SEM Plan 2.0 Goals


The executive summary provides an overview of the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) goals and strategies that will guide our enrollment-related efforts over the next few years. The full SEM Plan 2.0 report (PDF) provides an important context that aligns with our strategies. Timelines and accountable parties have been added to each strategy in the SEM Accountability Plan 2.0 to ensure that we are able to make progress toward achieving our goals.

Executive Summary

Our overarching purpose remains to attract, retain and graduate students representing the diversity of the region, nation and the world. This provides a general framework for our new plan’s goals and strategies that must be implemented to achieve success. It is noticeable that many of the goals and strategies are similar to the prior SEM Plan. This is purposeful as these goals and strategies are interwoven into our mission, vision and values. However, some of the goals and strategies have been updated, or are completely new, as times have changed considerably due to the impacts from COVID-19 and other factors. Within this framework, we have identified the following goals and supporting strategies:

Goal One

Brand Identity

Strengthen and promote our distinctive identity as a diverse, engaged public research university that transforms lives by combining educational opportunity and personalized support with meaningful student engagement experiences.

Strategy 1.1

Further hone our brand identity through a perception study to better understand NIU's reputation with specific audiences and implement recommendations to improve the overall brand perception and enrollment opportunities.

Strategy 1.2

Amplify Huskie pride to support NIU and the NIU Foundation in our efforts to demonstrate and celebrate the benefits of an NIU education and the successes and contributions of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Strategy 1.3

Improve the tracking of NIU graduates’ career outcomes and leverage outcomes data to better represent the value of an NIU education to key audiences.

Goal Two

Targeted Enrollment Efforts and Improving Access and Affordability

Achieve student enrollment that reflects our mission, our values, and our region while positioning NIU for fiscal sustainability.

Strategy 2.1

Utilizing new and existing partnerships, enroll a new student population that mirrors the demographics of our region through increased completion of admission application files, an improved yield experience for admitted students, tailored communication plans, development of signature recruitment and yield events and revised transfer credit procedures.

Strategy 2.2

Launch a campaign to re-enroll NIU stop-out students, including a case management approach, new student support services and promotion of existing and expanded options of online degree-completion programs, providing flexibility for returning students.

Strategy 2.3

Provide enhanced financial advising initiatives to students, such as multi- year financial planning, along with robust training and education to campus partners on Student Financial Advising Services, to support enrollment, retention, and completion initiatives.

Strategy 2.4

Using multi-year financial modeling and a comprehensive review of NIU’s scholarship/waiver awarding philosophies, optimize the efficacy of all institutional aid funding (including identifying and piloting innovative aid programs) to attract students and ensure their success.

Goal Three

Improving Student Success, Persistence and Graduation

Support access, opportunity and success for all students — employing an equity lens and striving to sustain a diverse student body — where diversity is defined broadly.

Strategy 3.1

Provide programs, processes and support networks that ensure students transition successfully into the Huskie experience, being mindful of students' diversity.

Strategy 3.2

Deliver on our value proposition to students as an institution that emphasizes social mobility, academic success and leadership development in an environment that celebrates diverse perspectives and lived experiences, ensuring that all students have the support they need to be successful and engaged.

Strategy 3.3

Support, develop and assess programs that are responsive to the evolving mental and emotional health needs, wellness and physical health needs, and the safety of our students.

Contact Us

Laurie Elish-Piper
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

Sol Jensen
Vice President, Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications

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