UIS student recruiting/retention activity suggestions for school/department/program heads
UIS is working on many fronts to increase enrollment and retention to its programs. Faculty – who interact with students more on a daily basis than any other UIS employees – are a key element to the campus’ success in these areas. Beyond the critical and always-top-priority classroom work, faculty can engage in other activities to promote and improve the positive image of their academic units. In some respects, we’re talking about marketing to internal and external audiences. In other respects, we refer to ways faculty can participate in new ways of engaging in campus activities. We foresee these non-classroom strategies being led by, coordinated, and – in many cases – executed by school directors, faculty chairs and department heads.
The following list – initially created by the 2022-2023 Committee on Admission, Recruitment, and Retention – includes suggested activities to raise the profile of academic units. For each entry below, we’ve suggested what campus departments faculty can call on to help carry out a task.
This is an evolving document. Please send additional suggestions to Prof. Jason Piscia (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of the Committee on Admission, Recruitment, and Retention.
Update your department/school fact sheet (work with marketing and Campus Services); determine how/where to distribute it (Marketing)
Update your department/school website with latest info, fresh art, and news items about events happening in your area. (Learn to update your own site via Web Services)
Update/establish a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, maybe even TikTok), work with faculty to feed the profiles with information. (Marketing)
Learn about the profile of a school’s/department’s students. What are popular feeder schools/regions? Work with marketing to target these areas. (Enrollment Management, Marketing)
Recruit current students to help create website/social media content about your programs. (Campus Relations, Marketing)
Attend campus open houses and consider making a presentation about your department. Develop visuals to accompany presentation and relevant swag with your school/department branding. (Enrollment Management, Marketing, Campus Services)
Participate in Grad Week webinars in fall and spring. (AVCGE office, Enrollment Management)
Develop an email marketing campaign, where you can create a number of messages tailored to your specific program that can be sent to potential students at various milestones in the admission/enrollment process. (Enrollment Management working in Slate)
For chairs/directors, get your individual work email address and office phone number put onto marketing materials. For smaller programs, communicate with recruits individually and/or offer to meet with them if they visit campus. (Marketing)
Personally call or email accepted and enrolled students to welcome them to your campus, answer questions, and see that any information requests are forwarded to the appropriate office. (Get list from Registration)
Establish relationships with Springfield-area high school/community college faculty who teach in your discipline. Offer to make a presentation/teach a lesson to their class.
Develop a “camp” experience (a one- or multi-day event) for high school students featuring information and experiences related to your discipline. (Continuing and Professional Education)
Develop panel discussions, lectures or other educational content related to your discipline. Market within UIS, of course. But could your event be useful to the community at large? If so, consider partnering with a community group (Citizens Club of Springfield, for example) to co-host.
Obtain email list of your department’s students to communicate information about events. (Request from ITS: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/4556433?referrer=https://uisshibb1.uis.edu/)
Develop social media channels and encourage current students to follow. These channels could be the same as the ones built to attract new students, but add posts geared toward existing students (registration reminders for specific classes, on-campus events) (Marketing)
Inspiration from Penn State University: https://www.campuses.psu.edu/faculty-resources/faculty-activity-reports/activity-examples-for-recruitment-retention