It is impossible to say what the future has in store for higher education. A flurry of speculation and predictions abound on best practices and how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis for the fall 2021 recruitment season.
At Perkins, our approach is strategic and centers on demonstrable success. Our aim remains to increase the number of prospects who are a fit for Perkins, ultimately matriculate and graduate so that they can play a role in making contributions wherever they may land for the transformation of the world.
Adaptation to new practices is essential. Flexibility to quickly implement creative approaches for increasing our pool of prospective students is our focus. We are keenly aware of the need to remain accessible to prospective students. This is especially true for the students in geographic locations where we will no longer, for the foreseeable future, be physically present. The data we have (2018-2020 spring and fall enrollment) provides benchmarks for future recruiting, thus strengthening our potential for more accurate intentionality. Virtual travel and events, a new communications strategy, email campaigns, and virtual, geographic marketing is driving our 2021 enrollment management plan. Our currently enrolled students have proven to be strong allies for recruitment. We’re looking forward to tapping our new fall 2020 students for recruitment initiatives, as well. They will be a strong support as we navigate a new normal in recruitment, expanding our connection with prospects for vocational ministry.
While our plan incorporates our former targeted areas, new trends (and places) of recruiting and communicating are part of the new plan. Recruitment fairs, conferences, Wesley Foundation events, on-campus visits, informational sessions, and the like, are taking on a new life nationally and internationally. The Office of Enrollment Management will participate as schedules and resources allow. Be assured that we are fully vested in high visibility and participation.
We are hopeful and inspired by the direction we are moving. With new initiatives underway, the Office of Enrollment Management staff is encouraged that this could be a very strong year for recruitment. The pandemic offers us new opportunities, and we are committed to lean into an unknown future that allows us to consider new practices for recruitment. Flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility are keys to our success.
Ministry Discernment Associate