (distance learning, customized training, extended campus, etc.).
    Goal BFY2003FY2010EMC Update (04–05)
    Total FYE:13,15814,300No change proposed. The EMC does note (see below) the need to more clearly describe growth in extended campus/distance education as well as needing to articulate the university priority to devote more resources to upper division courses rather than lower division courses.

    B1. We recommend planned growth to 15,000 FYE total enrollment on campus and through University Extended Education (off–campus site based and online) through strategic development of University Extended Education programs.
    We propose that the campus could grow beyond 14,300 and serve up to 15,000 students through development of University Extended Education. This belief is based on Minnesota State University, Mankato's long–term commitment to University Extended Education and history with University Extended Education. There have been periods of time where significant enrollment was centered in University Extended Education (in 1975, for example, 27.4% of fall headcount was off–campus). We propose that by 2010 an additional 1,700 students be taking classes at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Of these new students, 50% will be totally online, with the rest taking some online, some off–campus site–based, and some on–campus. With most of the growth in online and off–campus extended learning taking place in upper division and graduate level courses, we will need to focus our resources for University Extended Education on that population.
    Goal B1:FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY2010EMC Update (04–05)
    Total FYE:13,15816,000We propose an increase of approximately 1700 students in University Extended Education courses by 2010, with most of the growth coming in upper division and graduate. We also propose that of this growth, 50% will be in totally online programs..
  3. We recommend modifying the composition of the student body.
    1. We propose that the percentage of undergraduate to graduate students on campus be adjusted to 85% undergraduate and 15% graduate student headcount by 2010. With this goal we would strengthen our mission to graduate education but continue to be primarily an undergraduate institution. In 2002–2003 we serve 89.5% undergraduates to 10.5% graduate students head count on campus. This goal will be accomplished in collaboration with the Graduate Education Strategic Priority Task Force.
      Goal C1FY 2003 (Fall 2002 on campus)FY 2010 (on campus)EMC Update (04–05)
       Head CountPercent of TotalPercent of TotalPercent of total
      Undergraduate11,92289.5%85%No change proposed
      Graduate1,39510.5%15%No change proposed
      Total13,317  No change proposed. The EMC notes that to make this change will require either reallocation of funds or new funding to support the increase in graduate students. The University will need to decide what priority and what support will be devoted to graduate education, which may be at the expense of lower–division undergraduate education.
    2. With University Extended Education now having oversight of extended campus (Section 60), Friday/Saturday classes (Section 81), distance education (Media Code 3), customized learning and other programs, MSU will serve new populations of students, including many more nontraditional students than in 2003. The enrollment goals for these activities will be established in collaboration with the Distance Education Task Force and University Extended Education
      Goal C2FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
       Head Count*Percent of TotalPercent of TotalPercent of total
      Undergraduate4323.6%No specific #20%––The EMC believes that the number of students taking at least one course from the above categories will rise significantly as more and more courses are offered online.
      Graduate46727.3%No specific #50%––The EMC believes this number will also rise significantly, especially with the emphasis on online and distance education in graduate programs.
      Total8996.5%No specific #35%

      *Non–duplicated headcount: Students taking at least one class from the above categories, even if they are also taking an on–campus class.

