February Update

To Members of the Champlain Family:

In addition to bringing Vermont’s most significant snowfall in recent memory, the last month has been a busy one for the College. Here is what has been going in the last month:

Traditional Undergraduate Enrollment

While the overall recruitment cycle remains uncertain with early and prior year FAFSA and a new SAT test, Lisa Bunders and our Enrollment Management team continue to be flexible. Our inquiry numbers have reached our goal, and models predict we will hit this year’s target of 5200-5300 applications.  We are also on track to meet our accepted student goal. The Regular Decision deadline was February 15; regular applications are strong and the pool is converting well.

Beyond the application numbers, we are entering a key phase of the recruitment season where our efforts shift to focusing on yield and preventing melt. Enrollment Management, with partners across the campus,  are actively planning the upcoming Admitted Student Days. Building on last year’s success, this planning involves many members of the Champlain community as we strive to build an event experience that is fun, productive, and memorable for prospective students and families.  We remain cautiously optimistic and focused on individual experiences that yield positive results.

Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) Enrollment

CPS is making significant progress toward Spring enrollment goals, and is seeing upticks across performance indicators chiefly attributed to increased investment in the CPS marketing budget and optimization of on the online.champlain.edu website. Our digital marketing campaigns launched in late December with our new vendor continue to hit or exceed their targets. We are seeing a steady decrease in our cost per lead and increase in conversions from our paid search efforts.

We are seeing early interest from both our truED and standard pipelines for the newly launched MS Human Relations & Organization Development degree.

 In January, we chose to extend truED to members of the Vermont National Guard, their spouses and adult children. This was received positively and we have seen an increase in the number of inquiries as a result. Two weeks ago, the State’s House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs introduced a bill that would change the manner in which Vermont would support educational benefits for members of the National Guard, by providing free tuition at UVM or any of the Vermont State Colleges only. Katie Hawley and David Boyle, Champlain’s Veteran and Military Program Manager, provided testimony to encourage the legislature to consider a provision for including private colleges. The Committee was complimentary of Champlain’s institutional commitment to military personnel and veterans with one of the bill’s main sponsors requesting consideration for private institutional inclusion due to the Champlain’s long-standing commitment and support.

Career Collaborative

Following the visit earlier this month from Markus Geier, P’20, who is the CEO of com|code, AVP of Information Systems Ted Laskaris and Director of Career Collaborative Tanja Hinterstoisser traveled to Munich, Germany to attend the annual Munich Cyber Security Conference.  Com|code is interested in employing Champlain students as interns, either at their company or at German companies they serve. Ted and Tanja will connect with industry leaders in order to identify internship opportunities for our students.

Freedom of Expression Project

Building upon our conversation at the most recent Board of Trustees meeting, Laurie Quinn is establishing a task force of students, faculty and staff to craft a first draft of an institutional Freedom of Expression statement. This work is drawing significant interest and engagement from across the institution. Our discussion at the board meeting has helped to frame our work in this area. Thank you.

Strategic Plan

In preparation for presentation at the June Board of Trustee meeting, Cabinet members continue to move forward with efforts to evolve Champlain 2020, the College’s Strategic Plan. We have identified eight areas for revision: advancement metrics, Champlain Online, diversity and inclusion, employer voice, finance metrics, industry voice in curriculum, net tuition pricing and traditional student profile demographics. The processes to develop the proposed changes to the Plan are different for each area, with an emphasis on the use of cross-functional teams that continue to foster our culture of innovation.

Civic Engagement Plan

Last year, the College signed on to Campus Compact’s Action Statement to support our mission to help our students become engaged global citizens. Last week, sixty members of the College community, in partnership with representatives from community organizations, gathered for a Spyglass session to gather input to the College’s Civic Action Plan. Next steps will include a campus-wide survey to identify Champlain’s current level of community engagement and desired goals for the future.

Board Matters

Thank you to Trustees Dan Boardman, Peter Stern, Stephanie Hainley and Charlie Kittredge for their participation at the February 4th reception at Sugarbush. This was a great opportunity to connect with more than 130 attendees which included a mix of current students, parents and alumni. Events such as the Sugarbush reception, as well as this week’s Champlain Connect events in Seattle and Portland, help to move Champlain forward by bringing an increasing number alumni into the fold and reinforcing their importance as active members of the Champlain community.

I have been largely in town the past month, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect with many of our trustees and friends of the College. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on advancing Champlain College. The next several weeks will find me traveling to Boston (NEASC), San Francisco (Game Developer’s Conference and Champlain Connect),  Washington, D.C. (Champlain Connect and ACE Conference), and Naples and Ft. Lauderdale, FL (advancement visits). I look forward to spreading the word about the great things happening at Champlain.

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