Working Together-UMM Enrollment (Destiny Driver #13)

November 28, 2009

13. By 2012 we will build a stronger coalition between the University of Minnesota Morris and the region to increase enrollment to 2,100 of which 1,800 will be on-campus students.

6 Responses to “Working Together-UMM Enrollment (Destiny Driver #13)”

  1. UMM: Consistent, clear message helps enrollment
    The University of Minnesota,Morris saw enrollment increase 6 percent this year and the philosophy of ‘A Renewable, Sustainable Education’ is helping drive those numbers

    Published November 16 2009

    By Tom Larson

    Sun Tribune

    Efforts to cultivate a “brand” for the University of Minnesota, Morris and showcase its unique assets appear to be paying off.

    UMM enrollment is up 6 percent to a total of 1,705 students, putting the university on the right path to its goal of achieving enrollment of 2,000 students by 2013.

    UMM’s “A Renewable, Sustainable Education” – both as an ideal and a slogan – are beginning to resonate on campus and among prospective students and parents, said Christine Mahoney, UMM’s director of communications.

    “It’s not just about energy and wind turbines,” Mahoney said. “It really comes from the liberal arts. Students see how education will sustain itself, renew itself, over their lives.”

    UMM for years has been ranked among the country’s top public liberal arts universities, and prides itself on efforts to become a leader in “green” energy and technology. Its students are known for high academic achievement, community and university involvement and, as a university press release noted, eclectic interests.

    “We serve a unique niche,” Mahoney said. “We tell students that if you are willing to think, create and act, this is the place for you.”

    The percentage of incoming freshmen graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class grew from 27.8 percent in 2008 to 29.6 percent in 2009. The percentage of students of color increased by nearly one percent compared to last year and the average ACT score held steady at 25.

    In fall 2009, more than 60 percent of entering high school students received merit scholarship support from UMM, and about half the students live on campus, which represents an increase of about 8 percent over fall 2008.

    So communicating those assets and mission to students in a highly competitive college market became a priority, both on campus and off, and it started with officials being straightforward in talking about what UMM is and what it isn’t, said Bryan Herrmann, UMM’s director of admissions.

    “We can’t tell people there are palm trees here and then they get here and . . .,” Herrmann said with a smile. “There is so much out there for students that we had to clear up our message in the public. The message has to be clear so it cuts through the clutter.”

    The consistency of the message had to be emphasized on campus, as well, Mahoney said, “so that once we get students to visit, once they come here, it all makes sense to them.”

    UMM’s enrollment increase was 90 students for 2009-2010 and was split evenly among incoming high school students, transfer students and students who might have left the school in the past staying on to continue their studies. A large number of the incoming students already have taken college-credit classes in high school, meaning that many fit the UMM academic profile.

    But UMM wasn’t always sure the best way to reach out to them, Mahoney said.

    “I don’t think we knew our DNA, our brand, internally,” she said. “We got a handle on what the Morris brand was. Now, we’re talking about this place in a way that when students get here, they say, ‘OK, I get it.’ ”

    The message in “A Renewable, Sustainable Education” has resonated with parents. Unlike their generation or those before them, students today will likely have three, four or more different jobs in their life. And in some cases, significantly different jobs, Herrmann said.

    “It’s very possible that, in 10 years (in the workforce), you’re going to have to change what you’re doing,” he said.

    “Some students today are being trained for jobs that don’t exist,” Mahoney said.

    What UMM is accomplishing in terms of recruitment and retention isn’t the result of a magical formula. A campaign takes time to develop and build, and the efforts must be on-going, with faculty and staff working “on the same page.” Mahoney said, noting that customer service is as important in educational settings as it is in business.

    “A lot of things go into the results we saw this fall,” she said.

  2. Population shift could fuel competition among colleges Posted at: 03/16/2010 9:48 PM |
    By: Steve Shaw and Becky Nahm

    A predicted population shift could mean, Minnesota colleges and universities will have to do more to attract students.

    For the past several years, Minnesota colleges and universities have enjoyed record-high numbers of students entering their freshman classes. This year there are 75,000 high school seniors in the state–more than at any time in the last 25 years.

    The University of St. Thomas welcomed its largest-ever freshman class in 2009. The University of Minnesota received nearly 5,000 more applications in 2009 than it did in 2008.

    But, according to state demographer Tom Gillaspy, the number of high school seniors will drop 10 percent in the next ten years.

