To Enroll or Not to Enroll

By Paul Elliott

Brockport Beat Instagram Manager

The enrollment of a college is bound to go through ups and downs. Over a five year span, The College At Brockport saw these effects. Between the years of 2015 and 2019 enrollment dropped from 8,161 students to 7,924. Meaning over the course of these five years the school has lost roughly 237 students. These numbers can be impacted both by enrollment itself and by the retention of students as some may level the college before graduating.

            There are a variety of reasons for the changes in enrollment numbers. Each year, respectively, is different and there is no telling how many students will actually enroll. Darlene Schmitt, Associate Director of the Brockport Counseling Center, credits four different reasons for students regretting or not coming to The College At Brockport.

            “ I have however worked with students who regretted their decision to come to Brockport, although I wouldn’t say I see that “often”. When it does come up, it is usually related to one or more of the following:  Geographic location, Lack of diversity, Disappointment with the academic program, Difficulty finding a “place” where they fit; lack of connections with others,” Schmitt said.

            Many of these reasons are common for students who chose not only to attend Brockport but any college for that matter. One reason in particular highlighted by Schmitt has been a problem at Brockport and that is academic programming. Schmitt would highlight that when it comes to academic programming lack of course options is a problem. This was echoed by Tia Kennedy who is an Academic Advisor at the college.

            “This is a tough one. We are working on offering more online classes. These are especially helpful for nontraditional students who need flexibility in their schedules,” Kennedy said.

            It’s common for students to select colleges based on the classes they offer. Although there are a lot of options at Brockport sometimes they don’t meet the needs of every student. In particular, at Brockport, the Communication program rarely offers online classes. At Brockport, it is said over and over how important in-person classes are, but it’s not always the best option for students. However, there are a lot of great things Brockport does as Kennedy highlights saying “students support services are lucrative”.

            “Student support resources are lucrative. Both in and out of the classroom, it is important to find an institution that is student-centered. This means offering services like tutoring, academic coaching, soft skill prep like time management, study skills, and more,” Kennedy said.

Brockport Enrollment Summary 2015-2019
Data from SUNY Brockport

            To help enrollment Brockport can add more resources for incoming students. Students become more comfortable when they know they will get more help. Robert Wyant who is the Director Of Undergraduate Admissions shares that Brockport has a beautiful campus and to get more students to enroll it starts with getting them to the campus.

            “Our philosophy is pretty simple – get them to visit the campus. We have a beautiful campus with amazing faculty and staff who care about our students. When we have a student visit, and they can get in front of faculty and/or staff members, their likelihood of enrolling increases,”  Wyant said.

A lot of times for a college that’s what it all comes down to. The more students that can see the campus the better the chance of them enrolling. As an institution, Brockport does its best to continue to provide new assets to students both in and out of the classroom. Some years are better than others for enrollment but overall The College At Brockport has maintained a steady flow of students. Each year is a new opportunity to learn more about what students need and what will get them to enroll.

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