By Rev. Margot Perez-Greene, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management

The Rev. Dr. Margot Perez-Greene, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management
214-768-3332
margot@smu.edu

Every year, the Office of Enrollment Management staff reviews and modifies its Enrollment Management Plan (EMP) based on these data: number of applications, yield, geo market analysis, rate of inquiries, incoming class statistics, new academic programs and initiatives, and cultural contexts dictating a change in courses of action (such as the pandemic). The time and energy expended by the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) team on careful analysis of all recruitment and admission strategies and outcomes has proven effective and drives new initiatives to increase enrollment.

In March of 2020, most, if not all, institutions of higher learning across the country changed their strategic recruitment trajectories due to COVID-19 and unconditionally began relying on Zoom and Webinar formats to attract students to their schools. Fortunately, Perkins was successful and continues to forge ahead within these frameworks. Creativity seems to be the watchword, however.

Keenly aware that we work within a highly competitive environment (13 UMC-related schools vying for the same prospects), we have initiated a practice that we hope will engage a substantial number of recruits and result in a high yield of enrollment. Campus ministers and key professors have been notified of four options that can easily connect students to our Ministry Discernment Associates (MDA’s) and begin relationship-building between the student and Perkins community.

Option 1: Information Session Student selects the time, Ministry Discernment Associate sets up a Zoom link. Students who choose to join will get the chance to learn about theological education, SMU Perkins, different degree options, and have their questions answered.
Option 2:  SMU Perkins Joins You for Worship We want to join you for your regular worship time!

If you’re worshiping via Zoom, we would enjoy sharing your link and any announcement time you may have available for us. If students want to join a breakout session after service, Perkins can arrange.

If you’re worshiping in-person, we can send you a Zoom link and would be happy to join announcement time via projectors/televisions you are using for the service.

Option 3: Discernment Conversation We can talk with your students about the call to ministry and lead the group in a time of reflection on what it means to follow their call.
Option 4: Vocational Clarity Conversation Unlike the Discernment Conversation, this option addresses the broader scope of vocation. Our time will be spent working through a devotional, outlining the decision-making process, and determining a personal sense of call.

         (Instructions for making connections are included in the letters to campus ministers & professors.)

The MDA’s work with several colleges and universities and have arranged schools in priority via four Tiers, Tier 1 being the highest priority schools. After having to quickly pivot from ground travel to virtual modes, we learned that virtual recruitment has ushered in a creative way in which we can have greater visibility and expand our reach. We are encouraged by these new options for student connection and ask that you spread the word wherever and whenever you can. Thanks for all that you do for Perkins.

As always, we ask for your continued prayers and wish you and yours a blessed Advent, Christmas, and Christmastide. Look for Spring Virtual Events planned in the next issue of Perspective Magazine.

In the peace of Christ,

The Rev. Dr. Margot Perez-Greene
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management