Defining Enrollment in the 21st Century: Understanding Our Students and Our Commitments

Many students today forego the benefits of a college education because of institutional and social barriers such as misalignment between high school proficiency standards and college readiness standards, a lack of affordability, and deficient support mechanisms that fail to emphasize persistence and maximize student success. Historically, there has existed a fragmented approach to addressing issues of access, affordability, assessment, alignment, social commitment, and persistence. This has hindered efforts to ensure today’s dedicated students have access to challenging, wide-ranging, and enriching postsecondary educational opportunities.

Conference Overview

Conference Overview

One method for facilitating a more knowledgeable, professional, and socially conscious academy that will enhance educational and social opportunities is to provide forums that allow scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to come together as a whole and generate ideas beneficial to the study and practice of enrollment issues.

As such, CERPP recently hosted its inaugural conference, focused on the salient enrollment issues previously mentioned in an effort to examine and eliminate impediments to postsecondary educational opportunities and their inherent benefits. The conference, titled, Defining Enrollment in the 21st Century: Understanding Our Students and Our Commitments, brought together prominent scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from across the country, including many of the center’s distinguished board members.

Keynote addresses were provided by Michael S. McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation, and Carolyn Webb de Macias of the University of Southern California. Panelists and presenters included Sandy Baum, Wayne Camara, Arlene Wesley Cash, Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Karen Symms Gallagher, Saul Geiser, Donald E. Heller, Don Hossler, David Kalsbeek, Michael Kirst, George Kuh, Jerome Lucido, James S. McCoy, C.L. Max Nikias, Shirley Ort, Harry Pachon, Gary Rhoades, Morton O. Schapiro, Bill Schilling, Scott Andrew Schulz, and N. Bruce Walker.

  • Discussants engaged in important and dynamic conversations with an audience of over one hundred admissions deans, vice presidents of enrollment management, and student aid and retention officers
  • Topics of discussion included how to promote access and ride the wave of demographic change within the context of meritocracy; how to effectively define and assess readiness; how to better understand the impact of tuition and student aid on college choice and student success; and how to develop a more comprehensive enrollment model that includes persistence-based goals.
  • Ultimately, conference participants came away with a greater understanding of how to strengthen student educational and social opportunities in the face of significant contemporary challenges.
  • The conference also facilitated the identification of critical research questions that will shape many of the center’s upcoming events and activities and lay the groundwork for future efforts aimed at maintaining proactive and productive relationships among enrollment scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.

Sponsor Acknowledgement

We gratefully thank the tremendous sponsors who helped make the CERPP conference possible:

  • Spencer Foundation
  • College Board
  • USC Rossier School of Education

Presentations and Sessions

Please click on each day for the conference blog.

Day 1

  • “Defining Enrollment in the 21st Century: Understanding Our Students and Our Commitments”

Day 2

  • Riding the Wave of Demographic Change: Promoting Access and Opportunity within the Context of Meritocracy
  • Defining Readiness: Knowing It When We See It
  • The Impact of Tuition and Student Aid on College Choice and Student Success

Day 3

  • Toward a Comprehensive Enrollment Model

Speakers and Available Presentations

Session I: Riding the Wave of Demographic Change: Promoting Access and Opportunity within the Context of Meritocracy

Session II: Defining Readiness: Knowing It When We See It

Session III: The Impact of Tuition and Student Aid on College Choice and Student Success

Session IV: Toward a Comprehensive Enrollment Model

Media Coverage and Related Articles

Summary of CERPP Inaugural Conference Media Coverage (includes Chronicle articles in their entirety without a subscription requirement)

Conference Photos

CERPP’s Inaugural Conference began with a cocktail reception the night of August 4th at the Omni Los Angeles

(left to right) Lisa Harris, Mississippi State University; Nancy McDuff, The University of Georgia; Elizabeth Garrett, University of Southern California

(left to right) Richard Toomey, Santa Clara University; Susan Ikerd, University of Southern California; Jim McCoy, Louisiana State University; Carolyn Webb de Macias, University of Southern California; Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Syracuse University

Jerry Lucido, CERPP Executive Director (left); Gary Lavergne, University of Texas at Austin (right)

(left to right) Barry Glassner, University of Southern California; Lloyd Thacker, Education Conservancy; Theodore Spencer, University of Michigan; Morton Schapiro, Williams College

Jerry Lucido, CERPP Executive Director, opens CERPP’s Inaugural Conference dinner

