Focusing on recruitment: Fall enrollment drops, brighter side ahead

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Focusing on recruitment: Fall enrollment drops, brighter side ahead

Source: SLT Perspective Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Source: SLT Perspective Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Amanda M Lopez

Source: SLT Perspective Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Amanda M Lopez

Amanda M Lopez

Source: SLT Perspective Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

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Enrollment for both of PNW’s campuses has decreased for the Fall semester of 2016 following the unification of PUC and PNC.

The total student headcount for the semester was 6,092 students at Westville and 9,191 students at the Hammond campus. These numbers include dual-credit students.

Carmen Panlilio, vice chancellor of enrollment management and student affairs, attributed the drop in numbers to the newly unified campuses and the uncertainty it left in people.

“This is the worst of the transition,” Panlilio said. “But we will get past this and it will get better but only because we’re learning so much from it.”

The Fall 2016 semester has 410 first time in college students at Westville and 891 in Hammond.

The retention rates for the respective campuses compared to last year are 52.2% and 65.3%.

Panlilio said despite the numbers, there are positive aspects already beginning to show. PSAT Day on Oct. 19 had 200 students visit between the two campuses, an Association for Iron and Steel Technology sponsored event hosted by an alumni had 300 students visit and around 500 students have RSVP’ed for the open house on Oct. 29.

“This shows people are starting to look at us positively,” Panlilio said. “The rest of the community is getting on board with PNW.”

Panlilio said each deans, departments and advisors are all helping with efforts to recruit students. Recruiting is also being branched out to deliberately target areas in Illinois and Michigan.

“Our goal is to see a stabilizing of enrollment in the fall [of 2017], or at least a movement towards it,” Panlilio said.

Panlilio said the focus of recruiting needs to be on retention and recruitment since they go hand-in-hand, along with looking at international, transfer, returning, graduate, and adult students. A focus has also been placed on sophomores and juniors in high school in an effort to “nurture” them.

“We need to get into that kind of thinking that’s more organized, bigger and better, since there’s two locations now,” Panlilio said.