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- August 2005 / BPC Enrollment Representatives
Lead Symposium at National Conference
BPC Enrollment Representatives Lead Symposium
at National Conference
Brewton-Parker College’s current
Enrollment Services dean and the division’s
former vice president recently turned an idea into a symposium that they
helped lead at a national enrollment issues conference in Washington, D.C.
Brad Kissell, who became executive dean after Dr. John Waters left his vice
presidency to become pastor at First Baptist Church in Statesboro in May, and
Waters joined two others to lead a series of sessions designed for Christian
colleges and universities during the annual Noel-Levitz National Conference
on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention.
The conference, which ran from July 27-30, offered member institutions the
option of Christian college and university seminars for the first time after
Kissell and Waters presented the idea to Noel-Levitz, which advises more than
1,700 campuses on recruiting, retention and marketing issues.
“With Noel-Levitz not being a Christian organization, you don’t
expect it to be one of its main topics, because there are tons to choose from
the entire week,” said, Kissell, adding that the conference drew nearly
1,600 enrollment representatives.
Stephanie Whaley, director of Admissions at Brewton-Parker, also attended
Dr. John Waters
“John and I presented the idea to
Noel-Levitz that they have a series of sessions that affects enrollment issues
at Christian colleges. They
came back and said, ‘We would like you to create an embedded symposium
for Christian colleges.’
“We wanted to cater to the Christian market with the best practices
for Christian colleges to meet their enrollment demands,” Kissell added.
Kissell and Waters called on support from Gina Bergquist, vice president of
Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Ore.; and Dr. Steve Henderson, president
of Christian consulting for Colleges and Ministries, to lead the symposium.
“Gina works at a Bible school and seminary, so we had her to get that
perspective, and Steve had consulting for Christian colleges perspective, and
John and I felt we needed to have that additional support,” said Kissell,
who also has Christian university experience.
The resulting symposium included a pre-conference
session, which surprised Kissell when it drew what he estimated between 50
and 60 attendees. “I
was not expecting 10,” he added.
The quartet’s other sessions were titled “The Uniqueness of Recruitment
and retention at Christian Colleges and Universities”, “Six Essentials
for Enrollment Management at Christian Institutions” and a roundtable
discussion on “What’s Working at Christian Institutions.”
Other open-topic, more informal discussion opportunities were available during
the three continental breakfast sessions.
Kissell said the group’s sessions averaged about 35 attendees, which
again he said he felt was strong considering the symposium’s debut and
that about 30 sessions ran concurrently during the conference.
For the quartet’s efforts, Noel-Levitz paid for one presenter’s
conference expenses, with Waters that designated recipient, while the other
three had half their expenses covered.
“We hope to combine the best practices of recruiting, retention and
marketing without losing our Christian perspective,” Kissell said of
Brewton-Parker’s advisement from Noel-Levitz. “Noel-Levitz is known
as the leader in enrollment issues, and we hoped to combine their practices
within the context of Christian colleges and universities.”
Brewton-Parker’s head count for the
fall 2004 semester was 1,136, a 2.5 percent increase from the fall 2003 total
On the Mount Vernon campus, the head count
was 651, a 4.5 percent increase from fall 2003’s figure of 623. Of those main-campus students, 409 lived
in on-campus housing – a 22 percent rise from 325 in 2002.