Community colleges have traditionally focused resources to support student success and completion by providing services and delivery models that are responsive to the needs of their student body. As universities look to the future of their delivery design, community colleges can provide best practice and strategic models that could be adaptable to other educational sectors. Our community colleges can provide valuable lessons for the rest of the industry. 
About Our Guest
Evan Ray is currently the Director of Student Success for two campuses associated with Ozarks Technical Community College located in southwest Missouri. Serving in public and private Higher Ed for over 14 years in various enrollment management and student services positions, Evan’s professional interests include exploring the boundari

es of data in knowledge-creation enterprises and analyzing the cultural markers of teams that successfully galvanize change.

Episode Transcript

Jay (00:01):

Welcome to the Enrollment Edge , a podcast for college enrollment and marketing leaders. I'm your host, Jay Fedje. The Enrollment Edge is sponsored by enrollmentFUEL, a trusted full service student search and marketing partner to colleges and universities across the country. If you'd like to learn more about enrollmentFUEL services, or you have questions about today's episode, we've included a link to our website in the show notes, you can also email us at We'd love to hear what you think. You can help us by subscribing to our podcast, sharing it with your friends, and leaving a five star review on Apple podcasts.

Jay (00:55):

My name is Jay Fedje, your host of the Enrollment Edge. And today I'm talking with Evan Ray, Director of Student Services, at Table Rock in Richwood Valley Campuses of the Ozarks Technical Community College System in Missouri. That's a mouthful. Evan has served in two-year and four-year colleges during his 14 year career in the area of enrollment management and student success. Evan is part of a successful and progressive system that focuses resources on individual student success and completion within a very challenging community college setting. Historically higher education has paid a great deal of attention to the lessons from four-year schools. However, with the challenges of building strong student success programming within a changing environment, community colleges have built themselves as flexible and responsive to the needs of ever-shifting student population. Higher education should pay attention and learn from the lessons of our community college colleagues. Welcome to the Enrollment Edge, Evan. Good to have you today.

Evan (01:55):

It's good to be here, Jay. Thanks for having me.

Jay (01:59):

Yeah, Evan! We're talking today with Evan Ray about student success at community colleges, lessons that we've learned. Now, Evan, you have a very unique history in enrollment management. You have been on both sides of two- and four-year. You've now been at a private four-year and a very public community college, quite a large community college in Southwest Missouri. And it is from that perspective that I really would love to draw upon your experience. You know, when we've talked in the past, some of those things that you've mentioned, it's like, "Oh my gosh!" Those things in the community colleges, more and more impressed me that the greater industry needs to pay attention to what's happening at community colleges, because the lessons that you're learning there in taking care of students and pivoting and, and in looking at student success and continuation of completion really seemed to be moving to the gold standard.

Evan (03:07):

Yeah, absolutely. There, there have been, what I've have had the benefit of seeing over my career is a bit of a sense about, I guess, you know, I kind of started out in enrollment management. So seeing it in many ways, how from a four-year private perspective, a sense of how colleges would talk about themselves and sort of how the value statements were positioned, what they would focus on. And then now, you know, being in the community college realm just a comparison of how some of those things look and the cure for students and how that looks at at a four-year school. And how it's, in some ways how it pivots here at a two-year institutions. So one of the things that's happened just recently at Ozarks Technical Community College is we've implemented a proactive system of holistic care for students. It's what we call Student Success, which is a model that tries to onboard students and, and sort of make connections with them, in more proactive ways so that we can intervene earlier, so that we can hopefully have better student outcomes as they move forward. And so we just finished our first semester of implementation with that and sort of are kind of looking at what, well, you know, what could be improved. And, and so, there's a lot of exciting things that I think we were able to discover even in the short time that it's been place.

Jay (04:33):

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I tell you, as I, as we, you and I have talked about student success and outcomes, what I really would like to do is I would really start with the backup one step here. I'm going to start with a working definition of student success. I think there's different targets depending upon maybe the sector of higher education or the school or the type of school. But at the community college you're at, what does that look like? What does, what does student success definition look like?

