The plan evaluation and modification phase is vital in ensuring that enrollment planning is a continuous process. Evaluation and assessment of strategic objectives, strategies, and key performance indicators (KPI’s) ‘closes the loop’ by showing progress and opportunities for refinement over time. The consideration and analysis of internal and external factors should be in included in the evaluation of overall progress. It is important to continue to systematically integrate the enrollment planning process into the university culture year after year and all phases continue to reflect shared vision, shared responsibility and campus wide learning, as well as continue to incorporate best practices.
Key elements should be considered when developing the process, tools, and resources needed to properly evaluate the KPIs outlined in the enrollment plan. These include but are not limited to:
- Question/Scope Formation: Assessing progress starts with first determining the main question you are seeking to answer and the KPIs and PIs that correspond to each. This will also help to ensure that only relevant metrics are tracked.
- Benchmarking: A starting frame of reference is needed to determine whether progress is being made. Further, assessment of aggregated national data, peer institutions, competitive set, or aspirational institutions can provide additional benchmarking opportunities.
- KPI/Data Definition: Alignment on the key definition/scope of each KPI and PI and where each data point can be sourced is critical to ensuring efforts are not duplicated and that a ‘single source of truth’ exists relative to enrollment planning and management.
- Timeline: Determine how often these KPIs and PIs will be assessed. Timing could depend on when decision-making must take place or when certain data becomes available.
- Data Presentation: Dashboards and snapshot views can provide an opportunity to track progress in a visual way. Resources, staff, and specific need may determine the format and delivery that works best as well as the end-users that will have access to this information.
- Interpretation/Narrative: Assign which key individuals or partners will be responsible for interpreting the data findings and developing insight to evaluate and inform efforts going forward across the Division.
- Communication: Determine how the evaluation and assessment ‘story’ will be shared out, to whom, what format, and how often.
- Limitations/Considerations: As these efforts are put into actions, there may be challenges or limitations that drive the need for refinement.
Based on evaluation and assessment of the strategic enrollment plan, new initiatives may need to be considered. If goals are not met, discussion is needed around which strategies to revisit or implement. Enrollment planning is an iterative process where new data and insight will be help to strengthen the plan going forward.