In the highly competitive, fast-paced and ever-changing world of student recruitment, colleges and universities frequently find that they are spending more on admissions recruitment each year without attaining the desired results. They are sending out more mail, producing better publications, designing fancier Websites, but the numbers in the freshmen class do not reflect the increased investment. GDAIS offers a distinctive common sense approach to recruitment called Prospect Management that has proven to be very successful with a wide variety of colleges and universities.
Prospect management is different from and more effective than traditional approaches to student recruitment because of its focus on two fundamental principles. The first is that it makes sense to focus the greatest attention and resources on students who continue to demonstrate specific interest in your college. Communicating regularly with the entire prospect pool is expensive, inefficient and generally unproductive. Second, you must learn the specific interests and needs of each student you are working with and then develop a customized recruitment plan designed to meet those needs. With more detailed information, you can target your communications and address the students' interests and concerns in a direct and personalized way. You can determine which students are the best "fit" for your institution and then help each student determine if your institution is right for him or her.
Admissions counseling, or mentoring, is a GDAIS service that trains your admission staff to use our prospect management model. It can be implemented with an existing, experienced director of admissions and his or her staff if there is a willingness to accept a new approach to recruitment. It has also been used effectively to train new chief enrollment officers who have all the requisite skills and qualities necessary to be a successful recruiter but no specific experience in admissions. The GDAIS mentor provides training in all the key areas and then works with the admissions staff to help manage the recruitment process and the data needed to make it work effectively. A step-by-step action plan is provided after each visit to the campus to ensure progress continues when he or she is not working on campus. The mentor is also available for unlimited telephone, fax or e-mail correspondence when he or she is not physically on campus.
Each year we provide enrollment counseling to ten or more colleges and universities, and regardless of the situation or time of year when we became involved, our counselors have had a positive impact on application generation and actual enrollment. Drexel University is an example, where first-year enrollment increased by 180% in three years with our assistance. Most of our student recruitment clients increase the size of their applicant pool significantly and generally improve the size and academic quality of the incoming class.
Our counselors and the client institution's admissions staff work as a team to develop a customized student recruitment program. We work with you to develop an effective plan by identifying the assets and challenges unique to your institution.
No two colleges are alike, and we feel no two recruitment programs should be the same. The beauty of the prospect management approach is the ability to tailor the program to the needs of a specific institution. Large institutions, for example, use prospect management in a far different way than small colleges, but the principles remain the same. For example, the focus in the larger setting is more on special constituency groups, such as minority students or merit scholars. At a small college with a unique niche, prospect management strategy can be applied most effectively to the entire prospect pool. Rather than giving you off-the-shelf packages, we provide customized, tailored solutions built on a proven theory that works.
Your GDAIS mentor will work closely with you to ease the transition from your current student recruitment system to prospect management. Your mentor can:
During the mentoring relationship, the GDAIS mentor typically spends two days a month on campus for the first six months of the project, then two days every other month for the next six months. In addition, he or she spends six days of off-campus time doing follow-up reports, consulting with the director by telephone and e-mail, and making adjustments and changes in the program as necessary.
While on campus, the mentor meets with the admissions staff to review progress relative to their plans and goals. He or she does additional training in specific areas where required. Extensive time is also spent with the dean or director going over the previous visit's follow-up action plan and outlining the issues for the next month. Typically the mentor meets with the President (or the person to whom admissions reports) at the end of each visit to bring them up to date about what took place during the visit and to report any problems that may exist.