Evan (05:03):

I think sometimes when we talk about things like student success, or when you talk about the character of an institution, you get eight people in the room and you come out with nine different opinions on it. Right? That's the old joke. I think probably student success is probably a little bit of the same way. One of the things that I had the benefit of learning once I came here is that success is measured differently at a community college sometimes. And so, you know at my four-year private, I think the sense was graduation. I mean, there were a lot of different moments to look at, right? But it, it tended to gravitate towards retention, as well as graduation, you know, in a four year time period and staying on pace for that. One of the beautiful things that I have learned and really appreciated in the community college system is that success for student does look differently depending on what that student looks like. It can be as minimal as getting them mental health services. Right? So we may, it may turn out that, that the odds were stacked against the student. And, and we knew that coming in and we did everything we can to hopefully coalesce around them and bring resources. And they may not have been the same outcome that we all want, which is that, you know, graduation with with their associate's degree or their certificate. But by golly, if we were able to get them, you know, mental health services, or if we were able to solve a homelessness issue, or we were able to solve, you know, a food insecure situation, Oh, that's a sweet victory. That's a sweet victory. It may look differently, again, for each student and we still have, in the same mind, a sense of, yes, we want to see you all the way to graduation and still push towards that. But there are many, many markers along the way that you can still consider successful in a more holistic way that looks at just not simply the educational outcome of graduated student that I still think are beneficial, that is meaningful for the student and meaningful to the community for which you serve.

Jay (07:12):

Well, that's a significant statement, Evan. And I think that, honestly, there's so many colleges that point their laser pointer at degree attainment. And if it's not that within a certain period of time than we'vemissed student success outcomes and measurements, but really what you're doing is in your role—identifying the giant boulders in the middle of the road that are going to stop them. I mean, you talked about a home situation and food situation and real life challenges that, are well beyond the classroom, the degree, the grade get, get those things taken care of. And now suddenly the path looks much clearer, right?

Evan (07:58):

Yes. Yes. And in many circumstances too, the students I've had several conversations today where there is knowledge about what challenges the student was facing, that we could have intervened in ways that help them persist as they move on. And we certainly, again, with this new model, there are ways that we are built in to be proactive. It will continue to be modified and tweaked as necessary. But it's amazing, especially for the population that we serve, the more information that we can gather, the more intelligence you can get right on the student, the better chance that you can help them focus on the academics and less on some of the harder admittedly harder social pressures that they may be under that obviously affects their academic output in the end.

Jay (08:51):

You know, you're bringing up a couple of really good points: the knowledge of the needs. I think that is one of the great challenges. You've got a student that comes in and signs up for classes. They do what they need to do, and they're looking to break away from maybe some historical issues or they're wanting that opportunity. So they, they move into the degree lane and they're going for that attainment, but there's boulders on the road. How do you look at those? How do you find those out? How are those revealed to you?

Evan (09:29):

So a couple of things that are, I think are probably, pretty critical, which one is certainly you have to have mechanisms that allow you to be aware of that. So we have like an intake survey, right? The idea is, can we proactively ask you about 15 or 17 questions that we have a qualitative understanding of the student that's coming in. Now, once you have that knowledge, you've got a responsibility to, right? There's an assumption, just like there is with enrollment when you reach out or when you're developing a relationship. And once you have that knowledge, there's an assumed responsibility that you're going to do something with it.

Jay (10:08):

You know, don't ask unless you have a plan.

Evan (10:10):

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, in the same way, so what we try to do is try to connect those two things. So how do we get that intelligence, in a practical way, there's obviously, like anything, a number of different ways. We try to have mechanisms for that to happen. One of the more standardized mechanisms is an intake survey that asks a series of questions. And then we get that into the person's hands that is the, what we call, naviagator. This is, one-stop shop person that's going to help you navigate financial aid. They're gonna help you navigate academics. They're gonna help you navigate community resources. And they're going to be with you all the way through graduation. So, now that person, that individual may not have all the answers. But the idea is that you have that point person,where the burden is upon them to navigate the system on behalf of these connect to the resources.

