Back See this section in context: Criterion 2 Core Component 2B
2B.6: Initiatives Enable Student Enrollment
As an open enrollment college, Sauk’s planning and budgeting priorities have traditionally included investments of time and money to help students have the opportunity to pursue higher education. Several initiatives serve the purpose of encouraging and enabling student enrollment:
- Recruitment: In the past, counselors and the Director of Admissions made recruiting visits to each of the district’s high schools. In 2007, a full-time Recruiter position was created to maintain a comprehensive recruitment program. In 2010, the position was combined with several others and re-titled High School Liaison.
- College Night: Every year approximately 200 people attend College Night, which features over 70 universities, colleges, technical schools and the military. Attendees receive information about the educational and transfer opportunities available at Sauk and other institutions. Sauk staff are on hand to discuss career interests, instructional programs, the registration process, and how to conduct a college search. Sauk staff conducts a special Financial Aid presentation which regularly attracts over 100 people. Focusing Families on the Future, a presentation for high school sophomores and their parents, provides information on Sauk’s dual credit options and on career and college planning.
- Discover Sauk: Local area high school seniors are invited to campus where they are introduced to the college, meet current students who discuss their Sauk experiences and attend classes in their area of interest. Discover Sauk is scheduled twice during the fall, three times during the spring semesters, and upon request by area high schools. Each event attracts 20 to 25 students.
- Nontraditional occupations recruitment: Each year, mini-conferences, such as Men in Nursing, Women in Engineering, and Women in Criminal Justice, introduce high school students to nontraditional occupations by gender. Each of these programs informs students about high wage, high skill career opportunities in nontraditional areas with hands-on activities and interaction with professionals from those fields. Each mini-conference attracts an average of 18 to 24 students.
As an open-enrollment institution in a community where poverty and unemployment have always been significant, especially during the latest economic downturn, Sauk’s use of resources to support student enrollment is planned and budgeted. The college’s financial aid office plays a key role in helping students afford an education:
- Assistance and education: The mission statement of the Office of Financial Assistance describes its support role as one that “enhances learning by educating and assisting our students and community with their academically related expenses, thereby helping them achieve their educational goals.” During FY10, for example, the office held high school workshops, FAFSA workshops, and Scholarship Workshops; made presentations in Orientation (PSY 100) classes; and worked with students on an individual basis to help them process their financial aid to maximize their financial awards.
- Scholarships: The Office of Financial Assistance coordinates a scholarship system so that students may be considered for multiple scholarships without making multiple applications, in most cases. Information for nearly 130 internal scholarships appears on the college website, including Sauk Scholars, Single Parent grants, Sauk Valley College Foundation scholarships, and local, need-based scholarships from community groups and high school foundations. All of the scholarships that are funded are awarded each year. During the five year period ending with FY09, over 1200 scholarships were awarded for a total of $806,100.