Wayne State University

Detroit, MI

Objective: Michigan’s only urban research university, Wayne State University serves 33,000 students with 13 schools and colleges on a 203-acre campus in the heart of Detroit. WSU turned to AACRAO Consulting to assess its undergraduate and graduate admissions offices, with a focus on identifying next steps for long-term enrollment success.

Challenge: Confronting the deteriorating economy of southeast Michigan and escalating competition from other four-year and two-year colleges, the University realized it needed to expand its recruitment efforts beyond the local area. Historically a commuter-centric school, the campus now had a third of its students living on campus. WSU’s admissions office needed to reflect and respond to this new student demographic and new market opportunities for recruitment.

Solution: AACRAO Consulting began by interviewing all staff in the undergraduate and graduate admissions office to assess their goals, responsibilities, challenges and processes. Leveraging its extensive research resources and knowledge base in recruitment from the perspective of strategic enrollment management, our consultants then armed the staff with a wealth of comparative data and benchmarking to support the admissions office in their wider recruitment efforts, and presented innovative new ideas for reaching the University’s enrollment goals.

Results: WSU’s Associate Vice President in the Provost’s Office relied on his AACRAO Consultant’s extensive admissions experience to hire a new Admissions Director and define this leader’s role within that office. WSU admissions office is now in the process of implementing AACRAO’s data-based recommendations. The Graduate School built on recommendations in the Consultant’s report to develop an enhanced computer-based admissions process that brings together the graduate programs in the schools and colleges with the central services unit of the graduate school in an effective way.