Office of Undergraduate Admissions
In considering our plans for Phase 2, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions went beyond simply recruiting more BIPOC students and considered the experience of BIPOC families and prospective students when they interact with us. While we include two initiatives that are aimed specifically at adding more "cold" BIPOC prospects to the top of our funnel, we are also focused on the experience of the students we are recruiting.
We spent time thinking about what department behaviors and processes produce inequitable outcomes. It is worth noting that there are gains that could be made in the enrolled number of BIPOC students on campus with growth in the university's financial aid budget. We did not include that as an ambition in this plan. However, even with that as a reality, we believe there are other things we can change or establish that could have a positive impact on the number of BIPOC students who choose Brandies. Our high-level goal here is to actively work to effect change in how BIPOC students experience the entirety of the recruitment process from our promotional materials early on to engaging in admitted students' day just before matriculation.
My overarching goal for the department is to employ a diverse and culturally competent professional and student staff. I would like prospective students and their families to feel heard and seen when they interact with anyone associated with the Admissions department. Despite the revenue demands necessary in our enrollment targets, I would still like to have a goal of fostering the same level of access and outreach to BIPOC families as we do to others.
This can happen in quantifiable ways, such as better tracking the demographic makeup of the schools at which we actively recruit and considering how we communicate with students, on the web, in print and in person. Being more thoughtful and deliberate about the experience BIPOC students have in our recruitment process is in and of itself another way for us to grow our prospect, applicant and matriculant pool. We need to continue to assess how we read files and actively work to remove bias from our process. We interact regularly, in multiple venues and through multiple platforms, with students from all backgrounds and all corner of the world. I would like to continue working toward a department culture where anti-bias and cultural competency training are part of ongoing professional development.
We also have many student workers and leadership positions in our office. We should continue to thoughtfully and actively consider how we advertise openings in our department and ensure that our outreach is filtering to all parts of the campus community. In doing this, we must always be working to achieve a diverse and representative group of student employees in our office as well.
We have employed mentoring programs in our department in the past, but we can do more. We can formally make working for us more of an internship, and put effort into keeping the student leadership diverse and representative as well. Providing this professional training can put students on a path for employment in our office postgraduation (possibly there is a partnership to be had with the education department).
We also regularly look to survey students for feedback on projects that arise throughout the year. With some effort and organization, we could formalize a group of students from which we regularly solicit feedback. Gaining insight and input from a diverse and representative group of students on the content of our marketing materials, campus programs, information sessions and visit program could be valuable.
Finally, we will continue to purchase BIPOC names, not only from testing services but from other vendors that don't utilize testing to get information. Where the budget allows, we will increase those quantities.