    3. We propose that the institution proactively plan for increasing the percentage of nontraditional to traditional age undergraduate students by 2010 because demographics in the state show a declining number of 18–24 year olds in the state and an increasing number of persons 25 years and older. In 2002–2003 the ratio of nontraditional to traditional age students is 12.7% nontraditional age students to 87.3% traditional age students.
      Goal C3FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
      Head CountPercent of TotalPercent of TotalPercent of total
      Traditional age undergraduate10,31787.3%<87%80%
      Non–traditional age undergraduate1,49512.7%>13%20%
      (Non–traditional is 25 and older) Total11,812  The EMC notes this is a significant change in the composition of the student body. The EMC believes this is necessary because of the declining numbers of HS graduates. The EMC also believes this shift will further other university goals by encouraging more distance and extended campus education (which has the potential for the greatest growth), more transfer enrollment, greater enrollment in upper–division courses and concomitant lower enrollment in lower division courses. This will also lead to increased diversity in our student body. This significant change would alter our traditional recruitment and retention strategies. This change may lead to lower enrollment of First Year students and a more volatile financial situation as transfer and upper–division students may spend less time at the institution.
    4. We propose that 5% of our students by 2010 will be international students. In 2002–2003 the student body is 4.3% international students. This goal means increased attention to recruitment and continuing retention activities. Activities to meet this goal will be coordinated with proposals from the Diversity Strategic Priority Task Force.
      Goal C4FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
       Head countPercent of totalPercent of totalPercent of total
      MN Residents11,43382.9%80.0%No change proposed
      Other States1,77012.8%15.0%No change proposed
      International5924.3%5.0%No change proposed. However, the EMC notes that this goal may be more difficult given the overall decline in international student enrollment in the United States. Additionally, there is now an International Task Force that will be focused on helping increase recruitment and retention of International students as part of its charge.
    5. We propose that 8% of the student body by 2010 will come from underrepresented US ethnic groups. In FY03 the statistics were unclear, since 34.2% of students did not report ethnicity; in FY03 only 3.2% identified themselves as persons of color. This goal will necessitate strong recruitment and retention efforts, as well as a better way of measuring current numbers/ percentages. Activities to meet this goal will be coordinated with proposals from the Diversity Strategic Priority Task Force.
      Goal C5FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
       Head CountPercent of totalPercent of totalPercent of total
      Students of color4403.2%8%9%. The EMC believes this is a better target than 8%. What little growth in traditional populations there will be will be in students of color, so a higher target is applicable. Additionally, if we target more non–traditional students that should also involve more students of color, as the number of people of color in our enrollment area is growing at a greater rate than the Caucasian numbers. Finally, if we target more transfer students (both for on–campus and extended learning/distance education), that should also allow us to increase the percentage of students of color. Recent IR data already shows a decrease in the unknown category and an increase in students of color.
      International5924.3%5%No change proposed. However, the EMC notes that this goal may be more difficult given the overall decline in international student enrollment in the United States
      Unknown4,71734.2%0%While 0% may be unrealistic, the University needs to do more to decrease this number. An additional data–gathering opportunity will begin this spring (2005) at orientation sessions.
    6. We propose that by 2010 more of our students should be "high ability" in class rank and in ACT scores. In FY03 8.2% of MSU students were in the top 10th of their high school class; we propose that 12% of our new students by 2010 should be in the top decile of their high school class. In FY03 11.6% of MSU students had an ACT score of 26 or higher; we propose that 15% of our new students by 2010 should have an ACT score of 26 or higher. To accomplish this goal we need funding and programs in place to attract and retain more high ability students.
      Goal C6FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
       Head countPercent of totalPercent of totalPercent of total
      Top high school decile1628.2%12%No change proposed for either category. However, the EMC acknowledges that this will be a difficult goal. These are the most sought after students, and in order to bring them to campus, we need more resources and programs for high–performing students.
      ACT 26 or higher23111.6%15%
    7. We propose that 85% of new freshmen students by 2010 should rank in the upper half of their high school class, and we propose that 70% of the new freshmen students have an ACT score of 21 or higher by 2010. In FY03 70% of new students were in the top half of their high school class and 58% of new students had an ACT score of 21 or higher. With this goal we would need to modify admissions procedures to insure they reflect the more demanding admission expectations.
      Goal C7FY 2003 (Fall 2002)FY 2010EMC Update (04–05)
       Head countPercent of totalPercent of totalPercent of total
      Upper 1/2 of high school class1,37569.7%85%No change proposed for either category. This goal will require, as noted, modification of admission procedures.
      ACT 21 or higher1,16058.4%70%
    8. We propose that 10% of previous year's freshman class or 200 students (whichever is higher) by 2010 should be contract students to ensure continued access for students with demonstrated motivation and to enhance the education that all students receive at MSU. In 2002–2003 we propose that 5.5% of NEF (new entering freshmen) be contract admissions. This goal will necessitate sufficient resources to retain these students.
      Goal C8FY2003FY2010EMC Update (04–05)
      NEF Contract Admits5.5%10% or 200 if higherThe EMC proposes an increase in contract admits to 250. This will allow for access and allow for increase in admission standards. Contract admit students have a high success rate. This will require sufficient resources for support of the Contract Admit program.
    9. We propose that by the year 2010 we will have 1,000 or more new transfer students enrolled at MSU for the fall term. During the 2002–2003 fall term we had 960 new transfer students.
      Goal C9Fall 2003Fall 2010EMC Update (04–05)
      New Transfer Enrollment960≥ 1000≥1,250. The EMC believes that in order to meet the goals of increased upper division credit hours, and to help meet the goals of increased diversity and increase in non–traditional students, there needs to be a significant increase in the number of transfer students. As noted elsewhere, we believe that University Extended Education (traditional extended campus and online learning) provides the greatest potential for growth. This move, however, may also be necessary given the demographic changes. The population of traditional age new entering freshmen is in decline in all of Minnesota and in precipitous decline in outstate Minnesota. Additionally, it is highly likely that South Central Technical College will become a comprehensive Technical and Community College, cutting into lower division and general education credit hours, but also providing additional opportunities for transfer students. This is a significant move for the University, and, if followed, would require both reallocation of resources and a change in strategy in admissions or additional resources for admissions. We recommend additional resources. This would also require additional campus visits and work by Student Relations Coordinators. Colleges and departments would also need to develop more specific articulation agreements.