Jay (11:14):

Oh, wow. Okay. That's a phenomenal idea. I can't think of a college that right now would look at that and say a guide isn't necessary. Thinking of the students that are coming in first-generation students that really don't have a background, students that are on their own, independent students, students later in life that are coming back to go to college. And it's so different now and, on and on and on, that these guides can help them with things they don't see. They can help them fill out the forms and keep on track. Right.

Evan (11:51):

Yes, that's correct. And a critical part for this to work, too. Like obviously you have to be aware of the student, the qualitative aspect of it. You have to get it into somebody's hands that can do something with it. And then part of that, that's on the back end too, is you gotta make sure that they have time to actually do that holistically. So if you're going to create like case management around students, then not only do those individuals have to be well-trained, but they've got to be able to effectively do that job holistically with their case load in ways that doesn't treat a student like an assembly line, you know? You've got to, like most colleges or universities, be aware of your human resources, and the amount of FTEs that you have on campus. And so we try to our best as we pair those things to make sure that the case loads aren't overwhelming, and that we've employed a system that actually allows them not to be overwhelmed and overburdened.

Jay (12:57):

You know, I've got two sons that have gone through college. You and I both worked at four-year schools, and my sons have gone through four-year college. I would've loved to have had been in a place that they would have been assigned a navigator, a guide to walk them through and kind of keep tabs on them. You know, "How are things moving along?" I think from my perspective, oftentimes, that's pretty much been given to the faculty advisor. So, just make sure they're on track and their registration is done. Then, beyond that, we don't really dig into the identification of, as you said, those mechanisms, of the hurdles, the obstacles that are lie in the way. They're on their own.

Evan (13:40):

Yes. In some ways. And I know this looks different sometimes at four-year institutions, but I know certainly for us, if you were to put it in front of a faculty member, given all the updates and the complexities of financial aid community resources, otherwise it feels almost unfair to burden them with that holistic care. And they want to holistically care for that student in a way. And so what we've done is sort of shifted that a little bit towards that that person who is holistically trained in financial aid, trained in billing and accounts, and how those things work and how will you drop class? How does that [dropping a class] affect your financial aid? So that you have an expert and that expert knows who to talk to, even when he or she doesn't have an answer.

Jay (14:34):

Well, it's a resource guide. And I think that's unfair too, to ask faculty who are teaching their classes, and are experts in their field to be a resource guide across an entire complicated college system to say, well, you need this form and this form. These are the people you need to talk to. And these are the things need to help solve your problems. Faculty are really focused on the academic hurdles and not necessarily all the life hurdles, but as you know, probably, those life hurdles get in the way of the academics. Right?

Evan (15:03):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Especially for the population that we serve and what it [the population] looks like. That's why we're kind of taking a look at like using A and B blocks, those eight-week block kind of classes, knowing that if you do 16-week block, sometimes that allows more life sort of to get in the way for completion. And so we're kind of taking a look at and experimenting with some of those things to see if that allows for better student outcomes. And there's certainly research on that out there. The sense was, especially with our group of students, it is hard enough to navigate college, but if we can connect you with one person that is going to help you climb that mountain, that you can not only talk to that, but also that person by name. You can go in and talk to them. You can set up appointments and it doesn't matter whether it's financial aid or otherwise, that builds confidence in them that leads to better relationships. It leads to better retention, which is good for everybody. It's good for the students, good for the institution. Fundamentally, when we talk about victories and outcomes from an emotional heart standpoint, I think that's moving in a better direction for all parties included.

