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Ideas to Increase Enrollment — 17 Comments

  1. Incentives early enrollment and students keeping a consistent schedule so the college can plan ahead, by dispersing funds to students on a time schedule that interrupts the desperate situation that is created by giving students funds for books at the end of week 2. Deferred billing is a very negative thing in the student population. It doesn’t feel like a choice or access to education, it feels like we are getting locked into spending our money in the LCC store. IF OERs were prominently designated in the class registration process this might not be such an issue but as it stands right now, students don’t feel empowered by this fee schedule and are often suffering silently for weeks to make it to campus for classes, much less show up prepared and ready for success.

      • Allotting a small portion of the student budget to them before educational expenses and other costs are required so that they can show up to the first day of classes prepared and able to spend their money on campus where they choose; that could be a start. Even $100 would make a huge difference. I was thinking if students kept the classes that we register for within 1 week of open registration and remained enrolled until the freeze date, giving the college more time to plan for the term, a small incentive could be worth what it will save the college in loss of tuition when students choose a min. wage job over starving for two weeks to be an LCC student. Students are willing to sacrifice for our education but too many of us have responsibilities that can’t wait for two weeks to be taken care of and we need to have economic access to take hold of any opportunities that will further our varying goals.

    • We agree that our students need access to their books and supplies for school in a timely manner, which is why we offer deferred billing in the Titan Store: https://www.lanecc.edu/esfs/credit-policy-and-titan-store-charging-process. Students may be surprised to know that textbooks have very thin profit margins; the Titan Store keeps textbook prices as low as possible, given the wholesale cost of these materials. OERs are an exciting development that can help reduce textbooks costs significantly, and Lane is working hard to provide more opportunities for students to take advantage of this growing resource. Whenever an instructor formally adopts an OER as a textbook, the URL is included on the Titan Store website and shelf tag for that course. We wish that we had a way to disburse financial aid to students earlier, but that isn’t possible without making other major changes such as eliminating all late registration options and billing students after the term begins for financial aid disbursed in excess of the credits students are actually attending. These types of changes could create unintended barriers for students, so we would need to think very carefully and engage a wide variety of constituents before making changes to our existing processes. We appreciate your feedback!

  2. The biggest barrier for single parents is affordable child care. The cost of quality childcare is a national problem; reducing costs by hiring unqualified and under-educated child care providers is not a solution. The college needs to reinstate the funds that allowed parents to receive need based subsidies to pay for care for their children while they attend classes and do the required coursework outside of class hours. It can be difficult to impossible to complete assignments while actively parenting small children. Financial aid is not sufficient to meet this need and/or parents are required to reduce their future earnings by accepting loans. Children lose because they don’t have quality care and modeling to learn to be participating and competent adults. Additionally, textbook costs are completely outrageous. There is far too much affordable information via the internet to need books that cost in excess of $100 for a given course.

    • Child care for single parent students is a challenge. This is indeed a national problem. Oregon has been developing strategies to increase the quality and accessibility of child care. There are options to help you find and afford quality child care. Lane has three programs on campus that can help;

      1. The Lane Child and Family Center is Lane’s Nationally Accredited and highest rating by Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, on campus child care center. They offer full or part time care, Monday – Friday for children 2 1/2 to 5 years old. There is a per term subsidy for students that are enrolled in at least 6 credits. They also have the Child Care Access Means Parent in School (CCAMPIS) grant. Students who meet the criteria have 80% of their child care paid at the campus center. Additionally the center offers a coop option. Parents can volunteer in the classroom to reduce their child care fees. LCC Main Campus, Bldg #24, (541) 463-5517. https://www.lanecc.edu/cfe/lcfc

      2. Family Connections of Lane and Douglas County is located in building #24. This free service is open Monday-Friday, from 9:00 – 1:00 pm. You can drop in or call during open hours or access the web site 24/7 to find child care options for any age child throughout Lane and Douglas counties. Staff can assist you by matching your child care needs with possible child care programs. Information about what to look for when choosing child care, a list of referrals and a variety of information related to child care (such as help paying for child care) are included in the consultation. LCC Main Campus, Bldg #24, (541) 463-3594 or 1-800-222-3290. https://www.lanecc.edu/lfc/parent-services

      3. Lane County Head Start has a morning and afternoon classroom on campus. Eligible student parents can enroll their child in this free program. You could enroll your child in Head Start and the Lane Child and Family Center if you needed full time care. This would reduce a families child care expense in half. LCC Main Campus, Bldg #27, (541) 463-3192.