The opening night dinner at Omni Los Angeles

The opening night dinner menu

(left to right) Sandy Baum, Skidmore College; Rod Chu, The Ohio State University; Michael Kirst, Stanford University

Don Hossler, Indiana University (left); George Kuh, Indiana University (right)

Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona (left); Scott Andrew Schulz, CERPP Program Director (right)

(left to right) Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Syracuse University; Don Heller, The Pennsylvania State University; Karen Symms-Gallagher, USC Rossier School of Education

The perfect end to a great meal

Michael McPherson, President of Spencer Foundation, gives the keynote address

(left to right) Jerry Lucido, Beth Garrett, and Michael McPherson following the conclusion of the opening night dinner

Jerry Lucido opens the morning session on August 5th at the USC Davidson Conference Center

Youlonda Copeland-Morgan of Syracuse University moderates the first session, “Riding the Wave of Demographic Change: Promoting Access and Opportunity within the Context of Meritocracy”

Harry Pachon of The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute discusses the educational challenges facing the nation’s Hispanic/Latino population

N. Bruce Walker of the University of Texas at Austin addresses how institutions can respond to demographic change

Gary Rhoades of the University of Arizona focuses on the social benefits of serving low-income communities

Jim Blackburn of California State University poses a question from the audience

Harry Pachon responds to audience questions

Arlene Wesley Cash of Spelman College moderates the conference’s second session, “Defining Readiness: Knowing It When We See It”

Wayne Camara of the College Board discusses the need for objective measures of college preparation

Michael Kirst of Stanford University presents an overview of K-16 alignment challenges

Saul Geiser of the University of California Berkeley states that a mastery of curriculum content is critical to success in college

Wayne Camara of the College Board (left) and Saul Geiser of the University of California Berkeley (right) debate the most effective ways of assessing student preparation

Questions and comments from the audience

Responding to questions and comments put forth by the audience and one another

Q & A at CERPP’s Inaugural Conference

Lunch at USC Town and Gown

Bill Schilling of the University of Pennsylvania moderates the session, “The Impact of Tuition and Student Aid on College Choice and Student Success”

Sandy Baum of Skidmore College and the College Board suggests that enrollment professionals focus on college as an investment with future financial returns for students that increase over time to help attract students who may be hesitant to enroll in higher education for financial reasons

Don Heller of The Pennsylvania State University provides evidence of stratification of college attendance by income despite substantial government investments in financial aid

Shirley Ort of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a practitioner’s perspective on aid and access

Wayne Sparks of Washington State University addresses the panel

Session III Q & A

Wrapping up the session

A jazz trio entertains during the cocktail reception before dinner the second evening

(left to right) Don Heller, The Pennsylvania State University; Andrew Nassir, Education Systems; Mark Petrie, Buffalo State College

(left to right) Madeleine Rhyneer, Willamette University; Michael Kirst, Stanford University; Brian Henley, University of Oregon

Michael Nettles, Educational Testing Service (left); George Kuh, Indiana University (right)

Dinner on August 5th

Carolyn Webb de Macias gives the evening’s keynote address, discussing ways institutions can more effectively conduct community outreach

Beginning the last day of the conference on the morning of August 6th with a cup of coffee (left to right) David Bousquet, Northern Arizona University; David Kalsbeek, DePaul University; Jim McCoy, Louisiana State University

Jim McCoy moderates the session titled, “Toward a Comprehensive Enrollment Model”

Don Hossler of Indiana University asks why so few retention officers have policymaking authority and/or necessary resources to facilitate effective retention efforts

David Kalsbeek of DePaul University addresses why institutional student retention efforts often fail

George Kuh of Indiana University discusses why colleges and universities buy products and services from the student success industry despite having the capacity to create their own data in an effort to inform persistence efforts

Session IV Q & A

Karen Symms-Gallagher, Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education, moderates the conference’s final session titled, “A Way Forward: Identifying Critical Research Questions”

Morton O. Schapiro, President of Williams College, emphasizes that institutional presidents can and should dedicate the resources necessary to ensure their enrollment priorities have societal interests at heart

Jerry Lucido, CERPP Executive Director, states that “institutional policies and practices can be better and more equitable, that we must know what is known, must act on what is known, must know what is knowable, and accept responsibility for our own backyard.”

Scott Andrew Schulz, CERPP Program Director, encourages conference participants to be involved with the center’s efforts to facilitate access and maximize student success

CERPP’s Inaugural Conference concludes with a round of applause by participants