Recruiting and Retaining Millennials

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Transcript of Recruiting and Retaining Millennials

Millennials as Consumers: Campus-Wide Efforts to Recruit and Retain Millennials

Millennials as Consumers: Campus-Wide Efforts to Recruit and Retain MillennialsDeborah Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment ManagementWill Miller, Director of Institutional Research and EffectivenessJill Miller, Director of First Year Experience and Co-Curriculars

Higher Education TodayFaculty may hate it, but we are selling a product11th century notion of learning19th century agrarian calendar21st century studentsTechnology has changed it all

What We KnowSpecial, sheltered, confident, team oriented, conventional, pressured, achieving, rule followers, well-educated, open-minded, influential, achievement oriented, used to being assessedDid not wait to college to get out from under the wings of adults and experiment with matters such as sex, alcohol, drugs, spending money, or even different lifestyle options

Age and Technology

Teaching and Learning with MillennialsFaculty need to remember these differencesWhat worked for their cohort may not work anymoreMillennials enter college differentlyWant teamwork, experiential activities, structure, technologyWant to be led, challenged, to work with friends, to have fun, to be respected, to have flexibilityFocused on grades and performance, busy with extracurriculars, eager to be involved, technologically talented, interested in math and science compared to humanities, more politically conservative and socially liberal

The Dumbest Generation?Millennials care about what occurred last week in the cafeteria, not what took place during the Great Depressionthey heed the words of Facebook, not the Gettysburg Address.The constant communication amongst their peer groups has made it so that equipped with a Blackberry and laptop, sporting a flashy profile page and a blogteenagers pass words and images back and forth 24/7 Cant trust anyone under 30

ParadoxWe have entered the Information Age, traveled the Information Superhighway, spawned a Knowledge Economy, undergone the Digital Revolution, converted manual workers into knowledge workers, and promoted a Creative Class, and we anticipate a Conceptual Ageyet young Americans today are no more learned or skilled than their predecessors.Faculty, in Bauerleins opinion, are equally to blame as he finds them to be too worried about being labeled as old or reactionary to challenge todays students to move beyond his negative opinions.

Debt-Ridden!Student loan debt, poverty, unemployment, lower levels of wealth than their previous two generations at same ageBUT, 8/10 say they have enough money to lead the lives they want


Diverse!43% non-white

Not Trusters!Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you cant be too careful in dealing with people?


Group CultureMillennials are differentJust like every generation that has come before usBUT, their culture is also significantly differentBrooksWe have seen a broad shift from a culture of humility to the culture of what you might call the Big Me, from a culture that encouraged people to think humbly of themselves to a culture that encouraged people to see themselves as the center of the universeTrophies, scoreboards, and kindergarten graduations

The Big Me Generation: Data PointsIn 1950, Gallup asked graduating high school seniors if they believed they were a very important person. Only 12 percent said yes. In 2005, four out of five high school seniors responded affirmatively. Psychologists regularly employ narcissism tests, which ask respondents to identify if particular statements apply to them. Over the past twenty years, the mean narcissism score has risen over thirty percent with the most significant gains coming on agreement with I am an extraordinary person and I like to look at my body.Perhaps even more telling in an era of female empowerment are the results of study of middle school girls that found Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton to be two of the top three dream dinner guests (with Jesus falling in between) and twice as many preferring to be a celebritys personal assistant than president of Harvard.

Decision-MakingHerbert Simon: maximizers and satisficersBarry Schwartz argues there is a paradox in the availability of choices

Good Decision-MakingDetermine the goalEvaluate the relative importance of competing goalsLay out optionsEvaluate likelihood of each option to meet goalSelect the best optionUse the consequences of initial decision to guide future decisions

Where does higher education struggle in the above calculus?

Impact on Higher EducationMore mailings = more applications = more decisions86 institution record in 2014Impact of economic downturnMedia speculation regarding difficulty of getting acceptedMore applications = more denials = lower accept rate = panic!Big Me generation thinks it will get inBut this is not a lottery

We Need Lazy RiversIts exactly the psychology of an arms race. From the outside it seems totally crazy, but from the inside it feels necessary and compellingProduct becomes more expensive = higher student feesTeenagers do NOT understandTeenagers have little understanding of diminishing marginal returns and the tyranny of small choices

Maximizing BehaviorComparing their experience at the school of their choice to what they hoped it would beComparing their experience at the school of their choice to what they expected it to beComparing their experience at the school of their choice to other experiences they have hadComparing their experience at the school of their choice to the experiences friends are having at the schools of their choice

Impact of social mediaUnlike what the direct mail pieces may show, college will be about more than student centers and intramural volleyball.

The Flagler StoryWhy we almost had horse stables at Flagler CollegeTuition-dependentCompeting with state institutionsDropping the shotgun and picking up a rifleRelying on lists and unworked apps means profile will drop, yield will plummet, acceptance rates will decline (for the wrong reasons), and retention will freefallBy treating the Big Me generation individually, the profile can increase, yield can quickly improve, acceptance rates can hold steady, and retention should take a positive turn

The Flagler StoryMuch like with student choosing a college, looking at more applicants is not nearly as important as looking at the right applicants. By modelling the successful student (in terms of retention and graduation) through use of demography and a minimum of three years of historical data, we can identify, target, and recruit those students who objectively appear to be good fits for Flagler. With fewer students in the funnel, our enrollment management staff can offer the personalized recruitment they expect and also experience a process reflective of what the educational environment will be once they become part of the Flagler family.

Changes from 2013 to 2015Change in approachImpact in results

Everyone has a first-year experience

but what was it like?

What do they need?Life-management skillsBack to basics reading, writing, communicatingCritical thinkingTime-filling/Time-managementSocial-engagementInformation literacy

The High-Impact Practices of the FYEExtended OrientationFirst-Year SeminarsCommon Intellectual ExperiencesLearning CommunitiesWriting Intensive CoursesUndergraduate ResearchService/Experiential LearningFirst-Year AdvisingAccelerated Developmental/Remedial Coursework

What were doing at FlaglerData, data, databut with a personal touch.Fixing the math deficiency.Social engagement with an eye to retention.Keep the smart kids.Identify the murky middle.

Lessons Learned (some the hard way)Collaboration is key.The first-year mattersbut it cant fix everything.The basics still have the biggest impact personalized advisingimpactful teachingstudent-focused services

On the HorizonBig data gets smarter and information digging starts earlier;Core/Major/Minor replacement;Market and regulatory focus on outcomes;Change in demographics;Continued need for personalized advising combined with state of the art technology.

SummaryMillennial studentBig Me generationColleges and universities need to respond