The Importance of Communication: A Real Situation You May Never Have Faced

The spring had become a difficult time for the faculty. They had decreases in enrollment and the president’s idea of making up the numbers with international students was not working and no one knew what the results were at this point. Their spirits were low and they did not know where to go. They had been reading the newspapers and other media about admissions at other schools for fall 2019 and it was not good!



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Issues will include more segmentation; — older students, going for certificates instead of diplomas.

Coming and going to a school – not just attending for four years.

Different curriculum with different books, different roles for students and faculty.


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This will mean lack of funding for many programs.  The top 300 schools should not have much of a problem.

Meet the New Mega-University

Southern New Hampshire University WISHES TO REACH 300,000 students over the next two-three years.

They are an accredited distance education university and take students from all over the country, internationally, and in business.  Currently they have over 250 advisors to track students who are doing poorly and students who are doing well; the latter need stroking as well.

“Today the program, internally dubbed CBE 2.0, is a key piece of SNHU’s five-year sprint to 300,000 students.  It’s the academic program that SNHU expects to deploy more aggressively as it attempts to enroll more underemployed young people, more adults getting their tuition covered by their employers, and as many as 50,000 overseas refugees.”

This is the short-term goal of the University.

They could be taking students away from you at any time.

Look at Purdue University that purchased a For Profit school and now has a division called “Purdue Global” – University programs anywhere any time in the world.

It is amazing to us the number of schools that are behind in the recruiting program in the spring and never know about it.  People are given excuses like it is not the right time to look; we are too busy recruiting to work on that; or, wait until school is over and we will have the time.

You deserve to know and should ask for the following:

 Last YearThis Year
Goals New Freshmen  
Complete Applications  
Filed for Financial Aid  
Awarded Financial Aid  
Campus Visits  
Special Programs  
Total Contacts by Staff  


All of these numbers should be available for Transfer Students, Special Programs, International Students, and Masters Students.

This is a lot to ask for!  But you should keep asking until you get it because there is a lot at stake: your careers, your families, your students, your dreams, your lives, and the future.

There are things that can be done!

The Situation

There are no “for certain” indications that there will be an enrollment problem.  Given last years’ experience however, the budget cuts, and the fact that no one knows what the data actually is lead to major uncertainty.  The Dean of Admissions will not release the data to anyone, and this has happened consistently.  There are indicators from several sources that there could be issues in the fall that would be troubling to potential students, their parents, and the school.

Restraining Forces

  • Segmentation: more diversity of all types
  • Defined by the team
  • Fewer graduates from high school
  • People going for certificates rather than degrees
Driving Forces

  • There are really no special driving forces.
  • Being a Mid-size school in Iowa is not enough of a Driving Force.



The people who have not acted are potential students


Awarded Aid
Pack Components

credit < full-time




This would include mailings, scheduled open houses, and the like


  • Viewbook
  • Department
  • Student Life
  • Athletics
  • Cost
  • Other


  • Phone
  • Visit to School
  • On-campus Visit
  • Home Visit
  • Focus Group?


  • Faculty
  • Student
  • Staff/Alumnae



Total Contacts

Social media systems

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram


Remaining Budget Total

Planning for Fall 2019 and Spring/Summer 2020

Staffing complete by May 30, 2019



Moving Forward

If there is a problem, cultural issues will need to be addressed first. The dean and the president would have to agree on a process that might occur quickly.

If they agree a temporary team should be formed that can address the current issues, what will the enrollment be in the fall?

If the enrollment prospects look good, the effort can be directed at making certain the May to Fall campaign for this year will be excellent.

For Fall 2019

Form an enrollment team.

Team and dean would interview the president to get permission to see the data and work on the issues.

Move forward:

If Yes, deal with all of these activities.If No, continue current and begin Fall 2019 when normal planning starts.
Fall 2018Fall 2019
If Culture is not dealt with, no movement can occur.


