Louisiana State University at Alexandria Breaks All Historic Enrollment Records!

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lsucampusI am excited to report that Louisiana State University at Alexandria has absolutely crushed nearly every all-time historic record regarding recruitment, retention and enrollment for Fall 2015.? The leadership team at LSUA contacted my firm in 2013 to assist in the design and implementation of a new approach to enrollment management with the goal of transforming admissions, financial aid and persistence.? We agreed to apply a traditional ?private school? model to a public university.

The institution was at a crossroads, having experienced an eight-year steady decline in enrollment that might have threatened its very existence.

Everything changed under the direction of a new Chancellor, Dr. G. Daniel Howard and with the leadership provided by the chief academic officer, Dr. Bobbie Hatfield.? School administrators often say that enrollment is everyone?s responsibility.? The leadership team at LSUA put that dictum into practice:

  • The Chancellor immediately became an integral part of the enrollment management team.
  • He attended every strategy meeting.
  • He made enrollment growth the institutional priority.
  • He ensured the cooperation of all institutional constituent groups even remotely involved in enrollment.
  • Howard challenged the athletic department to expand and reach out to students. The addition of new sports such as rugby and rodeo served to increase enrollment and enhance diversity.
  • Howard worked tirelessly on improving relations with local and regional constituent groups. He reinvigorated local support for the institution.
  • Most importantly, he provided all of the necessary resources to implement the new initiatives.

Dr. Bobbie Hatfield, the associate chancellor and chief academic officer, agreed to supervise the activities of admission and financial aid in addition to her other responsibilities:

  • Hatfield worked to make significant adjustments in academic advising to improve retention and support recruitment.
  • She made difficult changes in course scheduling and offerings to accommodate more students.
  • She ensured that advisors and department chairs took responsibility to enroll and register students. They did not wait for the students to come to them, they reached out by email and telephone to both new and returning students.
  • Hatfield worked to make exceptional changes in dual enrollment for high school students. While this massive initiative provided much needed opportunities to high school students, it ensured higher enrollment rates at LSUA and will likely lead to higher college attendance rates for students in the region.

The initial outcomes are record breaking, despite major budget and demographic challenges.? My latest numbers indicate the following:

  • In less than two years, total enrollment has increased by 39%.
  • During the same period, the number of students electing to live on campus soared by 41%.
  • The number of international students has grown by 20 times!
  • The number of newly enrolled freshmen is at the highest level in ten years.
  • The number of newly enrolled transfer students is up by 92% comprising the largest number ever.
  • Academic quality has improved and more students are participating in the Honors Program than ever before.
  • While enrollment rates from the local area have improved dramatically, the University has enrolled the highest number of out-of-state students in history. The institution has achieved 100% occupancy in on-campus housing despite the increase in capacity this year.

The management team at Louisiana State University at Alexandria has demonstrated how an institutional-wide, collaborative effort can produce extraordinary enrollment outcomes.

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