For the second year in a row, enrollment at Perkins has increased significantly, and applications are on track for yet another uptick in enrollment by next fall.
It’s a happy milestone for the Office of Enrollment Management, Perkins’ recently reorganized admissions and recruiting function. The office was formed in 2017, following the arrival of Dean Craig Hill and the hiring of Margot Perez-Greene as Associate Dean for Enrollment Management.
“With the new vision brought forth by Dean Hill, it was an ideal time to refocus and re-energize the team,” said Perez-Greene.
The Office of Enrollment Management’s mission: to engage and recruit prospective students, shepherding them each step through enrollment, whether on our Dallas campus or as part of the newly launched hybrid Houston-Galveston Extension Program. That means not just boosting enrollment but also finding students who will thrive and flourish at Perkins, helping them leverage financial aid to best advantage, and overcoming any barriers that might keep them from applying.
“Enrollment management is much broader in scope than simply processing admissions applications,” Perez-Greene said. “It includes the entire school – faculty, programs and services, marketing, groundskeepers, financial aid staff and staff hospitality and services.”
Behind the comprehensive approach to Enrollment Management is the notion that “recruitment is everybody’s responsibility.”
“It’s up to all of us to attract students who are a good fit for Perkins, retain and graduate them,” Perez-Greene said. “Enrollment management is shaping the institution by recruiting students whose goals align with its mission. We have what they need; we deliver what we say we have; and our students are successful.”
Perez-Greene notes that the Office of Enrollment Management posts its staff travel schedule so everyone at Perkins may stay informed – and alert the staff of potential connections.
“If we’re visiting a place where you know someone we should talk to – a faculty member, a personal connection, a student with an interest in Perkins – please let us know, and we’ll be sure to follow up,” she said.
So far, this new approach seems to be working. This fall, Perkins experienced a 14.1% increase in enrollment over the previous year—building on 2017 totals, when the increase was more than 40% over 2016. And next year is looking promising, too – so far, the Office has received about 50 percent more applications for the fall of 2019 than it had this time last year.
Meet the Staff
The Office of Enrollment Management invites faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders to join this effort. Do you know a prospective student who is considering graduate theological education? Refer someone here or alert them to on-site information events this fall through Inside Perkins.
Margot Perez-Greene, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management, leads the team of recruitment and admissions personnel, focused on making theological education possible and the admissions process seamless. Perez-Greene encourages all members of the Perkins community – faculty, staff, students and alumni – to contact her with any leads, connections or events that might help her staff connect with potential Perkins students.
Stephen Bagby, Director of Recruitment and Admissions, meets with prospective students and helps them through the admissions process. He also coordinates individual visits and Inside Perkins events. One of his greatest joys is calling applicants to let them know they’ve been accepted to Perkins School of Theology.
Yazmin Strauss, Recruitment and Admissions Specialist, assists students as they move through the application process, managing the applications process through a customer relationship management (CRM) system. She is also actively involved in events planning.
John Lowery, Ministry Discernment Associate, travels extensively throughout the U.S. meeting prospective students and chatting with them about the call to vocational ministry in its various forms, as well as the diverse and inspiring learning environment of Perkins School of Theology.
Caleb Palmer, Ministry Discernment Associate, also travels extensively to campuses, camps, and churches, and cultivates connections with Wesley Foundation leaders and religious faculty members at undergraduate colleges.
Sandy Oswalt, Financial Aid Coordinator and Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean, gets involved the minute a student is admitted to Perkins to assist with financial aid. She also serves as the point of contact for all questions and issues regarding financial aid.
Jean Nixon, Financial Literacy Coordinator, is working to help make seminary students financially savvy, in terms of affording seminary, staying out of debt and budgeting. She leads an educational program of workshops and monthly events, funded by the Lilly Foundation.
By Mary Jacobs, a Dallas-based freelance writer and former staff writer for The United Methodist Reporter and the Dallas Morning News.