Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Edward Raspiller

Committee Member

Danica Hays

Committee Member

Cynthia S. Bambara


Enrollment management has become a common practice at four-year institutions, but has not been extensively explored at community colleges. As students have more educational options available to them, community colleges have begun to explore ways to grow their enrollment, improve student retention and increase graduation rates. This study explored the critical components necessary for implementing a successful enrollment management initiative at three community colleges across the U.S.

To determine the critical components at community colleges, a case study was conducted. Each case was evaluated individually and then the three cases were compared with each other to determine thematic similarities and differences. This study determined why the community college implemented enrollment management, how their initiative was structured, what some of the successful and unsuccessful aspects of their initiative were and how their plan was evaluated. To gather information, interviews were conducted with the college enrollment manager, focus groups were held with the college's enrollment management committee, and college planning documents were reviewed.

The findings of the study indicated community colleges were most successful at implementing enrollment management when there were high levels of collaboration, communication, and institutional commitment. Barriers to success were found to include a lack of institutional commitment and limited staffing, space, and financial resources.

Recommendations to community college practitioners include developing routine meetings with key offices at the college to discuss enrollment, establishing clear timelines for evaluating the plan, and to give the staff responsible for the enrollment management effort the authority to make decisions impacting enrollment decisions. Implications of the findings may assist community colleges as they consider implementing enrollment management practices at their campuses.


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