Jay (16:21):

Well, and it brings up so many different aspects of the underpinnings of why that works. I liken it back to that I used to be able to know how to fix a car. I don't anymore because they look more like rockets now than they do cars. I used to have a '68 Bug and that VW bug, I could look at that engine and go, "Okay, I know what I know what that looks like. I can identify parts, but my car now, I can't figure out what's what. But I know a guy that I trust. I got a person, I have that guide, that expert that I trust. And that's one of the key things in what I hear you saying, that not only is somebody there, but they're in a position to help students when they don't know how to navigate this, but one of the great underpinnings of [all of this], is that they have trust. They have to be able to trust that they're [the navigator] is looking out for their best interest. And that the student's success, as they're working through all of this, is their highest priority.

Evan (17:28):

And to make that [the highest priority] authentic. So when we go back, to make that an authentic relationship, it can't be a once check-in kind of deal. It's got to feel like it is still calibrated to the student's need for a checkup. But, that looks differently for each student. So we've got some students that are going to hang out, they're going to hang around the front desk, and they're going to be around there day after, day after day. And that's great. And then we have other students that just need a very light touch once a semester. And that's fine too, but to make it feel authentic, the model, whatever it is, has to be flexible enough to calibrate to each type of student qualitatively that you're seeing, that it makes up your campus body.

Jay (18:14):

Yeah, I'm going to shift gears here a little bit. One of the things I think that came to mind as we were talking about this particular podcast episode, and why I really wanted to hear from you was this idea of proactive versus reactive philosophy measures, or operations in a school. Last spring, schools under their best circumstances, with all of the planning they had done, all of the colleges and universities that went into the school year and in fall '19, and going into the 19-20 session that had great plans for their athletics, and their performance, and their academics, and all of that. And then mid cycle, all of the proactive measures that they've put into place went into the garbage disposal and they were just churned up. And so what was left was this reactive environment. And there were a lot of colleges that didn't react very well. There were colleges across the country that if they would look back at that moment, they would say, "Wow, we wish we would have done that differently, I wish we would've planned a little differently for reactive possibilities." One of the things that I think I see, from what I hear from you, is that community colleges, yours in particular, are attuned to reaction. So it goes back to this idea the mechanisms that find out the student's needs. Well, those needs change. Life changes in a heartbeat, and so things move around. How do you see, in places that you've been, most recently at the community college, how do you see that, that reactive measure really being a huge benefit to students and to the community college?

Evan (20:07):

Looking back to when I came here to OTC, one of the things I noticed was obviously the population we serve is very diverse. We have a lot of students that are working at the same time that they're also going to school. Some are single moms and dads. We have so many different things that are going on, that could happen in life. So one of the things that you're talking about is, you can do that intake survey. You can get a sense, at a moment in time, of what's going on in student's life, but it is still just a moment in time. And you have to revisit it at some point in time, or you have to create some sort of system that allows for seeing if those same qualitative elements have changed or they remain static. And you can be heavy touch or as [light], depending on your human resources you have available, and what you have automated such as email flow and, and other things. There may be ways to structure it. And I think what we're trying to do is, in some ways, find a good balance of that [automation vs. interaction]. What we know, like most colleges and universities, is we'd love for students to pay attention to their email. We'd love it. But that's the cheap thing that everybody can do. And they really don't. So you have to still have that channel and you still have to have that as a mechanism of outreach, then you have to have other ways, too. Looking at midterm grades, going through call like a bit flow, a behavioral intervention flow. What's going on in the system? Are we aware of the fact that this student had an interaction with the faculty member that worried the faculty member? And so they put in a report that went to an individual so they could intervene in a proactive way. So in some ways you're trying to create an intelligent structure around your institution to have your eyes and ears so that you can be proactive. And I think when you combine all those together, whether it's like midterms, what attendance looks like, the things that are coming through your behavioral intervention team, whatever it might be called at a given university, and you put it all together and you start to get enough data points over the course of time. You just have a fuller picture of what's going on and intervene more effectively and earlier. Like everything else that that process has to be tweaked, it has to be sensitive to what kind of human resources you have, and what's automated and not, but it's incumbent upon us. I think for students to do well, we need to take the time to think about those processes and how they're working in a synergistic way.

