Update on Student Recruitment Activity

We are pleased to share an update on the HSU student recruitment activities connected to implementation of HSU’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plan.  Considerable effort is underway to address the objectives connected to Goals 1 and 2 of the plan.

Highlights of activities include the following:

  • Purchasing 142,221 prospect names for Fall 2019/Fall 2020 (in addition to the 63,892 names purchased earlier)
  • Adding two more buses (making a total of five) to the Preview Plus program to help more students experience HSU's rural setting
  • Taking out an “Apply Now” advertisement on Facebook and Instagram for Fall 2019 (specifically targeted to students from our database and to students in specific regions of California that have high yield potential)
  • Kicking off a six-week student call campaign beginning early February to connect with ~8600 Fall 2019 admits.

Initiatives related to Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

1.1   Acquire and nurture strategic prospect lists

Additional funding support in August 2018 enabled the purchase 142,221 names for Fall 2019 and Fall 2020.  These names were in addition to the 63,892 names previously purchased by Admissions for Fall 2019. 

1.2   Focus recruitment on the schools, regions, and tribal communities that yield enrolled and retained students.

Application and yield rates for the master calendar of California college fairs were analyzed the Office of Admissions and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE).  This analysis resulted in the strategic decision to decline participation in fairs that did not yield students to HSU. Instead, resources were redirected to undertake additional high school visits in areas of the State that do yield  students for HSU.  An admissions counselor has been assigned full- time duties, effective Fall 2018, to recruit local students, including our tribal communities. That counselor is collaborating with a HSU-CR counselor who is working full time on the campus of College of the Redwoods to enhance the transfer student pipeline for students coming to HSU.

1.3   Identify and analyze potential feeder community colleges and increase frequency of visits at their feeder schools.

The analysis of potential “feeder high schools” to community colleges (that in turn yield transfer students to HSU) is projected to conclude in time for the Spring 2019 travel/recruitment season.  Upon completion of this analysis, feeder community colleges work will Admissions will develop of a list of high-yield high school visits for each region of California. 

2.1   Continue and advance efforts to orient prospective students from large urban areas to HSU’s rural, small city context including the historical and current racial and socioeconomic context of HSU and the surrounding community in order to allow for a successful transition to college and the community.

Two additional buses will be added to the Preview Plus program this spring to provide more students the opportunity to experience HSU’s rural setting prior to attending next Fall.  The Preview Plus program is a high yield event, typically 40% of participants enroll at HSU.  A rural safety training module is being added to the Fall orientation curriculum to ensure all students know the benefits and precautions necessary to live in such an adventurous region of California.

2.3   Acquire prospective student information, work with early outreach, invest in local events, and partner with local high schools, colleges, and communities to increase the proportion of local students who choose to attend HSU.

The Office of Admissions and Marketing/Communications now jointly support the "I’ve Been Admitted to College" (IBAC) program overseen by the Admissions.  In Fall 2018, new outreach materials were designed for the students and parents and a "permission to contact" was added to the permission slips.  The students who gave permission to contact were added to the Admissions database so HSU will begin communicating with prospective students earlier than their junior year of high school.  Instant admissions events have conducted on local high school campuses to create excitement about applying to HSU.  The HSU-CR Transfer Specialist is developing workshops and informational sessions in Spring 2019 to help connect new transfer students with HSU faculty.

2.4   Utilizing data and analysis, focus recruitment of prospective freshmen from impactful and strategic schools throughout CA.

Collaboration with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) to analyze/determine the interest level at high schools whose students attend HSU.  This analysis will result in the development of a list of high schools that each Admissions counselor will visit in each region of California. These would be the first priority visits while on the road during annual recruitment seasons. 

2.5   Work with academic departments to make student-to-student call campaigns to all admitted students.

HSU academic departments, in coordination with the Office of Admissions, will have an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive call campaign in the Spring 2019 semester. Via two emails to academic department chairs and college deans in mid-December, the groundwork has been laid for call campaigns this spring. Calls are slated to take place during the months of February and March.  A follow up communique to these colleges regarding the specifics and logistics call campaign will be distributed the week of January 22, 2019.

Staff from Admissions and Marketing/Communications worked with academic departments to update their department recruitment emails that will be going out later this month. 

2.6   Increase digital admissions presence and social media campaigns for applicants.

An “Apply Now” pop-up advertisement was placed on Facebook and Instagram social media platforms for Fall 2019 recruitment, targeted to students in our database and to prospective students living specific regions of California (based on OIE data).  Increasing our online services with Hobson's Radius enabled the addition of a competitive match with students searching for schools online.  Resulted in an increase of 400+ in our number of prospective student leads during the recruitment season.

4.3   Refine and implement protocols for supporting students facing academic challenges including probation

 The Reinstatement/Appeals IT Project will be completed in Spring 2019. This new protocol streamline the process for students who were academically disqualified and wish to return to finish their degree. 

4.5   Develop protocols to support undeclared students and those interested in impacted majors (e.g. Pre-Majors for impacted programs, Meta majors, and major pathways) and utilize recruitment efforts as an option to keep semi-interested applicants attracted to potential degree pathways at Humboldt State.

To reduce confusion about admission to impacted programs, admissions letters to freshmen students were held back until the impaction GPA threshold was determined for Fall 2019.  The threshold has been determined and letters offering admission to HSU impacted programs have been send to admitted students.

5.1   Develop a transfer-mentoring hub (physical and virtual) to support the onboarding and retention of new transfer students.

A resource page for transfer students was created the spring of 2018 (https://registrar.humboldt.edu/transfer-credit). This resource will serve as a foundation to the establishment of physical transfer hub.

6.1   Design and implement the HSU Learning Community infrastructure

Admissions continues to support the efforts of Learning Communities through marketing and programming. Counselors use the unique experiences of learning communities to recruit and excite students.  Orientation restructured its schedule to accommodate the growing needs of the place based learning communities which now represent almost half of the incoming freshman class.  Admissions assists with the recruitment of students to the student learning communities through targeted communications to students in the majors they are intended for.

New Initiatives

  1. An Enrollment Coalition committee will be appointed by the President and Provost to provide directed attention to the university’s strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan.  The SEM plan will serve as a working agenda for the coalition who will assume oversight responsibility for implementing all aspects of the plan.
  2. Enrollment Management and Marketing/Communications (MarCom) will identify and engage an external group to provide guidance for the development and implementation of a tactical recruitment plan (that complements the HSU SEM plan).  This activity will occur during the Spring 2019 semester - recommendations will be implemented to support the  recruitment  freshmen and transfers students for Fall 2020 matriculation.