      I you need assistance accessing services feel free to call Lane Family Connections 541-463-3954. We can help you find options!

  3. I’d like to see a full range of credit and noncredit classes offered at night and on weekends at the Downtown Campus. I know we use the space now for Continuing Education, which is a great program. At the same time, we need to offer community members a full range of educational opportunities at the times and on days when people are free. Can we do both? If we can’t do both, can we help Continuing Education seek alternative sites?

  4. When members of the community think about enrolling at Lane the process can be extremely daunting, especially for first-generation college students and adults coming back to school after years away. Can we meet people in person to talk about their dreams, how they can pursue those dreams, and how to enroll, instead of relying on web interactions at the start? Research shows that human beings immediately make predictions about whether they will be successful in an educational environment, and that the dominant variable in success and retention is making a positive connection with an academic authority figure (staff, advisor, faculty member, e.g.). What can we do, in person, to encourage members of our community to make a positive connection with an authority figure immediately, so that they know how much we care, and they can persist through the enrollment and registration process, term after term until completion?

    • Thank you for your suggestion, Lu. One of our priorities in our Strategic Enrollment Management work is to round out our transactional systems and processes with a relational approach to students and a focus on individualized service and support. We are currently working on putting a supplemental service and support team in place for student services to provide front line support (both by telephone and in person) as we work on long-term, structural improvements.

  5. Hire student ambassadors. Recently attended a conference where they had students working in part as advisors. This greatly increased student to human contact and gave them one of their own peers to ask questions to and find guidance. Our current advisors are not able to spend as much time as needed on every individual student. If a student feels connected to the college they are more likely to attend – and stay with Lane until their goals are met. This could be part of the LETS program? Suggest one student ambassador for every x # of students.

    Here is an example from another College: http://www.sfcollege.edu/admissions/studentambassadors/

    This is also great for the student ambassador – leadership skills, training, etc..strong piece to place on a resume.

  6. Tomorrow, please join us in the Building 2, Room 214 for our conference call with Ede Slovin from Institute from Women in Technology, Trades and Sciences (IWITTS) OR connect in online, via the ZOOM app this Friday, April 1st at 9:00 AM pacific time.

    The purpose of these meetings is to raise our outcomes for recruiting and retaining women (and all students) in non-traditional CTE programs of study and employment. The processes we are engaging have been proven to work with ALL students, not just women in non-traditional programs. In this meeting there are two goals: 1) planning for a two day training on April 28th and 29th, 2016 at the Lane Community College Center for Meeting and Learning (CML) and 2) discussing quick and easy best practices to recruit and retain students in the classroom, shop floor and work site and any issues that are arising in the classroom or on campus that you would like to have addressed by the experts and the group.

    If you cannot attend the meeting in person, you are welcome to call in from your computer (if you have the capacity to run a conference call). We will be using the conference call software ZOOM. You can find out more about how to do this and get the ap for zoom at zoom.com.

    We will be using ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109.

    Please feel free to share this invitation with others.

    Schedule of conference call/meetings and the IWITTS training, going forward:

    Friday, April 1st – conference call/meeting with IWITTS consultant, Ede Slovin, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, April 8 – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, April 15th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, April 22nd – conference call/meeting with IWITTS consultant, Ede Slovin, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    *****Thursday AND Friday, April 28th and 29th ALL DAY TRAINING – with IWITTS consultant, Ede Slovin, LCC Main Campus, CML, Room 214 8:30 to 4:00 PM

    Friday, May 6th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Thursday, May 12 – with IWITTS consultant, Ede Slovin, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, May 13th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Thursday, May 19th – with IWITTS consultant, Ede Slovin, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, May 20th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, May 27th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, June 3rd – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

    Friday, June 10th – conference call/meeting, Building 2, Room 214 9:00 AM OR ZOOM meeting number 920-231-6109

  7. Health Professions programs are a major player at LCC. The nursing program alone turns away dozens of qualified applicants every year due to only having enough faculty to enroll about 70 students. Our students have a high retention and graduation rate; and they often stay in the local job market, both stabilizing and supporting the local economy.

