VI.1. Recruitment and Retention

At the undergraduate level, some department chairs may view student recruitment as an additional task to handle, especially in times of high student enrollment in their departments. However, student recruitment offers the department an avenue for shaping its major cohorts beyond a mere head count. Area high schools and community colleges have student populations that may not be aware of the unique curricular opportunities available in various departments at NIU and their connections to career potential. Here the chair can work in conjunction with Office of Admissions as well as develop departmental or division outreach programs to area middle schools and high schools. The active recruitment of graduate students is also vital to the growth of a department’s graduate program.

Retaining and graduating majors and minors are, of course, paramount. Ensuring that those courses required for graduation are taught on a regular basis will help move majors and minors through the program in a timely manner. Student surveys also indicate that a sense of connectedness makes a substantial difference for student retention in a major. The Office of Student Academic Success offers resources for student academic success. At the department level, a system of effective and personal student advising is essential, and the department chair can ensure if this system is functioning effectively and meeting students’ needs.