    He said, “There are colleges all over the United States trying to recruit our best and brightest and so we’re competing with them. It’s a competition, and everybody’s facing this.”

    The University of St. Thomas already has a plan. It has devoted one-fifth of its current $500 million capital campaign to providing financial aid for low-income students. It is also ready to accept that its classes will likely be populated with students with lower grades and standardized test scores.

  3. UMM enrollment on the rise
    Fall 2010 enrollment of degree-seeking and non degree-seeking students hits 1,812, a six-year high.
    Published September 16 2010
    Corrected version: enrollment increase is 5 percent for 2010

    Enrollment at the University of Minnesota, Morris increased by more than 5 percent for 2010, confirming a three-year growth trend, according to the university.

    The enrollment figures are preliminary until the University of Minnesota Board of Regents meets in October, but the increase in degree-seeking students plus non degree-seeking students results in a total enrollment of new and continuing students at 1,812, a six-year high.

    Applications to Morris for fall 2010 enrollment set an all-time high. New students on campus this fall include 419 first-year students, up more than 3 percent over last year, and 134 transfer students, up 30 percent over last year.

    Director of Admissions Bryan Herrmann said several factors contributed to the growth trend.

    “We are attracting students who appreciate Morris’s liberal arts mission and the value of a Morris education,” Herrmann said. “Students and their families clearly understand what Morris—the campus and the community—has to offer. The admissions team’s work, as well as faculty and staff investment, paired with consistent and clear messaging has had a solid, sustaining effect on recruitment. And word-of-mouth from current students and alumni makes a significant impact, too.”

    Morris plans to continue increasing enrollment at a continual, gradual rate, Herrmann said, “ensuring exceptional services and educational opportunities for all of our students.”

    The University of Minnesota, Morris received “Best College” designations from both U.S. News and World Report and Forbes this fall. Parents and Colleges, a resource for parents of college bound students, named Morris a Top 10 Best Value Public University in its most recent nationwide ranking.

  4. UMM enrollment highest in a decade
    This years total enrollment of 1,934 students continues a four-year growth trend for the university.
    Published September 17, 2011, 05:00 AM

    Enrollment at the University of Minnesota, Morris is at the highest total in more than 10 years, with 1,822 degree-seeking students on campus, continuing a four-year growth trend.

    When combined with nondegree-seeking students – PSEO students, people taking only one class for enrichment and online students – the total enrollment sits at 1,934. This number is still preliminary until the Board of Regents meets in October.

    “We’re very excited about the growth,” said Bryan Hermann, UMM director of admissions. “I think that we’ve seen a lot of hard work and a lot of the things that we’ve done over the last 5 years, we’re starting to see some of those messages get through to students and their families about the value of Morris.”

    Part of the message to students is part of UMM’s rebranding effort, emphasizing the idea of the liberal arts as a “renewable, sustainable education.”

    “As we talk to parents and students, we say, ‘We can train a student for a job that exists today, but what happens 10, 15, 20 years from now? We want to give them a foundation that’s going to help them as they have to change and adapt,’” Hermann said.

    This year’s applications to attend UMM reached an all-time high. Hermann said students who were admitted are relatively typical of the “usual” UMM student.

    “A lot of the students who come here are very, very strong students – high ability both in the classroom and their extracurricular activities,” said Hermann.

    This fall, UMM was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a Top 10 public national liberal arts institution, Forbes magazine as a Best Buy College and a Best in the Midwest, Winds of Change magazine as a Top 200 college in the nation in support of American Indian and Alaskan Native students and was included in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges.

  5. U.S. News recognizes University of Minnesota, Morris as a Top 10 Public National Liberal Arts College
    Morris placed 144 of 178 in the first tier and in the Top 10 Public National Liberal Arts Colleges list.

    By: UMM News Service, Morris Sun Tribune Published September 16, 2011, 05:17 PM

    Morris, Minn., — U.S. News and World Report has released its 2012 college rankings, and the University of Minnesota, Morris was named to the Top 10 Public Colleges list. Overall, Morris placed 144 of 178 in the top tier of the National Liberal Arts Colleges list.

    “We are very proud that the University of Minnesota, Morris continues to score highly in the U.S. News National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking,” says Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson. “It is especially gratifying to know that our academic quality ‘markers,’ and public mission place us among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.”

