Growing Enrollment With Purpose

One month ago we launched our new Strategic Plan 2018-23, “Elevating Middle Georgia”.  My next few blog posts will focus on that plan.

For the past year many of us have talked about and listened to calls for increasing our enrollment.  Indeed, the Enrollment Action Team worked together to help focus our collective efforts on the enrollment increase that we needed.  In our new plan we continue that call to grow enrollment, but with some important additional thinking behind it.

Our first of three imperatives in the plan takes this issue of enrollment of students, and rightly focuses on the need to “grow enrollment with purpose”.  Those additional two words, “with purpose”, are vital to how and why we must grow enrollment.  Instead of numbers we need to focus on students, and that is what the “with purpose” is all about.  It calls us to have intention about who comes to MGA to benefit from a degree credential.  It calls us to think about the higher education needs and employment opportunities in our local communities around middle Georgia and across all five campuses.  It calls us to have a vision of an access institution where students can have a range of options for higher learning.  It calls us to be serious about our academic strengths and vibrant pipelines, and to put our efforts into building on those strengths.  And it calls us to some tough decisions about where our mission as a state University truly can align with the market opportunities in the region.

In the coming years we must rigorously apply this principle of intentionality in knowing what purpose we are addressing with every student we recruit, retain, and graduate here at Middle Georgia State.

We start this work from a very hopeful position.  As of today, our new enrollment growth is something to be proud of.  In a few weeks the USG will conduct its Census of enrollment, and our figures will likely show a 6% growth in headcount and a 6.75% growth in credit hour production on last Fall.  That is an amazing achievement, and I congratulate our faculty and staff on this accomplishment.

Going forward, from this encouraging position, we must now analyze what purpose and promise we can fulfill, as we grow enrollment around our campuses and within their local communities. Our new strategic plan calls us to that integrity and action – to grow enrollment with purpose.

For now, we can take much pride and maybe some relief in what we have accomplished together this Fall.  In a few weeks, at Census time, we will hold an afternoon reception for faculty and staff on both our Cochran and our Macon campuses to celebrate our recent enrollment growth.