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Division of Strategic Enrollment Management 2016 report

As we reach the end of our Quest for Distinction strategic plan, I am heartened by what we all have achieved together. The leadership of the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management has accomplished so much in such a short time. Because of their tireless work and dedication, our students are receiving a world-class education that will not only benefit them, but future generations to come.

Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

Michael Rao, Ph.D. President Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System

Colleagues, It’s my pleasure to share with you this 2016 report highlighting the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management’s initiatives, services and recruitment efforts for the 2016-17 academic year. The Division of Strategic Enrollment Management continues to partner with colleagues across the university to focus on recruiting a larger, more highly competitive and diverse class, and to improve retention and graduation rates. VCU’s overall enrollment represents our ongoing efforts to attract and retain a diverse student body, and the freshman class that enrolled in fall 2016 was the most academically competitive and diverse in the university’s history. The Division is committed to providing students with tools and resources that promote higher student retention and graduation rates. This year, we saw the implementation of a comprehensive campus-wide plan to improve access to academic advising for all students. In addition, we’ve continued to encourage students to “Do the Math” and sign up for 15 credits per semester, which puts them on a path to graduating on time and with less debt. We cannot accomplish results without the support and contributions of the entire university community. It is only through our university partnerships that we will continue to improve our service to students and their families. Thank you for your contributions to these efforts. We look forward to even greater success this next academic year.

2016 Report

Sybil C. Halloran, Ph.D. Interim vice provost Division of Strategic Enrollment Management Virginia Commonwealth University


Baccalaureate:  22,758 77.87%

Fall 2016

31,231 students

Overall enrollment Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

VCU’s overall enrollment represents our ongoing efforts to attract and retain a diverse student body.

Total enrollment by degree program

Master’s: 3,148 10.08%

Doctoral: 1,502 4.81%

First professional:  1,706 5.64% Certificate: 403 1.29% Undergraduate non-degree seeking:1,266 4.05% Graduate non-degree seeking:394 1.26%

Undergraduate:  24,212 77.53%

Total enrollment by student classification

Graduate:  5,259 16.84%

First professional:  1,780 5.69%


The number of first-time freshmen who are Black/African-American increased from 790 in Fall 2015 to 838 in Fall 2016, while the number of Hispanic/Latino first-time freshmen jumped from 336 in Fall 2015 to 380 in Fall 2016.

Fall 2016 White: 15,525 49.71% Unknown: 1,264 4.05% Two or more races: 1,556 4.98% International: 1699 5.12%

Total enrollment by ethnicity

American Indian/ Alaskan: 79 .25%

Asian: 3,822 12.24%

Hispanic/Latin: 2246 7.19% Black/African American: 5,101 16.33%

Total minority enrollment

Minority: 12,842 41.12% Increase of 36.63% since fall 2012 (11,632)

2016 Report

Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 38 .12%


Overall enrollment Enrolled in-state students by county* Fall 2016

*all counties except Bland and Highland

Enrolled domestic students by state* Fall 2016

Top five states:

26,555 Division of Strategic Enrollment Management




North Carolina


*all states except Wyoming






Enrolled international students Fall 2016

Top five countries:

Saudi Arabia




318 258 208 169

South Korea







2016 Report


Enrolled transfer students


Entering freshmen

The freshman class that enrolled in fall 2016 was the most academically competitive and diverse in the university’s history. Students in our freshman class are from all 50 states and 35 countries. Over 2,100 of these new students are minority students, and onethird of the students in this freshman class are first-generation students.

990-1190 Middle 50 percent of first-time freshmen

fall 2016

3.30-3.96 Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

Middle 50 percent of first-time freshmen


Enrolled first-generation first-time freshmen* 32.6%



*VCU began collecting/recording first generation data in 2014 when the Office of Admissions began to use the Common Application.




