Data informs our process, it does not dictate our process to us. In enrollment management, there is a science to what we do using data, predictive models, and leveraging tools to maximize our results.
There is also a spirit, an attitude, or an art that comes with enrollment planning that brings our plans to life. We bring strategies forward through a careful analysis of the data to understand future trends. The art comes forward when we begin to color focused efforts to ensure our plan aligns with future trends. Campuses must operationalize those future trends into action and remain aligned with institutional mission and vision.
As we look towards the future, campuses must seek a way to balance the art and science of enrollment planning. New majors, changes in delivery style, or enhancement to current programs only happen when one approaches these changes with an attitude that these changes are for the better. While some may argue that the change isn’t, this is where the data informs our practice and ensures that we connect with the future rather than hold onto the past. As Stacy Adkinson at the University of Saint Francis would say, “A plan states our future intentions to do something.”
The art comes in making the intention happen.