Jay (23:19):

Right, right. Right. And like my bumper sticker on my car would say, "Data is not useful unless, you know what it means." So I can gather all of that data, and you can gather all of that intel on students, and bring in the faculty and bring in administrators across campus, and in support services. But unless you have a culture of "so what that mean? What do we do? How do we re-install or shift or re-engineer or move, uh, how do we react?", [it's not going to work.] So there's, that's also a culture that you have to have on campus. And I think community colleges are better at it than a lot of other colleges are, frankly, to be able to pivot.

Evan (24:02):

Well, it's something I know we've, we've talked about a little bit before that's really important. This allows us on a person-to-person level to have dimension. If I'm stepping back and I'm a manager, and I'm looking at aggregate data, and I'm thinking, "I really want to know about some of those qualitative elements holistically about this group that we're trying to retain." Do they have more issues of homelessness than the, than the previous group? Do they have more food insecurity? What do they look like? Because we know that it's hard when narratives are created at colleges and universities as to the post-mortem of what happened. A lot of times that they aren't as nuanced as what we would expect, or that we didn't do maybe a good enough proactive job of making sure that the data that we were collecting was actually going to answer our questions in the end. So part of the intention behind the intake survey that I love too, is from an aggregate perspective, I want to look at all these students and say, "Oh, by the way, we're dealing with homelessness has gone up 4% amongst our student population. We need to really kind of think about whether or not we have the resources in place." Or maybe it's food insecurity. And have we budgeted for that? What are we doing with that in a larger way that also gives higher level administrators a sense qualitatively of what this class looks like?

Jay (25:33):

Exactly. I think it's that kind of culture, on a campus, of being willing to readjust resources, either at the end of cycles or mid cycle, as things have changed. I think there are a number of colleges that I've talked with over the past number of months that would have said last January, February, March of 2020, "I wish we would have had a different something in place, a different system, a different conversation, a different decision model, a different leadership model, something different so that we could have reacted in a different way." The outcomes may be the same, but the process might've been very different. But then through the summer, a lot of colleges were still wrestling with, what do we do with the fall? How do we measure, our decisions to come back or not come back in the fall? There was a lot of uncertainty there and I think some college systems were built better to make pivotal and pivoting decisions.

Evan (26:39):

Yes. And I think speaking for brothers and sisters in the community college system, I think knowing the fact that we need to show that flexibility, or we are prepared for that flexibility, rather, better than some others in higher education. It meant that when COVID started to shut things down a little bit, I think, there was a sense there was certainly a sense of urgency, but not panic. There was a sense of "we've got some systems already built in place." We know how this looks differently, even if not everybody teaches in a hybrid format, or not everybody teaches in an online format, we know what this class looks like, or what intervention measures can look like, even when they're not done face-to-face.

Jay (27:25):

Yeah. And sometimes these changes, these shifts in population, become the norm. Now you went to, at OTC, as well as a number of colleges throughout Missouri and South South Western part of the state, went to hybrid formats or went to online format. How has that translated into the next year and how do you see that moving forward? Is it going to be coming back to a norm, is the norm pre-COVID going to happen? Or did, did the system have to change to respond to different choices?

Speaker 3 (28:09):