InterviewsFocus groups
Focus groups**Interviews
Identify statusReview admissions data
Set goalsPrepare admissions plan with data
New Freshmen


Graduate Students

Certificate Students

Prepare Communication Strategy

  • Print
  • Video
  • Social marketing
  • Presentations
  • Visitation off campus
  • Visits to campus
  • On campus
  • Parents
AppsTraining and Staff development
Financial aid
Campus events
Implement CRM programImplement CRM program
Staff Development in CRMStaff Development in CRM
Implement Summer communication ProgramImplement Summer communication Program

Spring- Summer*(Program to Improve the Culture)

  • Team appointed to improve enrollment
  • Develop transparency plan
  • Initial meeting
  • Chairman elected
  • Communication Chair appointed
  • Prepare Summer plan
  • Implement Summer plan

*The Temporary Communication Plan of The Situation

Most people will agree when a place feels good or bad. Often it is obvious when people start talking about the problem when they are in trouble.  In this case it is an organizational problem and these problems are harder to address.


Signs of a Bad College or University

  • High faculty turnover
  • High acceptance low graduation rate
  • Poor Student services

If the place does not feel good, it is a sign of a poor match.  DO SOMETHING to address the issues or move on.

Our advice is for the school to link relationships and good communication.

  • Communicating clearly in a relationship. Talk to each other.
  • Non-verbal communication. When we communicate, we can say a lot without speaking.
  • Listening and communication. Listening is a very important part of effective communication.
  • Improving communication in a relationship. Open and clear communication can be learned.


Resource: 8 Tips For Communicating Better in Relationships

By Sara Altschule

Jan 2 2015

“Communication is key.” This statement has been said to pretty much everyone at least once in their life. So if communication is key, where do we find this key? Sometimes it feels like we’ve lost that key. Or it’s hidden in one of those hide-a-key rocks and there’s a thousand rocks outside. Ugh.

All of us who have relationships have struggled with communication. It comes in friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, and work relationships, to name the main ones. But each of these relationships are in our lives so we can learn how to be better communicators, and thus not only express ourselves effectively but learn how to meet others’ needs and get our needs met as well.

Thankfully with these helpful tips, we can find that key, make a million copies of the communication key, and never lose sight of it. We can unlock the door to healthy communication and are able to witness how lovely it is.

Knowing Your Partner Can’t Read Your Mind

Unless your significant other is psychic, there’s a good chance he or she cannot read your mind. I know you may think you are being obvious about how you feel or what you are thinking, but if you aren’t saying it clearly, your partner is clueless. Stop thinking about how upset you are and communicate it through words.

Talk it Out in Person

Discussing big issues should always be done in person. I know it’s easy to say things through text, but that’s taking the easy and unhealthy way out. If you text it out, there’s bound to be miscommunication. Your partner can’t hear the tone of your voice or go off of your body language. You two will find yourself lost in translation. So, leave the big stuff for a face to face conversation.

Speak Your Truth

You can’t go around in your relationship walking on eggshells and not being able to say how you truly feel. You need to be open with your heart and your words. Sometimes honesty is hard to hear, but it’s a necessity for a healthy relationship. Whether it’s telling your mate you don’t want to move in together just yet, or speaking up in the bedroom about what your needs are — honesty is the best policy.

Active Listening

There’s listening and then there’s active listening. Active listening involves letting your significant other know that you’re 100% listening and hearing what they are saying. This type of listening involves eye contact, repeating back what you heard, and your attention. So, looking at your phone while your girlfriend is talking to you is NOT active listening.

Sandwich Method

The sandwich method should be your best friend. Basically, when you tell your significant other something that might be difficult to hear, you sandwich it in between positive statements.

It may look something like this, “Listen Harry, I love you so much and you make me so happy, but I’m really have a hard time with you working all the time. If you could make more of an effort to spend quality time with me, I would just love that. It’s so nice when you and I can spend time together.”

“I” Statements

In couples’ therapy 101, the therapist will have the couple learn to use “I” statements. This means, instead of attacking your partner with “you” statements, you take down your defenses and let your mate know how you are feeling. So, instead of saying, “You never help me around the house,” you would say, “I feel upset when you don’t help around the house.” It sounds less accusatory and more approachable.

Notice Body Language

Know your body, people — body language that is. When you’re communicating, you have to be aware that your body is also saying something. It could just be a little eye roll or your arms crossed, but the body says it all. Make sure your body matches with your words.

Communicate Through Actions

It’s crucial to know that you don’t just communicate through your words — you’re also showing how you feel through your actions. You know what they say, actions speak louder than words. You need to communicate your love for your partner through other ways than just by speaking. Show your love that you care. Words can be meaninglessness if they are not met with proof.

Other Resources

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