University Business September 2016 - 21

Expanding your outreach may assist the institution in growing interest from qualified males who have not historically made it into your funnel. This approach should be targeted and measured. It will be important to examine your institutional data to see which males who fall below your search criteria have the highest propensity for success at your institution. Transitional populations Another target market to enroll more males is one who delayed a post-secondary education or stopped out of an earlier college try. Some research indicates men are more likely to put off college enrollment-opting instead for the military or a vocation right out of high school. Assuring your institution has clear policies for accepting these -with the appropriate articulation agreements- can help those who are seeking a transfer institution in their search. Academic support and engagement Achieving an equitable gender ratio for many campuses will require not only enrolling more new males, but also retaining a larger percentage of those students already on campus. As such, best practices have begun to emerge, specifically related to advising. Terry Musser, associate director of enrollment and operations for the Division of Undergraduate Studies at Penn State University, and her colleagues studied men who struggled in their transition to college. The study recommended the following related to academic advising: * Advisors need to watch for signs of vulnerability and intervene in a timely fashion. Practices that help identify issues include academic early warning systems, advising records that flag students at risk, assessments of preparation for college work, questionnaires about social readiness, and regular communication between advising and residence life. Achieving an equitable gender ratio means not only enrolling more new males, but also retaining those already on campus. * Because the advising relationship provides both personal and intellectual support, it's imperative to help male students develop confidence that they belong in the institution and that they can gain value from engaging with it. * The advising relationship may be perceived as quasi-parental and condescending. Advisors might consider arranging their offices so that students sit beside them-like video game players facing a computer-rather than sitting directly across from the student. * Advisors can use every means possible-orientation, newsletters and individual advising sessions-to point out opportunities for engagement. Because showing up alone can be awkward, advisors might encourage men to attend orientation events in pairs or groups. They might use peer mentors to help new students form a group. Mentoring males With the growing acknowledgement of males being at risk, some institutions have taken a more proactive approach to mentoring. One example is the Minority Male Mentoring Program established in 2003 by the North Carolina Community College System. The goal of the program is to achieve greater persistence, graduation, and/or transfer rates. Institutions that participate facilitate interactions between males in the program and key college staff. They also provide career counseling, student-tostudent coaching and assistance in writing an academic plan. John Evans, associate director for student life in the North Carolina Community College System, says the mentoring program has supported over 10,000 students working toward achieving their educational, professional and civic goals. Recent program modifications provide targeted interventions when they are most effective, ensure students don't face unnecessary detours in attaining credentials, and help students understand requirements so they make informed decisions that lead to success. Given the demographic challenges and shifts, achieving gender balance won't happen by accident. Institutional leadership needs to calibrate expectations based on their current realities and look for strategic opportunities with both recruitment and student success initiatives. Aaron Mahl is a vice president and consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Will your campus be honored for student achievement? universitybusiness.com/mox Sponsored by www.universitybusiness.com See Page 32 September 2016 | 21 http://www.universitybusiness.com/mox http://www.universitybusiness.com/mox http://www.universitybusiness.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business September 2016

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