Enrollment concerns prompt discussion

Members of the administration, faculty, staff and student body met on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Faculty and Staff Center to discuss issues regarding enrollment. 

The meeting was led by Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Anne Gavarra-Oh. There were many different constituents present in the meeting, from the janitorial staff to Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen. 

Montevirgen said that it is important for all of the members of the Pierce campus to be involved in the conversation of enrollment.

“Enrollment management is a campus wide concern, and is something that needs a campus wide approach in order to be able to get everyone on board,” Montevirgen said. “From the leadership on down, we see the importance of bringing the campus together to address this type of concern.”

The event started by addressing the issue of how to bring in more potential students. In the fall of 2018, Pierce had 5,013 applicants but only 2,253 students enrolled. 

Everyone present was given the opportunity to speak and suggest ideas on what can be done to either attract more applicants, or keep students from leaving. 

People who didn’t verbally suggest their ideas could also write down their thoughts on an index card and place it in a suggestion box.

Gavarra-Oh explained that this is an important conversation to have.

“It is great to hear the ideas coming from all constituents, faculty, staff, administration and the students, because sometimes we make these decisions in silos and it is great to see different perspectives on attacking these issues,” Gavarra-Oh said.

Salter said that she believes this event will help members of the Pierce campus get more involved.

“I think a lot of the time we are really quick to say ‘oh it is a problem in that office’ or ‘oh it is the student’s problem,’ when there are things personally that I could change or do to make a difference,” Salter said. “I think today’s event helped people see that they have a role and they can actually do something.”

Among the ideas suggested were simplifying the enrollment process, and promoting attendance at sports games and theater productions.

Montevirgen said that he is looking forward to hearing more ideas about what Pierce can do to try and solve these issues.