Getting Strategic about Enrolment

Effective SEM Strategies

90-120 min keynote presentation, or full-day SEM workshop

As many colleges and universities face plateauing enrolment, uneven demand for their programs, or disappointing student retention results, they are turning to the discipline of Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) to develop a coordinated, campus-wide plan to ensure optimal recruitment and retention to achieve their institutional mission and vision. Effective SEM planning demands cultural shifts toward data gathering and data-driven decision-making, setting clear enrolment goals, and coordinating efforts across the student continuum from participation (encouraging at-risk youth and adults to pursue PSE), brand awareness and recruitment (the right students to the right programs), to conversion (ensuring applicants actually enroll) and retention (through first term, first year, and through to graduation). The discipline of SEM is a powerful way for institutions to build national and international brand strength, attract top-notch faculty and enroll quality students, and maximize the potential of students academically, personally, and economically.

Ken has provided critical consultancy as we look to understand our current and future student milieu; then, and perhaps of even greater value, he has provided critical facilitation as we look at ourselves in reaction to those understandings. We are much the better for Ken’s insights and counsel.

Gerry Kendal, Vice-Provost & Registrar, University of Alberta

Ken Steele is Canada’s leading higher education monitor and futurist. He co-founded Academica Group, created the Academica Top Ten, manages Eduvation Inc, co-authored Canada’s first book on enrolment management, and hosts a weekly webcast, Ten with Ken, that reaches thousands of subscribers on a dozen platforms. Ken brings his unique perspective and insight to a broad range of audiences, from faculty and instructors, boards and senior administration, to information technology staff, concerned parents, and Canada’s most powerful corporate CEOs.

In a dynamic multimedia keynote or an interactive workshop, Ken will help participants grasp the scope and function of SEM, and understand its operation through hundreds of concrete examples of best practice, promising practice, and research data. In a workshop setting, Ken will facilitate the development of SEM goals, segmentation of student markets, interpretation of recruitment and retention research, and development of high-level strategies and tactics across the SEM continuum, from branding, recruitment and outreach, to conversion communications, student services and success initiatives. Ken will provide participants with ideas, understanding and insights that will launch a SEM planning process and prepare campus stakeholders for the change in mindset required to optimize enrolment and student success. (Ken will schedule a one-hour call with your leadership, and will review your most recent institutional enrolment plan, to help focus the presentation for your needs.)

Ideal Audiences

  • Campus PD
  • SEM Committees
  • Retention Committees
  • Executive Teams
  • Deans & Directors
  • Academic Retreats
  • Marketing and Communications leadership and front-line staff
  • Conference Keynote
  • Launch for SEM process

Optional Extras

  • You could schedule this as a full-day retreat, a half-day workshop, or a keynote presentation followed by Q&A.
  • You might consider 2 or 3 presentations, possibly for a variety of audiences, drawn from Ken’s hot topics.
  • Optionally, Ken can review more extensive enrolment data and market research specific to your institution, to prepare an in-depth full-day SEM workshop.

Related Resources:

These articles and white papers reflect some of Ken’s ideas, and could potentially be used as pre-reading for workshop participants:

Here are some relevant episodes of 10K, for a sense of Ken’s approach and as potential examples to share with participants in advance:


All contents copyright © 2014 Eduvation Inc. All rights reserved.