    10. We propose that by 2010 we will significantly improve retention and graduation rates. We propose that we improve first–year retention rates from 77.5% to at least 83% in FY10. We propose that we improve our 6–year graduation rates for undergraduate students from 48.7% to 55% by FY10. For graduate students we propose that we improve the 6–year graduation rate from 67% to 75% by FY10. We propose attention to creating comparable graduation rates for all categories of MSU students. To accomplish this goal there will be coordination with many units and strategic priorities task forces.
      Goal C10FY2003FY2010EMC Update (04–05)
      First year retention rates77.5%83%80%. The EMC believes the 83% figure is unrealistic. Minnesota State University, Mankato already has one of the higher retention rates for first year students. 80% is much more realistic.
      New freshman graduation rates48.7%55%52%. The EMC believes moving to 55% is not realistic. Given all the other recommendations, specifically increasing the number of non–traditional and transfer students, as well as the number of extended campus and distance learning students, a move to 55% is out of reach.
      Graduate student graduation rates67%75%No change proposed.
      Enrollment Management Committee Priorities for 2005–2006
      Priority 1Increase enrollment in upper–division and graduate courses.
      GoalAction StepResponsible AgentStatus
      a. Intensify transfer recruitment efforts.Where and when possible, doubling the number of visits from Student Relations Coordinators to Community and Technical Colleges. We strongly recommend that efforts focus on students that will also help us meet our efforts to enhance diversity.VPAA, Deans, Admissions, SRCs 
      b. Enhanced support of admission recruitment time and resources in the Admissions Office, with more time and effort spent on recruiting transfer students.We propose (and have submitted a request for strategic priority funding) the creation of a Two–Year College Liaison Position. This position would serve as a one–stop contact point for specific two–year colleges. We believe this position could attract additional transfer students, help coordinate articulation agreements, work closely with the Transfer Specialist in Admissions, and work with University Extended Education in recruiting more students to online programs. We strongly believe this would be a cost–efficient move, bringing in more upper–division students. This position could also help us recruit more under–represented students, as we would focus our attention on three schools: Minneapolis Community and Technical College; Normandale Community College; and Century College (with the possible addition of Anoka–Ramsey Community College)President; Admissions; Dean of University Extended Education 
      c. Development of more articulation agreements, especially in high demand transfer programs.The university should also seek to develop articulation agreements with colleges outside of our traditional regional area. This could meet the dual priorities of increasing upper–division enrollment as well as increasing students of color and international students.Departments; Deans; AVPUS 
      d. Elimination of "bottlenecks" in high demand transfer programs.Departments and programs need to be encouraged to shift resources to meet the needs of transfer students. This will require significant work and cooperation. However, enrollment and registration numbers clearly identify where the bottlenecks exist. We acknowledge that some of these "bottlenecks" are beyond departmental control. However, there are steps that can be taken, such as limiting the number of times a student may repeat a course.Departments; Deans 
      e. More and better advising.Steer transfer students to programs for which they meet or can reasonably be expected to meet the admission requirements.SRCs; Advisors 
      f. More emphasis on University Extended Education in meeting transfer demandf. More emphasis on University Extended Education in meeting transfer demandDean of EL; departments; Deans 
      g. Internal reallocations of resources to support the development of select existing and new graduate programs, and development of a distinct graduate education environment.Review of demand for and sustainability of existing and new graduate programsGraduate Committee; Graduate Dean; Departments; Deans, VPAAProcess already underway.
      Priority 2Intensify recruitment and retention of students of color and international students.
       The University has made great strides in recruiting more students of color. The University has also done an admirable job maintaining the number of international students in a time of declining enrollments of this population. There is more that can and should be accomplished, however, so the EMC recommends the following
      GoalAction StepResponsible AgentStatus
      a. Intensifying recruitment efforts at community and technical colleges, especially at schools with significant numbers of students of colorSee 1b aboveSee 1b above 
      b. Enhance current programs and develop additional summer academic outreach programs for under–represented students, including international and new immigrant students.Develop and implement a summer "bridge" program targeting under–represented students; continue to fund and enhance the LLAS programDean of Institutional Diversity' AVPUSProposal for Summer Bridge program is under review; LLAS will continue
      Priority 3Set realistic enrollment goals for extended learning (traditional off–campus as well as online) and plan for the strategic growth of specific programs.
       In collaboration with the Distance Learning Task Force, the EMC will need to set appropriate enrollment targets and recommend to the university the development, enhancement and maintenance of support services necessary for successful extended learning.
      GoalAction StepResponsible AgentStatus
      a. Set Enrollment Goals for University Extended EducationWe believe we have made a first step with Goal B1 of the Enrollment Management Committee's Strategic Goals Update; Will need to work with new University Extended Education submeet to set and monitor enrollment goalsNew EL SM&C; Dean of EL 
      b. Provide support for University Extended EducationWork with new University Extended Education submeet to develop, implement and monitor all student support functionsNew EL SM&C; Dean of EL 
      Priority 4Focus attention on retaining students from the 2nd to 3rd year.
       As noted in the Enrollment Management Committee's Strategic Goals Update, Minnesota State University, Mankato already has a good 1st to 2nd year retention rate, with plans to raise that rate. Attention now needs to be placed on the 2nd to 3rd year, where retention numbers are not as good. The loss of students at this level requires additional recruitment of new students, lowers our 6–year graduation rate, reduces the number of upper division credits we generate, and feeds into the perception that we sometimes operate as little more than a community college for a great number of our students. To accomplish this, the EMC recommends the following action steps:
      GoalAction StepResponsible AgentStatus
      a. Intensified recruitment of transfer studentsSee 1b aboveSee 1b above 
      b. Adapt already successful modelsAdapt elements of FYE and LC to second year and beyond; work on better connections between General Education and majorsDirector of FYE and LC; AVPUS; Deans; Departments; SRCsWork has begun on a pilot project for Sophomore Learning Communities; Task Force on Undergraduate Excellence is proposing enhancements of General Education
      c. Better track numbers of 2nd to 3rd year retentionDevelop and implement a tracking processInstitutional Research; ITS; AVPUS 

