CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s new enrollment manager hopes to stop the school’s declining student population.
Jennifer DeHaemers will start May 14 as the university’s vice associate chancellor for enrollment management. The position has been vacant since 2014 and hasn’t been full-time since 2011.
The university saw enrollment drop from more than 24,800 students in 1991 to about 14,500 last fall.
DeHaemers said the situation didn’t deter her from the position.
“I didn’t have any reservations, I’ll just say that,” she said. “I would say that it attracted me to it, because I think I can help.”
DeHaemers was the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2011 to 2017. The university’s enrollment grew from about 15,500 students to almost 16,400 during that time period.
DeHaemers said an attendance-tracking system helped her team at UMKC identify and reach out to students not attending class. She also created a system to help students understand the pathways to degree completion.
DeHaemers plans to begin her work at SIU by collecting data on where students come from, what their university experience is like and why some students are leaving.
DeHaemers said she also plans on focusing recruitment efforts near the university.
“If there’s a student who feels this could be the right place and who we think could be a good fit here, we need to at least offer that opportunity for them to check us out,” DeHaemers said.
Creating an enrollment management plan could take up to a year, DeHaemers said. The plan may include finding ways to eliminate unintended barriers that keep students from enrolling, she said.