In many ways, we are in the middle stage of making some determinations about what we know. So let's take a step back, if we think, we know that in some ways in the spring, there was lots of pivoting that had to happen. That were some things that weren't planned, that all of a sudden we have to change. And then we went to summer and we implemented a model where there was more certainty as to the fact that we're probably not going to be able to do things, in a face-to-face way over the summertime. So then we took some of the things that happened in the spring, and we implemented in the summer. Now we're starting to get some better data sets. Let's put it that way about some of the classes that we taught online for the first time or some of the classes that we flipped to hybrid, and I've tried that now we're starting to get some data back larger data sets that allow us to have more confidence in terms of how students are doing. Now, I think still, there's an element for us in the community college realm, where when we talk about workforce placement, in a sense of being prepared, where you'd have to take licensure exams and things like that, there's another level of scrutiny that's going to happen at some point in time, regardless of whether or not students are getting A's and B's in their classes. But the data set is getting a little bit stronger as to were we able to teach in a hybrid format in an effective way? And on that level, I think there's a lot of confidence in the decisions that were made in the pivoting in mid-spring, and then again in the summertime. I think there's a lot of affirmation that we've seen with that. Specifically I think of like natural health science classes that had labs and things of that nature where they're like, "Oh gosh, how are we going to do that in a hybrid online format?" Well, some of those classes we pivoted, that we hadn't ever before taught in that way. I don't want to say that everything is definitive, but the data set is getting stronger, that some of those classes can be taught in that way effectively. And something that we've talked about a little bit before and something that kind of makes me curious is in the high school format, right? You have—I say high school, it's really all the way through grade school—you've gotfamilies, you have parents as well as students that have been familiarized with hybrid and online, like never before. And it's taken the fear out of some of those mechanisms. And I'm as curious as the next person to find out what happens when you take a generation of students like that, who all of the sudden they're more familiarized with it. And how does that change the market going forward? I have to think on some level, the amount of in-person classes that we'll teach, will probably not go all the way back to pre- COVID times. How that balance between online hybrid and, you know, in and seated format looks, [we don't know]. But I'm as curious as the next person as to how much that really is going to regress back, or come back to the median that we experienced before COVID hit.

Jay (31:32):

I think we can, we can see varying philosophies and prognostications on that. We're talking to Evan Ray, Director of Student Success at Ozark Technical Community College in Southwest Missouri. And we're talking about student success and the lessons that we can learn from community colleges. I'm gonna have you now put on your Nostradamus hat, Evan, just for a moment, because there's a number of really interesting things that are in play that probably affect you first, being at a community college. One is this idea of hybrid learning. I think like you said, there's going to be a generation that community colleges are situating themselves to be kind of on the front edge of the adoption of that. You're going to be a first adopter of some of those things in ways that other colleges systems maybe don't have the flexibility to do so, that's a really interesting thing. But there's also conversations at the national level, that the new administration is talking about, on free college. What does that look like? And I think to benefit of a lot of students, community colleges might be the first colleges in the system to be able to provide that. I mean, there's pockets around the country that have some of that now already available, but on a national level, how do you see some of those things being put into play and how do you see community colleges being able to adapt and embrace what's coming up down the road as opposed to a lot of colleges that are kind of running from it?

Evan (33:19):

I think, you know, it's funny, there are two dynamics that I see when I look at those things. One of which, especially as it affects the community college world and the population that we serve here in Southwest Missouri, is we do have a high amount of need students. I mean, obviously they span a variety of demographics, but we have a high amount of need. And so for a lot of students, whether it's Pell or, in the state of Missouri, we have A-Plus that provides tuition guarantees, we have things in place that are already pushing the general population, a sense of the value of higher education or higher education at community college. You know, if I'm a community college and I see this going into place, whether it's A-Plus or otherwise, what I see that that's really tremendously valuable is that it's getting a stamp of approval in some ways. It's saying, yes, this is a great place to pursue your higher education. The dynamic I'm concerned about always when we talk about that aspect is, for our brothers and sisters in community college, we're really quick to conceive or to concede that our quality of education is not high enough, or that it's lesser than, and some of the things that I try to talk about with folks about as we are reaching out to prospective students, or even speaking to the community is, "Look at the overall experience that, that students have at a community college." It's better to have nuanced conversation, and a better understanding about the true, great academic quality that we offer. It's not just simply that it's affordable or it's free or something along those lines. You've got great faculty here who have great stories. You've got to tell those stories, you have to get those out because otherwise, sometimes it's left to the community to assume that it's either lesser than, or it's not good enough. And, um, and I think that there's a great opportunity for a lot of our people that are in the community college world to send a different message—that it's actually high quality in addition to the fact that it's affordable. And in addition to the fact that we holistically care for you. And we think about those things.

