More prospects in the pipeline

Chart showing increase in prospect tracking system entries.One of the improvements since the advent of Strategic Enrollment Management is the expansion of the Prospect Tracking System.

The Information Center, Web Communications and OIS worked together to develop an online prospect form that feeds information directly into the Prospect Tracking System. The form is deployed on many different pages, including a prominent button on the home page,,, and on our external campaign site,

The numbers tell the story: In October, November and December 2013, the names of 539 prospects were added to the system. The same months in 2014 recorded 2,151 prospects. Expert users at all campuses and centers have been trained.

The challenge, of course, is turning prospects into enrolled students – which is the focus of Phase 2 of SEM.

Making enrollment simpler: No-fee placement testing

Test takers at computersIf Strategic Enrollment Management has taught us anything, it’s the importance of removing – or at least lowering – barriers to student enrollment. One of those barriers has been the $4 fee charged for the Virginia Placement Test (VPT).

Phase 2 process mapping pointed out confusion around the fee among testing centers and military base representatives. For example, students were advised they couldn’t pay with credit cards because the fee fell below the $5 minimum. VP for Finance Phyllis Milloy said, however, that minimum hasn’t been in place for many years.

TCC eliminated the VPT fee – and the confusion – on Dec. 20.

“This is a huge benefit for many students,” says Khristy Horne, coordinator of testing services. “Online students, those on military installations, students out of the area who want to apply for apprenticeship programs – this really helps them.”

Sarah Swager, Information Center Manager, pointed out that students can now test more easily on Saturdays, when business offices are closed, and at public libraries, which offer free proctoring.

The change puts TCC in line with its VCCS neighbors, Thomas Nelson and Paul D. Camp community colleges. VP Milloy, who suggested the fee be eliminated, said, “When we considered the staff time involved in administering and collecting the fee, the impact to the budget was very minimal.”

Score one for a simplified testing process!

Phase 2 teams are applying elbow grease to process mapping

TCC SEM Phase 2, Group 1, group photograph

Group 1 is mapping admissions, orientation and placement testing. Back row, from left: Terry Eusebio, Khristy Horne, Ray Zatt, Sarah Swager, Nina Elopre, Joyce Flowers, Lauren Rappold, Tuenika Wynn. Seated: Kevin McCarthy, Meshea Vann, Carolyn Cheek, Holly Estrada, Apple Tarves. (Photo courtesy of Dan Cawley)


Sticky notes and markers in hand, five teams have launched Phase 2 of TCC’s Strategic Enrollment Management initiative: Applicant to Student. They are working on an aggressive timeline with finalized “future state” maps to be completed by Dec. 5 and action registries by Dec. 12.

“As everyone knows, enrollment is already trending downward for the spring semester,” said Chuck Lepper, vice president for Student Affairs and one of the college’s three SEM champions. “It is critical that we move more students through the enrollment funnel in order to reverse that trend as soon as possible.” Continue reading

On to Phase 2! Kickoff is Oct. 2

Implementation of the first phase of Strategic Enrollment Management – “Pre-Enrollment” – is underway, with hundreds of improvements to recruitment and prospect management identified and also some immediate fixes.

In order to realize the college-wide benefits of the extensive process mapping and planning activities that began in the spring, TCC must commit to full implementation of these tasks.

And many on our staff are hard at work doing just that! Phase 1 implementation action items will continue on to completion using a project management approach and technology.

Enrollment artTake a deep breath, everyone, because Phase 2 – “Enrollment, from Applicant to Student” – launches on Oct. 2 with a kick-off meeting at our Center for Workforce Solutions. Phase 2 will include such college activities as academic advising, paying tuition and class registration.

With a reinforced and re-energized team, the Phase 2 kick-off meeting will include an overview and exercises in process mapping, as well as finalizing the project scope and an approach to the work.

We’re looking for energetic and knowledgeable task force members for this phase. If you or someone you know can contribute expertise, experience or just good ideas, complete and submit the online nomination form by Friday, Sept. 19.

Again, TCC and its students need your support and your elbow grease as we approach these questions:

  • Which offices and staffs should be involved?
  • How can we capture students’ voices?
  • What topics should be addressed?
  • What processes should be mapped as we look to streamline and standardize?

We want to hear your thoughts on these questions. Post comments below no later than Friday, Sept. 19, and remember to use the Your Voice form for task force nominations.

Daniel, Chuck & James (aka “The 3 Amigos”)

Talking Up TCC: How You Can Support Recruitment

This Guest Post is courtesy of Meshea Vann, Norfolk Campus Admissions Coordinator.

Have you talked up TCC at your church or to your neighbors? Taken part in a college fair or visited a high school? Told your friends why TCC is the right college choice?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a recruiter. And we want to hear from you! Continue reading