IIE Networker - Fall 2012 - (Page 35)

STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING IEM Take a Deep Breath: Making International Enrollment Management Manageable By Mandy Hansen AT THE END of every spring semester, I take a deep breath, not out of relief but out of anxiety. This anxiety stems from not knowing which students will enroll in the upcoming fall semester. I am willing to wager that both new and seasoned professionals share this anxiety because of the growing concern in the higher education community to increase international student enrollment and retention. The enrollment and retention of international students is important for numerous reasons, as international students contribute to campus diversity, provide opportunities for intercultural learning, add expertise to research, and contribute economically to campuses and communities. I have found that assessment and reassessment are ways to not only keep pace but stay ahead. Below are some steps to help us breathe a little easier. Make Sure Your Basics Are in Place Ensuring that the basics are in place is essential to your ability to build and expand your unit. Just as a strong work ethic, innovation, and planning can take you far in your career, a good recruitment brochure, a comprehensive and easily navigable website, and solid communication plans are vital foundational pieces for moving forward. Expand Your Foundation Communication outreach to students at the prospective, applicant, admitted, and enrolled stages is key. Connect with your staff, conduct focus groups of international students, and compile the basic information that students need. Virtual information sessions, social media, printed material, calling campaigns, and email messaging will keep international students engaged throughout the process. Maintain Internal Processes This step involves the analysis of workflow and an internal review of policies. Below are some of the questions that IEM professionals need to revisit regularly: • What is your workflow for prospective students, applicants, and enrolled students? • How do you use your institutional tools to manage international student data and reporting? • What is the credential review and authentication process? • What is the transfer credit policy and process? • How do you send your admission notifications, and how do students confirm their enrollment? • Who is responsible for the issuance of immigration documents? • What is your internal policy on response times to student and parent, staff, and faculty inquiries? • What is your international student deferral process? Taking the pulse of your campus and the students that enroll is essential for enrollment managers on an annual basis. • How do you track international student data? Plan Your Recruitment Recruitment is more than a visit abroad or participation in an educational fair. It involves a plan that cultivates alumni and utilizes current students through a student ambassador program. Keeping abreast of the issues and policies of peer schools, certification agencies, and professional organizations will assist in making an educated decision for your institution. Stay Current Staying current with peer institutions on both the international and domestic front is helpful for the assessment of IEM practices and the generation of new ideas. Listservs, Facebook groups, conferences, and online workshops can assist you in keeping informed about developments and trends in the field. Additionally, an annual “wish list” developed by the IEM team provides project-based goals that can complement your enrollment goals. The above steps provide structure and help ensure that international enrollment planning is both strategic and comprehensive. Following these steps allows me to breathe easy, knowing that my team has taken appropriate measures to strategically address all ■ aspects of enrollment planning. Mandy Hansen is Director of International Admissions & Recruitment and Associate Director for the Center for International Education at Northern Arizona University. 35 Take the Pulse of Your Campus Taking the pulse of your campus and the students that enroll is essential for enrollment managers on an annual basis. During this stage it is crucial to do an internal assessment of the students that attend, revisit the process and policies for admissions, and determine if any updates are needed. In addition, it is important that student retention is reviewed and data is collected on those students who stayed and those who left. A review may yield trends in such defining characteristics as gender, country of origin, or student majors. Important to this stage are the ways that a campus defines an international student. Is an international student any student on a non-immigrant visa? Or does an institution define them as anyone applying from a school abroad? This definition will help to focus your efforts in IEM. This is also a stage in which you should obtain a summary of your budget for the next year. Does your institution need to operate under fiscal restraints, or do you have support to create an extensive recruitment plan that will help you meet your enrollment goals? http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2012

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker Minister of Higher Education Interview Series: Ju-ho Lee, Republic of Korea
Commemorating Ten Years of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund
Developing International Strategies in an Increasingly Dynamic Global Environment
Evidence-Based Approach to Strategic International Enrollment Management: A Case Study of American University
The Formal and Informal Aspects of Successful IEM
The Business of Being International Student Friendly
Take a Deep Breath: Making International Enrollment Management Manageable
How to Become a Host Institution for the Brazil Science Without Borders Program
Every Student an International Student: IEM as Part of a Holistic Approach to Campus Internationalization
Advertisers Index
Seven Resources for Bringing International Students to U.S. Campuses

IIE Networker - Fall 2012