Jay (35:43):

Right. Right. Well, I think, in my experience, as well as the colleges I talked to, 15-20 years ago, as we looked at college competition sets, we'd say, "Who do we lose students to?" At the time 15-20 years ago, I would've said mostly, because I was at a private college, I was losing the private colleges. Maybe I was losing to other four-year colleges, publics. But as time went on, in the last 10 years, I saw more and more in the top 10 group, a lot of community colleges, they're losing good students to community college. And it's not because of anything else other than, "Well, I think I'm going to go there two years. I see the value of that. And then I'm going to transfer in." I think in some ways, community colleges have built the value message to a larger audience, and that continues to grow

Evan (36:37):

Well, and if we go back to what it looked like 15 or 20 years ago in the community college realm, we didn't have as many proactive systems put in place. So then you had more oh-my-gosh-stories—this was the horror story with my son or daughter or something like that. Now we're moving into a direction where we're putting things in place to make sure that they're having better interventions, that they're getting better guidance as they go on, whether they're going to be with us for two years and they're going to be out in the workforce, or they're going to go to their four-year school of choice. Now of a sudden it's more nimble. It's looking in a way that's more understanding of the qualitative aspect of a student and the need for that personalization. And so I think, and just like anything, if you start having those student outcomes, that narrative starts to radiate out into the community and it starts to change the overall impression and it becomes more nuanced. And that's what I'm really excited about being here at OTC, and looking at brothers and sisters across the country that are trying to implement these more proactive measures.

Jay (37:49):

It seems community colleges are moving into the space of recruiting and being aggressive and being intentional about not only telling the story, but branding their school, about recruiting in ways that are typically even seen from a lot of four-year colleges, by a lot of schools with maybe some bigger budgets, but a marketing philosophy and marketing intentionality that makes them a player in a lot of marketplaces, which I am very thankful for. I think for a number of colleges, that's going to be kind of a scary thing, but for community colleges, they need to do that in order to draw the best and brightest students.

Evan (38:33):

And something that I've come across as we start to prepare individuals, and as we're putting human resources into place to reach out more proactively to prospective students, regardless of whether they're the traditional or the non-traditional, or how they look, one of the things that are doing that work, or that we're going to have do that work, I've had some interviews with them, actually this past week. And one of the challenges that I saw was I would ask them, what was your relationship with your admission counselor when you went to college? And more often than not, the sense was that they didn't really have a relationship with an admissions counselor. And there were certainly a variety of stories about the way that they got connected to higher education and the way it worked. Well, one of the things that I see as a challenge as we move forward with this model and something that I'm just kind of cognizant of is, at the four-year privates, boy, we talked about how relationship building works and the way it works. And it was modeled in some ways, because they probably went through something like that before. But how do you do that? How do you start training and thinking about it for individuals that may not have had that personalization? So that it's authentic and it feels right. And that's a challenge, a welcome challenge. But I think the challenge that we have kind of moving forward.

Jay (40:03):

Evan I'm looking at my Mickey watch here and we have run out of time, but I have so appreciated the conversation with you today. Your experience, both in public and, and in community college, as well as private. I just find it fascinating how you've been able to bring those worlds together. And thank you for sharing your experience today.

Evan (40:23):

Jay, it's been a pleasure. Thanks for this opportunity to speak to you.

Jay (40:26):

Thanks a lot, Evan. All right. You've been listening to the Enrollment Edge podcast. Enrollment Edge is sponsored by enrollmentFUEL, a full-service Student Search and marketing partner to colleges and universities. If you're listening on Apple podcasts, please give us a five star rating and review. Your feedback will help us remain relevant and on the edge. Enrollment Edge is produced by Alison Walls. I'm your host, Jeff Fedje. Thanks for listening.