Enrolled freshmen taking 15 or more credit hours*










2016 Report


*Do the Math program started summer/fall 2013


Entering freshmen Enrolled first-time freshmen by state Fall 2016

Top five states:

3,717 Virginia



North Carolina




New Jersey


Enrolled international first-time freshmen Fall 2016 Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

Top five countries:

Saudi Arabia





South Korea




United Arab Emirates


Fall 2016

Unknown: 140 3.31% Two or more races: 280 6.61% International: 114 2.69%

White: 1,870 44.17%

Enrolled first-time freshmen by ethnicity

American Indian/ Alaskan: 10 .24%

Asian: 598 14.12%

Hispanic/Latin: 381 9% Black/African American: 838 19.79%

Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 3 .07%










2016 Report


Enrolled minority first-time freshmen


Academics, retention and student success Advising and Academic Support In Summer 2015, SEM created the position of assistant vice provost for academic advising. The goal of the position was to unite academic advisors across campus and to begin to systematically develop tools and resources to ensure quality academic advising that will lead to higher student retention, graduation and career satisfaction rates upon completion of their VCU education. Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, the following significant improvements were accomplished: • According to the 2014 NSEE Survey (reported in 2015), VCU outperformed its national peers in the quality of first-year student advising satisfaction.

Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

• The AVP for academic advising developed a comprehensive campus-wide plan to improve access to academic advising, to decrease student-to-advisor ratios across all university programs and to improve campus-wide communications within the advising community. A $2.3 million funding proposal was approved by VCU’s provost to not only provide centralized advising leadership within each school or college, but to provide additional professional advisor positions in departments or units where advising ratios are well beyond NACADA’s suggested 350-to-1 ratios. With the addition of more professional advisors, faculty advisors can now become stronger mentors in the areas of student research, career planning and graduate school directionality. The $2.3 million will be spread out over a three-year plan, with $600,000 already implemented during the summer of 2016. • Additional funding dollars were allocated to the purchase and implementation of a new campus-wide academic advising tool called SSC Campus. SSC Campus is a product offered by Education Advisory Board (EAB), which combines technology, research and predictive analytics to help campuses focus on students who are at risk or who are off path toward their graduation goals. The tool now allows advisors the ability to enter student notes electronically, refer students through case management to tutoring and student support services, and interact with faculty who have their students each semester. The product creates a system of support around the student and provides opportunities for each academic advisor to develop student success campaigns in the tool to target groups of students in their advising caseloads. VCU has been highlighted by EAB as a “best practice campus” through its webinars and national conference. 10

First-Generation Students

Military Student Services

In Fall 2016, SEM launched First-Gen Fridays, a monthly opportunity for first-generation college students to meet each other, faculty and staff from around the university.

In summer 2015, MSS began hosting veteran-only new student orientation sessions for the first time. Throughout the academic year, MSS teamed with outside agencies including The Wounded Warrior Project, local VFW posts and Dominion Virginia Power to host on-campus events for students including a military student graduation ceremony that had more than 100 guests and 40 veteran graduates in attendance. The Student Veterans Association (SVA) hosted the largest canned food drive of the year for the VCU Ram Pantry and continues to provide service to VCU and the local community.

VCU TRiO Student Support Services is a federal grant-supported program that provides services to approximately 200 first-generation and low-income undergraduate students. The program provides proactive advising and financial counseling support to help students to not only succeed at the undergraduate level but to also consider graduate education. TRiO started providing services in spring 2016. A successful weeklong Summer Bridge program that included academic enrichment and socialcultural activities was attended by 25 new students in July 2016.

MSS revitalized the Green Zone training program, which promotes a greater understanding of the challenges military students may face as they transition from military life to student life through formal presentation, a military-student panel discussion and informal dialogue. More than 100 faculty and staff members attended the program in spring 2016, and Green Zone training was shared with more than 50 colleges and universities nationwide.

