Enrollment Services Annual Report
Significant Activities in the Unit during 2008-2009
With severe budget cuts, a hiring freeze and the implementation of significant enrollment constriction strategies, academic year 2008-2009 has not been an easy one for Enrollment Services. Staff members were asked to do more with less, deliver a difficult message to prospective students and move to a remote site while continuing to deliver outstanding service to our students. They accomplished these goals with an incredible level of professionalism, commitment and conviction. During 2009-2010, they will continue to refine their structure and enrollment strategies so that our students benefit from higher quality services and educational experiences.
We continued to make considerable progress in implementing SEM principles this past year as we met weekly as an Enrollment Management team with representatives from relevant units on campus. As in the past, the AVP for Enrollment Services worked with the President, Provost and Deans to set enrollment targets for the university and each college for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 years. We monitored these targets daily during registration, add/drop and the purge and reinstatement periods to gauge our progress toward meeting annual enrollment goals. As state budget projections worsened, we adjusted targets to be more in line with budgetary realities. Through our efforts, in collaboration with college deans and schedulers, we were able to close the gap between funded and actual enrollment for the first time. At this point we have a somewhat realistic idea of our enrollment targets for 2009-2010 and so we are able to reopen enrollment at levels where they were limited in 2008-2009. We continue to develop and implement enrollment management strategies that are a significant departure from past practice and will work through new challenges as we have those we have faced in the past.
Early in the year, we were informed that most of our unit would be moving to UNF Hall in the spring of 2009 and that ACE would remain in building 2. The decision to move our unit presented a variety of challenges including how to serve students from a remote One-Stop location and how to arrange for campus tours on the Osprey Connector. In addition, we needed to ensure that we maintained cohesiveness with ACE even though we were physically separated.
Throughout the fall, we worked closely with architects and decorators to create an attractive space designed to provide easy access to prospective and current student services. In March 2009, we made our move and are now settling in to our beautiful new space in UNF Hall. It may take some time to work out the details so that we can function as effectively as we did on the “Mainland” but we are confident that we will be successful.
At the end of this year, ACE moved to swing space in building 9 while the first floor of 2 is being renovated. And they will move again in 2009-2010 into their renovated space. Each move will present challenges to the ACE staff but they will most certainly overcome the obstacles and provide their trademark service to our students.
This year was the first full year of implementation of the Jacksonville Commitment Program. The JCP is a city-wide collaborative effort among Duval County’s higher education institutions, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), and the city of Jacksonville whose goal is to increase the number of low-income students prepared for success in college programs by creating and sustaining a “college-going” culture. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and who meet admission criteria for one of the four postsecondary partner institutions.
As the central partner in this city wide effort, UNF employs the Commitment Director and it was decided that the director would be housed in Enrollment Services and be a member of the leadership team. We have made great strides planning the program, facilitating the cross institutional workgroups, recruiting the first cohort of 39 UNF students and awarding them scholarships, and acquiring funds for the Jacksonville Commitment College Advisors (JCCAs) who are funded by private donors and report to our director. The advisors have spent the 2008-2009 year in their respective Duval County high schools working with students, helping them prepare for college admission and assisting with the application and financial aid processes. We were also funded for and hired a financial aid counselor and academic advisor to provide direct support for prospective and current UNF JC scholars.
While an outstanding program that provides unique educational opportunities for underserved students in our city, administration of the program is a challenge due to the need for close collaboration among city wide partners.
Our new initiative this year was the Academic Roadmaps.Launching the roadmap initiative had some challenges, mainly within the limitations of the initial computer application specifications. Both phases of the computer application enhancements have dramatically improved the display of the roadmap as well as functionality and map-building capabilities. Although the director would like to be further along with the number of “built” roadmaps, we are pleased that she has reviewed all of the originally submitted word document roadmaps. The new "copy button" functionality will increase building speed. The director has done a good job keeping stakeholders informed of the roadmap status, and buy-in for the tool is high, especially among the department representatives.