Message From the Interim Provost

Welcome back! Hope everyone had an enjoyable Mardi Gras!

As you know, with our current enrollment-driven financial model, we are increasing our focus on strategic enrollment management and strategies to help ensure growth in student enrollment (see Message from the President, January 25, 2017).  Part of this focus has been on summer enrollment and I want to give you an update on the many, many conversations that have taken place. 
In January a broad-based group of faculty and staff was convened for a brain-storming session to discuss ideas for increasing summer enrollment.  After taking a hard look at the data and at current practices, we began to collect recommendations and strategies for improvement. The bottom line was clear -- if we wanted to know why students didn't enroll in summer courses, we needed to ask them!  So, we did.
Based on information provided by student focus groups and the Survey of Summer Offerings distributed to 2500 students, additional faculty and staff entered the conversation and smaller groups began working on areas of concern identified by our students.  The results are as follows:
New name! We no longer have summer school -- we have a summer semester! Students in one of our focus groups told us there is a negative connotation (leftover from K-12) with the use of "summer school."
Student-centered approach to course scheduling!  "Guidelines for Scheduling Summer Courses," were gleaned from faculty, staff and students suggestions to help ensure that summer course offerings are based primarily on student demand.
More competitive cost!  By creatively utilizing scholarships, students will now pay less for Southeastern summer courses than at proximate four-year institutions, including LSU. 
Increased promotion! We will execute a comprehensive marketing campaign to advertise our summer offerings and the benefits of attending the summer semester at Southeastern.
Guaranteed offerings!  Another thing we learned in our surveys and focus groups is that students need a firm commitment on what classes will be offered. There must be an earlier date by which course offerings are finalized.
Implementing extensive efforts to increase student enrollment in the summer semester result in Win-Win scenarios for everyone -- more summer enrollment means faster progression to graduation for students and more courses mean more faculty are able to teach!
Please watch for the upcoming marketing materials, as your assistance is vitally important as we all work together to promote the new summer semester!
Many thanks for all you do to make Southeastern such a wonderful place to be.
All my best,