Date of Award

4-2020

Rights

© 2020 Karen H. Schedin

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Laura Bertonazzi

Second Advisor

Leslie Hitch

Third Advisor

John Parker

Abstract

The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological analysis study was to learn and describe college admissions directors’ understanding of declining high school graduate numbers through 2030 and the implications for new student recruitment. The eight study participants represented eight New England Catholic colleges or universities with a full-time undergraduate enrollment under 3,600 and an acceptance rate of 60% or higher. Participants took part in semi-structured interviews, providing answers to open-ended questions that addressed the study’s two research questions: What is admission directors’ level of understanding about the impending 2020–2030 enrollment crisis at small, less-selective, private Catholic colleges and universities in New England? and What is the role of admissions directors at small, less-selective, private Catholic colleges and universities in New England in the institutional response to the enrollment crisis?

Data analysis revealed three themes: level of understanding of impending enrollment crisis, enrollment crisis effect on institutional sustainability, and role of admissions directors and sphere of influence. Findings showed that all participants expressed similar, if not identical, concerns regarding the impending enrollment crisis with an uneven depth of knowledge. The study also showed that none of the 8 admissions directors felt their institution was at immediate risk of closing, despite the impending enrollment crisis. Also, their sphere of influence on their campuses in the institutional response to the enrollment crisis is limited, but heavily depended upon.

Comments

Ed.D. Dissertation

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