New Oleans, LA, March 20, 2011 -

Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas has been named the winner of the 2011 SunGard Higher Education Award for Institutional Performance. The University was recognized for its successful student-focused strategic enrollment management effort that produced the largest entering freshman class in its history. The announcement was made during the opening session of the annual SunGard Summit user conference. In addition to the award, Tarleton State University received $10,000 for student scholarships. 

Facing reduced state funding, a decreasing enrollment base and increasing competition for students, Tarleton’s president, Dr. Dominic Dottavio, initiated a student-focused strategic enrollment management plan to move from “enrollment by chance” to “enrollment by design” to help sustain institutional growth and promote student success.   

To help address the objectives of improving overall participation in recruitment activities and increasing enrollment in first-time freshmen and new transfers, Tarleton implemented the Banner Relationship Management (BRM) and Recruiting and Admissions Performance (RAP) solutions from SunGard Higher Education. The solutions helped the University’s various divisions to collaboratively initiate and foster relationships with particular groups of prospective students in a purposeful manner. Tarleton was also able to streamline and integrate many processes critical to improving applicant yield such as housing application and orientation registration.  

The University’s integrated recruitment campaign, launched in 2009, included a comprehensive series of consistent communications. The outreach program consisted of email, direct mail and portal communications about programs of study, financial aid options and campus tour opportunities.  It also included an introductory video and other relevant information to aid and motivate students in their decision making process. Additionally, a prospective student portal (PSP) was used as an applicant channel to guide applicants in the enrollment process and provide a status of the student’s position in the enrollment funnel. 

According to the University, enrollment growth exceeded its admittance goal, and also delivered record-breaking results. Achievements included: 

  • Overall attendance increase of 79% at the University’s campus preview day 
  • Daily campus tours bypassed historical numbers by 22% and group tour participation grew by 140% 
  • Enrollment growth covered 51% of the 2010-11 budget reductions, helping to mitigate the salary reductions and mandated furloughs that other Texas institutions were facing 

“Competition for students in Texas is fierce,” said Denise Groves, dean of enrollment management at Tarleton State University. “The proactive, student-focused ‘enrollment by design’ vision of President Dottavio guided the collaborative teamwork of the various University departments. The SunGard Higher Education relationship management and recruiting and admissions solutions helped to drive a successful enrollment initiative that has the momentum and potential to sustain this upward growth trend for years to come. We are so proud to receive this year’s SunGard Higher Education Award for Institutional Performance and look forward to using the scholarship to further support our students’ success.” 

Tarleton’s recruitment momentum is continuing. Based on current numbers, the University expects its fall 2011 entering freshman class to surpass 2010.  

The SunGard Higher Education Award for Institutional Performance recognizes one institution of higher education for measurable institutional performance improvements supported through SunGard Higher Education technologies and/or services. Institutions that earned 2011 finalist recognition include: 

  • Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio) - leveraged technology to improve 72 processes, increased availability of student funds by 72%, and improved help desk resolution by 92%. 
  • Delaware Technical and Community College (Delaware) - created a student education plan that pushed persistence and completion to 82%.  
  • ESSEC Business School (France) - improved processes to manage student exchanges at 120 partner universities, freeing 360 hours of staff time.   
  • Jamestown Community College (New York) – saved nearly $7,000 per semester by automating faculty load and compensation. 
  • Northwest University (Washington) - mitigated learning interruption during the H1N1 flu pandemic by capturing lectures and delivering more than 1,500 hours of online instruction. 
  • Tennessee Board of Regents (Tennessee) - developed a collaborative initiative to deliver more than 180 key performance indicators, for actionable intelligence across 19 functional areas. 
  • University of Texas El Paso (Texas) - increased spring-to-fall persistence to 87% with automated degree planning and advising. 

“Each year the Performance Award provides us with the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the tremendous innovation, creativity and vision of our customers working to further student success at their institutions,” said Ron Lang, chief executive officer, SunGard Higher Education. “All of the nominees are commendable examples of enhancing institutional performance and promoting individual achievement. We feel privileged to support these institutions in these accomplishments and their continuing endeavors.”