    The U.S. News Top 10 Public Schools in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category include, in order, United States Military Academy, West Point; United States Naval Academy; United States Air Force Academy; Virginia Military Institute; St. Mary’s College of Maryland; New College of Florida; University of Minnesota, Morris; University of North Carolina, Asheville; Purchase College, State University of New York; and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

    In addition to the Top 10 Public Colleges list, Morris was also included on a list of colleges that recognize and value “spirit and hard work” and “a broad, engaged student body.” The A-Plus Schools for B Students unranked list identifies colleges that look at each individual person during the admissions process, not just test scores and class standing.

    U.S. News bases its rankings on accepted measures of academic quality chosen through research on measuring quality in education. Data is gathered in a uniform way after colleges are placed into categories based on their missions. Sixteen indicators of academic excellence are assigned a weight, expressed as a percentage. The colleges are ranked based on composite scores in areas such as student retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, class size, financial resources, alumni giving, and assessments by high school counselors.

    This year, states U.S News, increased emphasis was placed on output measures, such as graduation rates, to reflect the current emphasis of educators, researchers, and policymakers on results when comparing and evaluating programs.

  6. UMM named top institution in support of American Indian students
    An active student American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter helps heighten UMM’s profile

    By: Elaine Simonds-Jaradat, UMM News Service, Morris Sun Tribune

    Winds of Change has named the University of Minnesota, Morris as one of the top 200 institutions in the nation in support of American Indian students. Published quarterly by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Winds of Change is the leading nationally distributed magazine published with a single-minded focus on career and educational advancement for American Indian and Alaska Native peoples with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to the quarterly publication, Winds of Change releases an annual Top 200 Colleges issue.

    Tracy Peterson, Morris’s associate director of multi-ethnic student programs, explains that the Winds of Change Top 200 College issue is not a ranking. It is an alphabetical listing by state of 200 institutions, including, Morris at which American Indian and Alaskan Native students are especially welcomed and nourished.

    Morris offers numerous support programs for American Indian students, including scholarships, mentorships, and academic and social organizations. But its AISES student chapter is a key contributor to its visibility. The Morris chapter was born in spring 2005 backed by faculty co-advisers Joseph Alia, associate professor of chemistry, and Jong-Min Kim, professor of statistics. Alia sees his involvement in the organization as a way to get students interested in STEM careers and to form a nucleus of friends, creating double payback. Besides, he says, “It doesn’t feel like work.”

    Alia’s co-adviser, Peterson, observes that having faculty members as AISES advisers is rare. He knows from personal experience that at most other campuses the adviser is usually a staff member from student services. An AISES member for 20 years, it was the impetus for Peterson to attend college, he says. Opportunities for leadership roles led him to become regional representative for colleges in New Mexico and Iowa.

    Melissa Carnicle ’13, Garretson, South Dakota, AISES chapter co-chair, says, “It’s great that UMM has faculty interested in doing this for students.” For her, personal relationships with faculty is one of the major draws of UMM because “it encourages the whole person, both social and academic.” She and Alia agree that Morris’s chapter has really taken off in the last two years. Morris sends the largest number of students to the AISES national conference billed as a “one-of-a-kind” three-day event convening students, teachers, workforce professionals, corporate partners, and others for professional development, networking opportunities, student presentations, a career fair, awards, and traditional events. Eleven students, supported by travel scholarships and fundraisers, attended last year and even more are expected to present their research this year when the conference is held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in November 2011. Recognizing the host city and region as a major agricultural hub, the conference theme, Food for Thought, centers on issues of food, agriculture, plant science, and technology.

    Morris’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion (STEP) and Wind-STEP programs may be part of the reason for increased student interest in AISES. The STEP program seeks to encourage American Indian students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an effort to address the need for scientists in the United States. Wind-STEP focuses on wind energy and it’s application to the needs and wants of reservation communities. Program coordinator James Cotter, professor of geology, states in his spring 2011 report, “When the STEP program was implemented in 2007 there were 33 Native American STEM majors and seven new freshmen STEM majors enrolled that fall. UMM now has 64 Native American STEM majors,” nearly doubling in four years.

    A chemistry, geology, and environmental science major, Carnicle considers the conference “a great way to network,” especially since it may be the first time that some students begin to consider graduate school.

    Carnicle describes AISES at UMM as “students who have common interests” and stresses the leadership role as one of its most important aspects. A NorthStar Fellow, she has mentored four students in the Northstar-STEM Alliance, a support group for incoming students. She thrives at Morris and credits AISES for helping her “get out of that shell.” Self-described as “not good in high school,” the support and mentorship she has received at UMM changed her future, she says.

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