1 Education Drive

Room F-3293 Garden City, New York 11530

How to Improve Enrollment

We all know NCC is “enrollment challenged,” so we encourage the administration to adopt the following policies:

  • Give our students a simpler, easier online application and an “instant acceptance.” The NCC Home page should focus on applying to NCC with large and easy-to-find links on pages. One click should take the student to the online application page. If SCC can do this, why can’t NCC? https://www.sunysuffolk.edu/

August 20, 2022 addendum:
At the June 27 Nassau County Legislature’s meeting, NCC Interim President Maria Conzatti replied to Presiding Officer Richard Nicollelo’s questions about NCC’s lack of a fully online application, saying, “That will be launching this month. That has been taken care of.” It is now August 20, and NCC still does not have a fully online application. Nassau County deserves better.

  • Consider embedding a link to the online application in media promotions.
  • Waive student application fees, if not permanently, then at least for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Extend the deadline for fall registration. 
  • Do not drop students who have not paid their tuition on time. Often their financial aid awards arrive after the semester has started. Work with students more to help them navigate financial aid and figure out payment plans.
  • Do not cancel low enrollment classes in early to mid-August. Many departments experience last minute registration and with the continued application problems we need to let classes run. Cancelling classes so early results in late registering students not being able to register for much needed classes, hurts NCC’s reputation, and has hurt enrollment in the past.
  • Create more late start classes and second half of the semester classes.
  • Aggressively promote the Excelsior Scholarship for full-time students (it only covers tuition so staying local helps financially) and the New York State Part-Time Scholarship (PTS Award Progam) which has a due date of Aug. 15.
  • Add the PTS Award to the NCC Financial page website. 
  • Aggressively promote NCC’s excellence and academic opportunities.  Our recent blog posts about faculty achievements from our Biology, Communications, and English departments are just a few examples. 
  • Do not merge departments, which, if done without consultation with the Academic Senate and established policy, is illegal, and which will certainly create more internal chaos harming our students, the college’s reputation and, yes, enrollment.

Promote NCC in a positive and appealing manner on social media and in the community, and let’s make it easy to apply.

If readers have any more suggestions on how to improve enrollment, please send to: communications@nccft.org.

6 Responses

  1. Once you have a student (customer) in the chair, make a schedule with them. This is especially true for first time students. We give a student a list of courses, say take these courses and they use schedule builder, the student puts in ideal times and when they can’t find classes, they go elsewhere. They need to understand Banner and how to build a schedule.
    Have more classes available at popular times. If you say they just have to take a 3:30 class before you open another earlier class, they will go elsewhere. Students have work, family responsibilities (not just as parents), and play sports. They cannot take later classes.
    Obviously better advertising. Queensboro went after our students with an aggressive marketing campaign. It featured a map with a big star and the slogan, “Queensboro, closer than you think!” It was at every LIRR stop on the Ronkonkoma line from around the Nassau/Suffolk border through Penn station.
    More support for CSD, first generation, and non traditional students they do not always have the support they need.
    Students need real advisors. People they can turn to for a check in either initiated by the student or the faculty member. They need to know about the support services available on campus. Yes this is all on the website. Yes, many faculty put it into their syllabus but it’s not the same as a real human connection. As faculty, we see our students and we are their connection.
    Each and every student needs to have someone they can go to and ask questions. Someone they with whom they already have a connection.
    PS – I’m giving you my personal email not my NCC email.

  2. Thank you so much for this check list! Is it possible to have access to student email lists in different degree programs to encourage registration for fall classes?

  3. Thank you NCCFT for a thoughtful and insightful list of suggestions to our enrollment situation. When I started at NCC in 1983 we were the “largest single-campus community college” in the SUNY system. We were also the highest paid faculty all community colleges. We can no longer claim either of these distinctions.
    I attribute our present situation to the following.
    1. A politically-driven Board of Trustees
    2. A union that catered to the BOT, at the expense of the faculty and students.
    3. A Lack of strong leadership in the administration.
    4. The erosion of shared governance.
    5. And many more problems
    I am relieved that we have restored strong union leadership to our college. When the BOT recognises that it is the reputation of the faculty, not the administration that feeds enrollment, maybe we can begin to make NCC the extraordinary college that it once was.

  4. Oh and one more thing to help enrollment: do not drop students who have not paid their tuition on time. Sometimes they are trying to navigate the financial aid and their award comes after the semester has started. Advertise better that students can pay in several installments. I also wonder if students wait until late August to register so that they do not have to pay earlier their tuition.

  5. Our registration process is unfair to both students and faculty. Planning a scheduled one year in advance only to have it cancelled a few weeks before the beginning of the semester should be an indication that something is wrong. By setting class sizes at near maximum levels currently results in a broad distribution of limited resources – student enrollment. Regrettably, this is also compounded by scheduling adjunct courses and allowing registration simultaneously with full-time faculty schedules. Class size should be reduced to more realistic levels considering the current climate of enrollment. Department chairs should be allowed to have greater input in class sizes and therefore more over-tally numbers.

    Currently we have courses in the Biology Dept which max out their class sizes while other sections have only 4-6 students in them and these are for full-time faculty. These low registered course often get cancelled shortly before the semester begins, requiring those who registered in those sections to scramble for other sections and/or completely revamping their original schedules. Dropping paid students for courses they registered for in the prior semester is NOT sending a good message about how we value our most important resource. Many students plan their course schedules around work scheduled which means that some students will either miss work hours or will not be able to take the desired courses.

    If class sizes were reduced to more realistic numbers there would be less cancellations. This would be a positive for the student as well as for the faculty member. Once these courses run, other sections could be opened as needed. Regrettably, this is an imposition on adjunct instructors but as we are experiencing currently adjunct instructors are already decreasing due to enrollment losses.
    If a student cannot rely on the scheduled course offerings of NCC is it any surprise that they may be going elsewhere?

    These suggestions can easily be adjusted as enrollment changes in future semesters. This process has been used effectively at other institutions.

  6. Thank you for your responses; in fact, the posting has been updated to reflect at least some of them.

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