Enrollment at Keene State College has been on the decline for the past several years, which is causing the college to start looking closer into strategies to get more students to enroll.
In a recent New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) article with KSC Interim President Dr. Melinda Treadwell, she said there is going to be a new task force beginning this week to look closer at the school’s admissions strategies. Treadwell said the group will meet next month to give preliminary recommendations on how to improve enrollment.
The Equinox spoke to current KSC students to see how they saw Keene State College being promoted and what made them ultimately decide to attend the school.
Senior Casey Sault is from Keene, New Hampshire. Sault, who is an education major, said, “When I went to Keene High School, I knew that I wanted to come to Keene State College because of the strong education program. When I was in high school, though I never saw any promotion telling people to ‘come visit Keene State,’ I think that promoting Keene State more at the high school and having classes make visits would be good to help make the Keene High students more interested.”
While some feel that in-person promotion helps a lot, there are others who feel KSC is lacking in its online presence. First-year Taylor Rhoades said, “The school should promote more online. I always see Southern New Hampshire University and University of New Hampshire promoted on Pandora and other places online, but I never see Keene State College promoted anywhere.”
Charles Katz is a sophomore and safety major from Massachusetts who said KSC should let people know just how many academic opportunities the school has to offer. “The reason I wanted to attend Keene State is because of their amazing safety program and how small the class sizes were. I liked the fact that class sizes were small so that I could have a close relationship with my professors,” said Katz.
For many KSC students, the drive to Keene State College is hours away. Allison Mahan is an education major and sophomore at KSC from New York. Mahan said, “I never heard about Keene State College online or on TV, it was all word of mouth for me. I applied to 10 different schools, and I chose to be here because I wanted to go somewhere far away from home and I had heard about the phenomenal education program here.”
Danielle Rae, who is also an education major, said she was deciding between Keene State and Westfield State University when deciding on which college she wanted to attend. Rae said, “The thing about Keene that made me want to come here more than other choices was the general atmosphere of the town and how the campus looked.”
Rae said she has heard quite a bit about the low enrollment problem that KSC is currently facing. “The teachers talk about the low enrollment problem a lot. I think a solution could be for the school to offer more scholarships. I think that will lead to more interest in coming here.”
Melinda Treadwell said in the interview with NHPR that the goal is to more clearly identify its niche and connect with students who are likely to enroll at KSC. She said, “Private and public alike who know who they are, and double down on that prospect, are the ones that are successful right now.”
Colby Dudal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org