Enrollment Demographic Data

  • HS graduates in the US will increase by 4% from 2003–2013
  • HS graduates in Minnesota will decrease by 10.3% from 2003–2013
  • HS graduates in the five–state Midwest region (MN, ND, SD, IA, WI) will decrease by 11.7%

Within the 10.3% decline in MN HS graduates, there is expected to be:

  • A 19% decline in the number of white graduates
  • A 52% increase in the number of minority graduates (Asian, Hispanic, Black, Native American)
  • The share of HS graduates made up of students of color will grow from just 1 in 8 to over 1 in 5
  • The highest growth rate will occur among black and Hispanic students, who are historically less likely to attend college
  • The bulk of the decline will occur among white students, who historically are more likely to attend college

(Source: Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education)

Based on the different rates of participation and completion of college among HS graduates, the 10.3% decline in Minnesota from 2003–2013 will lead to:

  • A 10.5% decline in new entering freshman between 2003 and 2013

At Minnesota State University, Mankato:

  • 31% of our students in Fall 2004 came from Region 9 (southcentral MN)
  • 35% of our students in Fall 2004 came from Region 11 (Metro)
  • The Minnesota Higher Education Services Office projects a 23% decline in HS graduation rates in Region 9 from 2004–2013
  • The Minnesota Higher Education Services Office projects a 7% decline in MN HS graduates from 2004–2013
  • A 23% drop in students from Region 9 could amount to a loss of 762 students, if historical averages are constant.
  • Region 11 HS graduates should increase by 2% from 2004–2013. This increase, should averages hold, could lead to an increase of 75 students.