October 18, 2013

Brainstorming Initiative Proves Fruitful

Thank you for taking the challenge from the System Update to brainstorm ideas as to how we all can positively impact the enrollment process. Your positive outlook, hard work, and creativity are to be commended. As a reminder, at the System Update meeting, we discussed the critical importance of traditional residential enrollment and its impact on the financial success of Northwood University. 

As promised, we are following up on our commitment to report the findings back to you in a quick and efficient manner. We are pleased to report our enrollment brainstorming sessions were very fruitful and, at present, we have compiled over 200 ideas and initiatives. The ideas identified are being reviewed to determine how they can enhance the traditional residential enrollment strategy. 

  • As Dr. Brian Sandusky highlighted during the System Update, we now have a traditional residential recruitment plan being implemented by our Admissions team in existing and expanding geographies. The new recruitment model utilizes a new High School Partnership Program and provides better customer service by working directly with parents and students in the field.
  • The High School Partnership Program includes a new video targeted at students in the classroom. To view the video, log into the Marketing Tool Kit on my.northwood.edu and scroll down the page. To access the kit click here (NOTE: You must be logged into Blackboard. The Marketing Tool Kit is on the left hand side of the page.)

A predominant theme identified throughout the ideas is “points of influence” or “personal connections.” Following are some examples supporting this theme:    

  • Currently being implemented
      • Targeting highly prospective students in key markets and secondary institutions including private, parochial, charter, and career high schools
      • Bringing more high school groups to our campuses for competitions, events, and activities
      • Taking the high school partnership program to more than just business students
      • NU students are participating in recruiting events and will be encouraged to participate even more
  • In the process of being implemented
      • Creating awareness, on the part of our faculty and staff, of the Northwood marketing materials and opportunities.  This information is available in our Marketing Tool Kit  which may be accessed here: click here (NOTE: You must be logged into Blackboard)
      • Utilizing testimonials from students, alumni, faculty, and staff to engage prospective students
      • Improving staff and faculty understanding of the Northwood value proposition which enables them to talk about Northwood University to their extended families, neighbors, and friends
      • Ensuring key events we host will include Admissions information

Some initiatives may require further analysis as they could take more time and/or resources to implement. We are starting the process to review, assess, and prioritize these initiatives, focusing on their overall effectiveness in helping us achieve our traditional enrollment goals.

The key to our success is personal responsibility in assisting with the strategy. Our plans are only as successful as we are in taking personal ownership for their execution. 

We are committed to keeping you updated on the progress we are making to improve our traditional residential enrollment. In the meantime, thanks again for your participation in these sessions. Based on your input, it is apparent we are energized, focused, and moving in the right direction.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640