Energizing recruitment

In new enrollment management role, Janelle Kilgore focuses on student experience to attract more of the best and brightest

Janelle Kilgore

Janelle Kilgore, who was recently named interim vice provost for strategic enrollment management, believes now is a good time to look more strategically at enrollment management. Photo by David Dodds/UND Today.

 

There’s an electric energy on campus each fall as students return.

Janelle Kilgore wants to channel that vibrancy into recruiting more students.

“It’s great to have the students back,” Kilgore said. “They’re why I’m here.”

Kilgore, who was recently named interim vice provost for strategic enrollment management, believes now is a good time to look more strategically at enrollment management.

“We have high quality academic programs and student life, and there’s a place for students at a strong UND with great alumni,” she said.

“I’m excited about the academic quality of our students,” said Provost Tom DiLorenzo.  “Our entering freshman class is the most prepared cohort to date, with more Presidential Scholars, and a significant increase in the number of honors students.”

Director of Student Financial Aid Janelle Kilgore, right and Student Account Operations Mgr. Chelsea Larson, left talk with a large team about student financial aid. (Jackie Lorentz photo/ UND Today)

Kilgore (right), with Student Account Operations Manager Chelsea Larson, holds a discussion with UND’s Student Financial Aid team.  Kilogre previously served as interim executive director of financial aid and admissions. Photo by Jackie Lorentz photo/ UND Today

Collaboration is key

Kilgore, former director of the student financial aid office, spent last year serving as interim executive director of financial aid and admissions, and recently led efforts to enhance UND’s enrollment management strategies. She’s now responsible for admissions, student financial aid, student academic services, and One Stop Student Services.

Kilgore said she accepted the appointment because she believes in higher education and UND.

“I’m a collaborator,” she said. “We’re having conversations with the colleges, student financial aid, student academic services, marketing and other areas. We want to work together to improve the student experience.”

“Our academic partners are key in enrollment management,” Kilgore said. “Students want great academics.”

Kilgore sees an intersection between recruitment and student financial aid.

“Admissions is the front door of our campus. Then students and families will need to plan how to pay for their education. Collaboration will allow us to enhance our services which will in turn reduce financial stress and allow students to focus their academics and getting involved with student activities,” Kilgore said.

Janelle Kilgore

Kilgore and her team are currently reviewing the processes that prospective students and their parents go through when they visit UND in an effort to improve those experiences. She’s also working with UND Marketing & Creative Services to ensure that each building on campus has a strong UND branding presence. Photo by Jackie Lorentz/UND Today.

Removing barriers

Kilgore said her area has also removed barriers and implemented efficiencies. One result is that it’s now easier to transfer to UND, which has resulted in an uptick in transfer students.

She also plans to ramp up daily visits as well as UND’s biggest recruitment event, the NDEA/MEA weekend visits Oct. 18-21.

“We had more than 2,000 visitors over that weekend last year,” she said. “We focus on the student academic experience, each college does presentations, and we work to interact with and engage the students.”

Her team is also reviewing what happens at visits by prospective students and their families to improve their experience, and is working with marketing & communications to ensure that each building has a strong branding presence.

“Our new website helps us tell UND’s story and lets prospective students learn about our programs,” Kilgore said. “We’re looking at all aspects of campus.”

The recruiting team is also attending new recruiting events and making more connections with alumni, she said.

“We’re hiring new admissions representatives, looking at events on and off campus, and engaging students,” Kilgore said. “At the end of the day, what’s important are the students and the experience we’re providing. Great things are happening.”