Southeastern News

University recruiters play key role in enrollment growth

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

DURANT, Okla. – One of the most important and often overlooked jobs at a university is that of the recruiter. For prospective students and parents, the recruiter is likely their first direct contact with a school.

And first impressions can mean everything, according to Jeremy Rowland, director of admissions and recruitment at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

“Our goal is to ensure that the first interaction with a prospective student and/or parent is a positive interaction,’’ Rowland said, “whether it be via email, phone call, or campus visit. Southeastern has a lot to offer students, and it’s our job to make them aware of the opportunities that are available.’’

Those efforts appear to be working, as the University announced recently that with 4,483 students, fall enrollment has reached its highest level in 40 years.  Records also indicate this ranks among the highest-ever enrollment totals documented in the 109-year history of the institution.

This fall’s enrollment total (Headcount) represents an increase of 13.3 percent over Fall 2017.

In addition, the freshman class of 600 is the largest in six years, with significant increases locally in Bryan County and Grayson County (Texas) freshmen.

Rowland’s five-person staff, whose office is located on campus in the Welcome Center, is responsible for recruiting new freshmen, transfer, adult, international, and returning students to the University through events both on and off campus, including college fairs and high school visits. The office then evaluates submitted applications using the provided documentation in accordance with University policies and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education guidelines.

As director, Rowland oversees all areas of recruitment and admissions for new freshmen, transfers, and concurrent students. He also plans and executes recruitment events. A Durant High School graduate, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeastern.

Other staff members in admissions and recruitment are:

  •  Tonya Tollett, Assistant Director of Admissions

Tollett supervises the admissions process, the International student population, the office’s student workers, and assists with recruitment events. She is a graduate of Rattan High School and Southeastern and has 19 years of experience at the University.

  • Sheridan Burns, High School Recruiter / Admissions Counselor
  • Sarah Hughes, High School Recruiter / Admissions Counselor

Both Burns and Hughes are at the forefront of the recruiting effort, visiting high schools, college fairs, and planning recruiting events on and off campus.

Burns is a graduate of Ardmore High School and Southeastern. She recruits in western Oklahoma and north Texas.

Hughes, a Colbert High School and Southeastern graduate, recruits in eastern Oklahoma and north Texas.

  • Alesha Birks, International Immigration Advisor

In her duties, Birks is responsible for International admission and recruitment, organizing and coordinating events, and providing general support/services for international students. She is a graduate of Marietta High School and Southeastern.

  •  Megan Cochran, Admissions Counselor & JRM (recruitment software) Coordinator

In her role, Cochran reviews files and processes applications, as well as overseeing the departmental budget. She is a graduate of Seminole High School and East Central University.

Among the recruiting events scheduled this fall are Transfer Day, October 2; SE Live! Open House for high school juniors and seniors, October 24; Texoma Area-Wide College Fair, Nov. 14; and STEM Visitation Day, December 1.

For more information about Southeastern and the admissions and recruitment services, go to http://www.se.edu/myfuture/

 

Southeastern fall enrollment reaches highest level in 40 years with 4,483 students

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers remarks at a recent Faculty-Staff meeting.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers remarks at a recent Faculty-Staff meeting.

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

DURANT, Okla. – In July, Southeastern Oklahoma State University announced it would not be increasing tuition costs for the first time since 2009-2010. This was certainly good news for students and their parents, as of the 25 public colleges and universities in Oklahoma, Southeastern was one of only six to hold the line on tuition.

And the news keeps getting better.

University officials announced today that with 4,483 students, fall enrollment has reached its highest level in 40 years, according to reports.  Records also indicate this ranks among the highest-ever enrollment totals documented in the 109-year history of the institution.

This fall’s enrollment total (Headcount) represents an increase of 13.3 percent over Fall 2017.

Significant enrollment increases occurred this fall at both the graduate and freshman level.

“As an institution, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions over the past four years and our faculty and staff have been unwavering in their support,’’ said Southeastern fifth-year president Sean Burrage. “To meet the challenges of reduced state funding and declining enrollment, we’ve had to think outside the box.

“As the higher education model changes, we are adjusting to meet the needs of our students.  For example, there is great demand today for online learning opportunities. Students are looking for flexibility as they balance their academic schedules with work and various family responsibilities. As a result, in addition to traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, we are also offering a number of academic programs completely online, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and at a competitive cost.  These online programs are playing a significant role in our overall enrollment growth.’’

The University began expanding its online programs in Fall 2016. And because many of the programs are completely online, students do not have to live within commuting distance of Durant, thereby broadening the recruiting base.

Significant increases in enrollment were seen in the Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in School Counseling, Master of Educational Leadership, Master of Education in Special Education, and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Burrage noted that enrollment numbers are also up at the freshman level, including significant increases in Bryan County and north Texas, which is more cause for optimism.

The freshmen enrollment increases over last fall are as follows:

  • Freshman students:  13.0% (600 students — largest class in six years)
  • Bryan County freshmen: 28.7%
  • Grayson County (Texas) freshmen: 26.7%
With 600 students, Southeastern is welcoming its largest freshman class in six years.

With 600 students, Southeastern is welcoming its largest freshman class in six years.

“We are intensifying our recruiting efforts to attract more students from our immediate service area,’’ he said, “and we’re beginning to see some results, which is very encouraging.’’

Approximately 85 percent of Southeastern students receive financial aid, and more than 50 percent annually are first-generation college graduates.

“We believe we offer quality academic programs that are both affordable and accessible to students,’’ Burrage. “This message appears to be well-received by our prospective students. As a University, we want to continue build on this growth, while not sacrificing quality.’’