Decisions concerning effective enrollment management should be based on an agreed upon set of principles and guidelines. Principles upon which enrollment management decisions are based may include the following:
- The level of the organization at which enrollment management decisions are to be made. In general, except under extraordinary circumstances, enrollment management decisions should be made at the college, as opposed to the district level. Within overall parameters established by the district through collaborative processes outlined later in this report, colleges should be charged with making operational decisions such as the number of class sections to be scheduled and the distribution of these sections across the college curriculum. Class schedules should be built by those in the best position to ascertain likely student demand (i.e. college instructional administrators in consultation with their faculty).
- Student Academic Needs Should Drive Enrollment Management Decisions. As a general rule, student academic needs (curriculum balance, quality of instruction, availability of courses, etc.) should be the primary factors guiding enrollment management decisions.
- The need to practice responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Enrollment management decisions should be based on the principle of providing students access to courses and programs and fostering their success while optimizing the use of financial resources. Student-centered schedules should be planned, efficient and responsive to the communities served.
In addition to the above principles, district- and college-level decision-makers can benefit from a set of guidelines to assist them in making enrollment management decisions. Several suggested guidelines will be discussed below in the context of the functions to be performed by the district and the colleges in managing student enrollment.