Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The Strategic Plan of the College of Our Lady of the Sims, known as Elms Plan, 1986-1990, as seven objectives with appropriate strategies associated with each objective. The purpose of this Major Applied Research Project was to examine the effectiveness of the strategies to improve enrollment and to increase financial stability. The specific research questions considered were: 1. How can past problems (or inadequacies) in student enrollment and retention best be resolved for the College of Our Lady of the Elms? 2. What does the current literature reveal about the issues related to the Major Applied Research Project? 3. What changes are needed to current strategies to achieve the desired results? 4. Are the strategies appropriate and effective for the Elms College? 5. What problems might be experienced in attaining these strategies? The samples used in this Research Project were five members of the Administrative Council (the President's Advisory group), seven other administrators, the forty full tine facility listed In the Academic Vice President’s office, the twenty-four trustees currently serving on the Board of Trustees, fifteen other colleges in the northeast similar to the Elms, selected alumnae, and selected parents. A systematic sample of about one hundred twenty-seven alumnae was used. An alphabetical listing was used and respondents were chosen from the five-year classes beginning with 1932 and ending with 1987. The selected parents came from the Parent Support Group. The Development office supplied the names or the twelve sets or parents of full-time students who are most active in this group. Interviews were held with the five members of the Administrative Council and with the Director on Admissions. These Interviews were audio taped. Questionnaires, asking the respondents to rate the effectiveness of the strategies in the Elms Plan on improving enrollment and increasing financial stability, were sent to the six other administrators, to the selected alumnae, to selected parents, to twenty-four trustees, and to fifteen other colleges in the northeast that are similar to the Elms. The responses of each of the interviewees were transcribed from the tape and a record of all responses was made. The responses to the questionnaires were arranged according to each group questioned, and tabulated. For each group, two tables were prepared. One presented the ratings of each group questioned on the strategies to improve enrollment. The other table gave the ratings of each group on the strategies to increase financial stability. The results of both the interviews and the questionnaires were delineated. These results were shared with the President and the Central Planning Committee. Some of the main conclusions drawn from this case study were as follows: 1. Problems with enrollment and retention may best be solved through a serious enrollment management program. 2. A definite change is needed in fund raising techniques. 3. In general, the strategies are effective and appropriate but respondents believe there are too many and they are too idealistic. 4. Problems involving cost and space are anticipated. Among the major recommendations are the following: 1. Establish an enrollment management program providing for both recruitment and retention. 2. Employ a professional Director of Development to increase income through grants, bequests, and endowments. 3. Concentrate on the two objectives whose strategies are the subject of this Research Project, i.e., to improve enrollment and to increase financial stability. 4. Devise a contingency plan to provide financially for the decrease of religious women on the staff.

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