Administration to implement enrollment strategies

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

Eastern administrators are looking into initiatives to help increase university enrollment numbers for next fall.

Among several ideas to increase enrollment, President Bill Perry said program growth will be used to help with enrollment numbers.

“At the graduate level, we are using online instruction more for master’s programs,” he said.

Online degree programs including Master of Arts in art and music, and Master of Science in Communication Disorders and Sciences and in Family and Consumer Sciences have been added to attract more students.

A new online master’s program in health studies is also in the process of being made available.

“In the meanwhile, we wont sit around and wait,” Perry said.

He said the university has taken action signing a contract with the International Information Science Research Institute in Beijing, China.

The contract consists of a one-plus-one MBA program, in which students study one year in china and the second year at Eastern

Perry said there are currently 25 students in this program.

A one-plus-three program has also been contracted with the institution for business and economics.

Under this program, students complete one year at the institution, before they come to Eastern for their sophomore year.

“This will bring in 100 sophomores next fall,” Perry said.

In terms of enrollment numbers, his expectations were close to results.

“I was expecting an overall of about 9,000,” Perry said. “It is what it is, we got a great freshman and transfer class.”

Meanwhile, Chris Dearth, the director of Admissions, said the idea is to create a more robust recruitment plan.

Dearth said top schools in the state have been targeted for recruitment.

“We have visited lots of schools all over the state within a three-hour radius, and will continue to do so throughout the fall,” he said.

Also, he explained, improvements in communications are another strategy to help bring up enrollment for next year.

“We are planning stages of refining our communications,” Dearth said.

He said email, phone calls, social media, and campaigning are strategies, which are currently being used to get students interested in attending Eastern.

Dearth said part of the changes include making the internal admissions process more efficient.

“We want to improve the communication we have with students after they are admitted to EIU and after submitting their deposit,” Dearth said. “Part of this is to get applications and decisions done in a timely fashion”

The goal for this year is to improve enrollment from previous years, he said.

“I think we will see a stop in the decreasing trend,” Dearth said. “Overall, student enrollment will not increase over night”

He said the goal also includes communicating to prospective students that there are many opportunities at Eastern.

“It is a matter of being more proactive and letting them know what is so special about EIU,” Dearth said.


Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]