VCU student-athletes continued to excel in and out of the classroom. During the 2015-16 school year, student-athletes earned a 3.04 cumulative GPA; in the spring 2016 semester 64% earned 3.0 or above and 36% earned dean’s list honors. Also, for the second year in a row, student-athletes completed more than 2,000 community service hours. In August 2016 VCU men’s tennis standout Michal Voscek was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Voscek majored in urban and regional planning and culminated his academic career with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

• 1503 students with military connections

2016 Report

VCU TRiO Student Support Services

Student-Athlete Support Services

• 997 students currently certified under military benefits 11

New Student and Family Programs

Summer Scholars

More than 4,000 people — a total of 967 families — registered to attend VCU’s Family Weekend 2016. New Student and Family Programs continued their annual Family Weekend events, including the First-Year Parent and Family Brunch, which served over 800 families and the Rams Got Talent Show. Several new events were hosted by NSFP, including a philanthropic Family Weekend 5K Fun Walk/Run that raised $1,500 for Ram Pantry. VCU art students and graduates led 100 participants in painting the Richmond city skyscape at a new Paint in the Plaza event. Bicycle tours and haunted walking tours were also new additions that were very popular. Various academic units, VCU Athletics and the Division of Student Affairs were also very active partners in providing events for families.

The division offered the VCU Summer Scholars Program for the second year. During this five-week program, incoming first-year students got a head-start on their path to graduation by taking university classes, earning course credits, and building community and class unity prior to their first full semester on campus. Students stayed in a VCU residence hall, which presented them with the opportunity to build a sense of community within the university. They were also immersed in the greater Richmond community, experiencing the city through a whitewater rafting trip on the James River, a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, tours of the area, a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game and a community service project at East End Cemetery.

We had 24 New Student Orientation info sessions in summer 2016: four one-day transfer programs; three half-day transfer express programs; 14 two-day first-year programs; and three one-day first-year and transfer combined programs. Two of our transfer programs were designed specifically for veterans. We saw a 5 percent increase in participation of students in NSO: 4,051 first-year students (with 3,349 guests) and 1,950 transfer students (with 1,256 guests). We significantly increased family participation in NSO this year. Firstyear family participation increased to 80 percent, a 4 percent increase from last year; transfer family participation increased to 64 percent, a 16 percent increase from last year.

Beyond Orientation Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

Beyond Orientation: Partnering for Success in Today’s University, VCU’s online course for first-year parents, is in its third year. The course provides a network for parents, family members and VCU faculty and administrators. Designed to take families beyond what they learn in orientation, the course provides a closer look at the first-year experience. University leaders discuss some of the key topics and issues in education today helping families to better relate to their student’s college life experiences. In fall 2016, 101 families participated in Beyond Orientation. 12

Records and Registration The following new online processes were implemented in 2016:

• Web Proxy allows student to electronically designate people who may access their records in eServices • DegreeWorks for graduate students provides electronic degree audit • Electronic change of major process allows students to submit their change-of-major requests to departments electronically for approval. This process removes the need for paper requests and for students to walk from building to building.

Master’s: 1,557 Baccalaureate: 5,219 Doctoral: 306 First professional:  412 Post master’s certificate: 20

Degrees and certificates awarded 2015-16 school year

Post baccalaureate certificate: 304

2016 Report

• eTranscript allows student to electronically order/request a pdf version of transcript


Summer Studies and Intersession During the 2015-16 academic year, 861 students registered for 53 courses in various disciplines. All three-credit courses for Intersession are taught during winter break.

Writing Center

Campus Learning Center

The Writing Center continued to help students become the strongest writers possible. During the 2015-16 academic year, peer consultants met with students 6,400 times; 12 percent of those consultations were with graduate students. Students sought help most often for these courses: UNIV 200, UNIV 111, UNIV 112, ENGL 215 and INSC 490.

The Campus Learning Center provides tutoring and academic coaching to help students do well in their classes and reach their academic goals. During the 2015-16 academic year, 89 unique tutors at the CLC spent 19,572 hours on instruction and 7,285 contact hours for individual appointments. A total of 57 supplemental instructors conducted 4,482 sessions of 8.2 students per session for a total of 36,840 contact hours. The total contact hours for the CLC from August 2015-August 2016 was 57,579, which includes coaching.

Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

In a student satisfaction survey, 99 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their consultation services; 98 percent said they received helpful advice that can also be utilized in the future; 99 percent intend to return to the Writing Center; and all respondents said they would recommend the Writing Center to a friend. We started a satellite Writing Center in Tomkins-McCaw Library on the MCV Campus. With three consultants working 12 hours each, we saw about 150 grad and professional students, as well as some faculty. We are continuing the service in 2016-17. 14

Financial literacy Total financial aid awarded 2015-16 school year:


Federal aid: $258,396,392

State aid:  $22,220,892

VCU aid: $20,441,424

Office of Financial Aid In early 2016, the Office of Financial Aid contracted with Financial Aid Services (FAS) to help students and their families complete the verification of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The division also continues to promote financial literacy to students through our partnerships with Financial Aid TV and the nonprofit organization American Student Assistance’s SALT® tool. FATV is an online resource offering short videos explaining financial aid, including filling out the FAFSA, financial aid basics, and tips on managing money, information for parents and resources for veterans. SALT® provides free financial literacy guidance and tools for current college students and alumni.

Student Accounting Department

2016 Report

For the 2015-16 academic year the Student Accounting Department assessed and billed $519,813,827 in charges. We processed $109 million in third-party awards. SEM and the School of Business continued their partnership in 2016. The Money Spot program trained eight students in the finance major to coach their peers on financial planning, and three more coaches will be trained in spring 2017.


SEM Communications SEM Communications creates, implements and manages strategic marketing and communications campaigns for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management. SEM Communications’ marketing and communications efforts support the division’s key goals related to recruiting, enrolling and retaining an academically talented and diverse student body. Our external target audiences include prospective students, current students, and parents and families of prospective and current students, as well as high school and community college counselors and advisors. Our internal audience is you, our colleagues, university faculty and staff.

Division of Strategic Enrollment Management

SEM Communications works in partnership with the Division of University Relations to support the university’s identity standards, branding guidelines and marketing initiatives. This year several new projects were initiated with University Marketing, including the redevelopment and design of the SEM website, expected to launch in early 2017. SEM Communications by the numbers (July 2015 through June 2016): • 110 e-mail messages sent to prospective and/or new students (totaling nearly 1.4 million contacts) • 69 unique publications produced (non-admissions) • 13 events sponsored by SEM • 150+ events hosted by SEM departments


Community college partnerships The Division of Strategic Enrollment Management continues to lead initiatives designed to strengthen relations with community college partners. During the 2015-16 year, VCU developed three new articulation agreements designed to help transfer students transition successfully to VCU. These agreements include a memorandum of understanding between the VCU Honors College and the honors program at Reynolds Community College, an agreement with John Tyler Community College for students planning to enroll in the B.S. in Psychology program and an agreement with Tidewater Community College for students planning to enroll in the B.S. in Biology program. The division also initiated a joint enrollment planning task force with JTCC to improve communication and enhance support services for JTCC students transferring to VCU. A similar task force is planned for Reynolds in 2016-17.

New initiatives SEM Leadership Academy


In 2015-16, SEM launched a Leadership Academy that focused on the development of personal and professional growth of staff members, and which took place over the course of the 2015-16 academic year.

During the year, Leadership Academy participants collaborated on developing a project that would provide a unique and universal experience to all SEM employees. The outcome of the first Leadership Academy was #SEMServes, an initiative developed to help SEM staff members use their 16 hours of community service. Staff members participated in several volunteer projects including a gardening project at Maymont in April, working at FeedMore in June, collecting donations for victims of the West Virginia floods in July and assisting with summer planting in the VCU community garden. In early fall 2016, staff members got in the holiday spirit early, volunteering to decorate with lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

The SEM Leadership Academy afforded more seasoned staff members the opportunity to serve as mentors to those in the program, while senior leadership offered direction and guidance. The goal of the program was to help participants to develop a range of leadership skills and abilities, including effectively leading change, resolving conflict, motivating others, and professionalism. SEM Leadership Academy participants also gained an enhanced understanding of how SEM contributes to the student experience.

Virginia Commonwealth University Division of Strategic Enrollment Management 900 Park Avenue Box 843065 Richmond, Virginia 23284-3065 VCU does not discriminate in admissions, treatment, employment or access to its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, pregnancy, political affiliation, veteran status, family medical and genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding VCU’s non-discrimination policies: Laura Walsh Rugless, director of equity and access services and Title IX coordinator, Moseley House, 1001 Grove Ave., Box 842549, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2549, (804) 828-1347, 002636-01

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