LOOK FIRST... THEN TAKE A WELL-INFORMED, STRATEGY-DRIVEN LEAP
To be strategic in enrollment management, you must know your market, your competitors, your students, as well your environment. SEM Works' offers strategic research services to provide the intelligence you need to focus your enrollment management and marketing efforts on issues that matter most. Our research helps to identify gaps and opportunities in enrollment performance, and provides actionable "intelligence" for targeted enrollment strategies. SEM Works' Consulting Services integrate and leverage the use of strategic intelligence to enhance institutional competitiveness, performance management and enrollment success.
"The SEM Works team provided a multi-faceted market analysis for our adult education program, and the recommendations were right on target. The market research identified new opportunities in our growing area, and we are incorporating the action-oriented strategies to sustain enrollment growth among our adult learners. What I think is quite important is that SEM Works recognized Meredith College's unique nature and needs in the study and the recommendations."
Enrollment Opportunities Analysis (EOA): The EOA identifies potential market and enrollment opportunities as well as competitive points of leverage to inform enrollment strategies at the tactical level (marketing, recruitment, communications, retention, and service orientation). This analysis is based on a thorough review of secondary information resources (institutional websites, government databases, available research), and on three areas of investigation:
Enrollment Projections Model: Foundational to the enrollment projections process is an analysis of the gaps between the 'current', 'desired', and 'projected' enrollment. However, many institutions lack the capacity to generate enrollment projections that take into account external environmental factors impacting enrollment (e.g., population demographics, college-going rate, transfer rate, etc.) as well as historical enrollment trends. SEM Works will work in partnership with your research and data experts to develop a customized enrollment projections model based on theoretically and statistically sound mathematical modeling techniques that can be refined by you each year for future use using an easy-to-use step-by-step guide.
Website Analysis: An institution's website is the primary platform where prospective students discover the potential of a college/university for the first time, and where they initiate and, increasingly, complete their application process. This analysis focuses on a comparative analysis of the marketing-orientation of select frequently visited institutional web pages compared to your top comparator set. Findings from this research help to inform your website strategy by identifying competitive points of leverage in attracting potential students and influencing others who may impact their college/university choice.
Market Opportunities Analysis (MOA): This survey research is designed to provide strategic insights on the perceptions, needs, and expectations of your prospective student market to inform the development of targeted and audience-specific marketing, recruitment and communications strategies. Findings from the research help to clarify:
In addition to surveying your prospective students, we also can survey current students to understand why they chose your institution and how satisfied they are with their educational experience; your alumni to assess how well your programs are preparing graduates for the current labor market; and employers to discover what skills employers want and the labor market demands now and in the future.
Survey Research: We will survey your current students to:
Online Student Focus Group: SEM Works licenses an online focus group tool, that allows us to engage hundreds of students concurrently in multiple choice and open-ended questions as well as in voting on the paired responses of others in the group. The results are grouped by audience segment in real-time. Compared to traditional surveys and focus groups the advantages of SEM Works' solution are significant. Essentially, our online tool is the best of both quantitative and qualitative research methods with immediate results and reporting.
Student Segment Profiles: Absent of a detailed understanding of who your students are, investments in enrollment strategies are not likely to yield optimal results for resources invested. SEM Works will assist you in developing a deeper understanding of the values, motivators, expectations and barriers to educational success of the priority student segments you serve—such as 1st generation students, direct entrants from high school, adult learners, transfer students, online students, to name a few. Using our customized templates, research guides and secondary resources, we will assist you in understanding the needs of the diverse student segments you serve, as well as the associated conditions necessary for student success.
Student Success Research: “One-size-fits-all” interventions seldom address the root causes of student attrition. Using our customized templates, research guides and secondary resources, we will assist you in identifying key attributes of successful as well as unsuccessful persisters. On the strength of this analysis, we will design a customize study to explore the factors impacting student persistence and success relative to the needs of priority student segments. The online survey is designed to:
Setting Realistic Enrollment Goals: Well-defined and sufficiently granular enrollment goals give direction to the enrollment management effort. Building on the results from both the Enrollment Opportunities Analysis and Student Segment Profiles, SEM Works provides consultative services to guide the development of an enrollment vision and associated 'directional' enrollment goals for the desired level of enrollment, student profile (e.g., quality, diversity, mix) and academic profile (e.g., program and credential mix, instructional delivery modalities), at a sufficiently granular level to inform strategy development.