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February 25, 2020

Five minutes with VP of Enrollment Leslie Davidson

  1. How will Beloit’s new direction help us raise enrollment?

With Channels, Beloit has created a distinctive offering built around institutional identity that aligns all programs in and beyond the classroom, provides students with integrated support, and addresses their (and their parents’) anxiety about career opportunities. Students and parents will see an approach that provides students with both the exploration and discovery characteristic of the best liberal arts education with the focus and direction needed to successfully launch a career after graduation. Channels responds effectively to the current moment in higher education in a way that remains true to Beloit’s mission and identity.

  1. With enrollment concerns across higher education, what is Beloit doing differently to attract students?

Beloit is a deeply relational place. Among the first words I read on the website as I researched Beloit as a job applicant were: “Beloit College engages the intelligence, imagination, and curiosity of its students …Our entire campus works together to support students’ growth, and our small class sizes allow for highly personalized attention that naturally fosters authentic mentoring relationships between faculty and students.”

Our recruitment and admission efforts need to capture and convey the college’s character so that prospective students understand what it will feel like to be here. To that end, we’re resuming our connections to high schools, tailoring outreach based on fit with Beloit, and investing effort into building relationships with prospective students and their parents, as well as educators and other influencers. All of this is guided and reinforced, but not replaced, by a data-informed strategy, predictive analytics, and the effective deployment of digital marketing.

  1. How have visiting students and families responded to the Powerhouse?

We made ample use of the newly opened Powerhouse for our first Admitted Student Open House last week, and the reaction was very positive. The spaces are stunning, and the thinking behind it, effectively captured in a recent State Journal article, is quintessentially “Beloitish.” The Powerhouse makes a strong statement about how we think and what we value, and the closer connections to the surrounding community that it forges will strengthen and enhance the student experience.

  1. What can alumni do to support enrollment?

Volunteer efforts should serve as an extension of the Admissions Office’s capability, rather than a duplication; should privilege activities that involve interpersonal interaction; and should make appropriate use of volunteer time and skills, as well as the admissions staff’s time and focus. Here are several concrete and meaningful ways that alumni can contribute to recruitment and enrollment efforts:

  • Refer a Beloiter.
  • Respond to requests, which will often involve contacting or meeting with students or their parents or participating in events and panels.
  • Email us to introduce us to schools we may not already be visiting or to connect us to educators and other influencers within your personal network.
  • Convene a group of educators, parents, and/or students to learn about Beloit from you, with the goal of driving them towards a visit to campus. We’ll take it from there.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add?

Only how happy I am to be here and how much I look forward to getting to know our amazing alumni.

  • Leslie Davidson, vice president for enrollment.
    Photo by: Lauren Justice

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