    Seems to me we could easily increase enrollment at LCC by adding 1-2 faculty positions in the popular programs Health Professions offers.

  8. 1. Enrollment Services phone service should be open more than 3 to 4 hours per day – if students can’t reach us for assistance, they will go elsewhere.
    2. When Enrollment Services phone service is not open, then people should be able to leave a message – not be told that “because we have to also serve you in person and by email, we can’t take your messages on this line”. This comes across as very rude.
    3. When I look at another local college’s website, I can easily see a printable pdf with names and contact information for LOTS of advisers – here I have to log in then I still don’t get names – just a bunch of words on the screen.
    4. Not enough online degree options by far – our students are often people with jobs – they need options to take classes sometime other than just 9am to 2pm Monday through Thursday
    5. Our website is not inviting – too many words, not enough information, not enough visual stimuli, not welcoming
    6. I could go on, but won’t. There are many processes/requirements/etc. here at Lane that makes it seem as though we have forgotten that we are here to serve students in ways that work for THEM.

  9. I think Lane would benefit from some newer programs that directly reflect where we are and 21st century interests with local resonance. For example, a fermentation program (beer and wine industries, NOT a culinary degree), and a bike industry program (combining manufacture, repair/service, planning, tourism, etc.) are two growing industries. Permaculture certification is another. We talk a lot about how our student services are lacking but I think we also need to really consider radical new programs.

  10. I see and hear you, Anonymous! I am one of currently TWO Enrollment Services Advisors. When management made a decision two summers ago, to split up our Enrollment Services Advisory Team– 7 FTE– a self-managed team that handled all Admissions, Registration, Student Records, Bursar, Collections, Degree and Transcript Evaluation, AND Financial Aid–plus a rotating Lead Advisor to act as Coordinator, Liaison between student and Registrar/Financial Aid Director, and between other departments and us–we saw a very big change.
    Not only did we become FAR less flexible as a team, meaning less able to cover that full-day counter/phones/email service on all topics with no closures mid-day, but also less able to fully serve student needs when their financial aid requirements and issues overlap with enrollment issues–which is every day, many times.

    We currently have TWO Enrollment Services Advisors. We are well trained, and know financial aid very well also, because when we were hired our team was a fully functioning one with a training program. But we are only TWO, and when you have two people, you cannot manage both phones and counter service in a constant stream simultaneously. Especially since, like all other employees at Lane, we have leave time for illness, vacation, personal days, and family emergencies. That takes us down to only one, if one of us is out. We have had days when one was scheduled out on vacation and the other was suddenly ill. Nobody at all that day. When we have had a long line on phones, with one of us out, and 4 Financial Aid Specialists having a quiet day on their end, and one of the Financial Aid Specialists…who used to be on our Self-managed team of ESAT…offered to help, he was told “no” by our manager.

    I fully agree that we need to and should be open all day on phones, all day on counter, and available to keep up with emails, projects to make things work better, and liaison for other departments. I fully agree that this has very strongly impacted enrollment levels–and have watched students walk out the door because of an inability to get a straight answer that covers all their needs, being bounced back and forth between the “gap” of Enrollment vs Financial Aid questions multiple times.

    When we initially tried to take phone messages, by the way, we came in the door to easily 100 messages each day in early Fall. Can you please explain to me how you think we could possibly answer all of those while also serving the front counter and answering the phone calls coming in real time?

    Our limited half-day counter hours in the mornings and phone hours in the afternoons are literally a survival mechanism. It is not possible with our staffing or our ability to see Banner screens cut in half, to fully serve the way we once did.

    We need more staffing, and the best way to do that would be to reunite our team so that we can be more flexible about needs on a day by day basis, without needing to hire a single other person.

    Still holding out hope. A return to a team of 7-8 people, covering all aspects that students need, would make all the hours possible again, while helping us feel like part of an important team that works together, rather than being afraid to call in sick or take a vacation day for fear of leaving a colleague alone.

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