33: City-Student Partnerships at Dominican University of California w/ Vickie Alleman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Our guest this week on the Enrollment Growth University was Vickie Alleman, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Dominican University of California. Vickie shared her experience with unique municipality partnerships.

You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect e Tou podcast network. I'm Eric Olson, AVP of marketing at Helix Education, and we're here today with Vicky Ellman, vice president for enrollment management at Dominican University of California. Vicky, welcome to the show. Thank you, Eric. I'm really excited to talk with you today about student city partnerships and the enrollment benefits and other benefits of creating those. But before we dig too deep into that, Vigie, can you get the listeners a little bit better understanding of both Dominican and your rule? They're absolutely Dominican University of California is located in Marin County,...

...so we're just north of San Francisco. Marin is a beautiful area to live in and many students, when they come to our campus, say this is like being in a national park. They really love it here. It's very comfortable, there's a lot of outdoors. We have about eighteen hundred students. About about fourteen hundred of those are undergraduate. The rest are graduate, and we have about thirty undergraduate majors and recently have started new programs like physician assistant and MFA and creative writing. So we're growing. The university itself has a Dominican experience and that's something that we've been developing over the last couple of years and we were actually just featured in the chronicle of higher education because our president is one of the people in the country spearheading this approach to higher education, and so we're very proud of that. That's awesome. so much good stuff coming out of your institution, including this idea of a working more deeply and...

...in trench with municipal partnerships. Can you get us a high level overview of this reimagining citizenship program you've developed with the local city of Nevado? Yes, well, Nevado is a town about ten miles north of San Ra fell, where we're located, and the mayor they are, Josh Friday, was a first gen student himself and he approached us back in October and wanted to talk about a potential partnership. He was intrigued with our Dominican experience and, in particular, how we integrate students into the local community. We also see so many students going away to college, but in the last couple of years the trend has been to maybe stay at home or stay closer to home, and so we thought this would just help us in so many ways and help the city and, of course, help our students. We have a piece of the Dominican experience that is about community engagement and internships, and so as we started talking to the mayor, we then talked to the city manager, we...

...had several meetings with the academic staff here, the enrollment staff and the city of Nevado and started developing this idea of some kind of a partnership. We didn't know what to call it in the beginning, and then we thought, you know, look at the environment and what's going on in our country. Isn't it about what's happening with citizenship and what that means and how it's changing? And so as we started developing it, this is what we came up with, which is a partnership where the University has scholarships available up to a hundred thousand dollars for a student who qualifies with at least a three point o GPA, and the city kicks in Tenzero over two summers for internships, and then the students receive credits for that when they're a Dominican student, because the the internships can actually start before they enroll their first semester. So it's the summer before your refreshment and the summer after your Refreshman Vicki, is such a...

...creative idea. So the city in the VADO has skin in the game through this tenzero internships tipe in their offering your students. You also have a lot of skin in the game with this up to a hundred thousand dollar in scholarships that you mentioned. Free student participant. Is this more of a missional initiative that aligns well with your Dominican experience, or are you legitimately excited about the potential enrollment lift that can come from partnerships like this? Well, I think it's both. You know, I think it's both. I think we always want a deeper experience for our students and, as I said, earlier. The Dominican experience has been evolving over the last two or three years and we're about three quarters of the way with implementation and the goal is that one hundred percent of students have the Dominican Experience, which includes coaching, community engagement, selfdirected work, which is a signature project, and then proof of experience, which is a digital portfolio that students have so that when they're out in the...

...job market now they have something tangible to show. Do we want an enrollment list? Absolutely. What we find is now in higher education we are all competing for students and so we want to bring value to the students and we want the value of our education to be as robust as possible. So I think it's a little both. It's awesome. The you why is it so important for institutions to who worked towards developing healthy partnerships with local cities, for the enrollment opportunities like you mentioned, but also job placement opportunities for graduate students, civic engagement and more. Well, you know, I think it's number one. It's good public service right. It's good for us to have close knit relationships with our communities because we are an employer in the community. We are a producer of undergraduates and graduates and what we see is the majority of our students stay in the northern California area. So I see it very much is our contribution to being a good employer and being a higher education institution and...

...it's a lot about our contribution to the community. And you know, then, from their perspective it gives them more to offer their employees. For example, at the city of Nevado, their city council members and employees are so excited about having this kind of a program where they know they're going to have a certain number of students coming in the summer and right now they're working on all the different kinds of internships that could have available. Awesome. Thank you. Just launched this remagining citizenship program this spring. What is the interest been from students so far? Well, the interest right now we have about fifteen students who are interested and we're pretty happy about that because we only announced this in FIB Duary, so in the enrollment world that's a short timeline. Yeah, and students can enroll right so they're seniors right now. Many of them have already made their decisions. Many of them are making their decisions by May one. So the deadline is upon us in March for students to apply.

There is a separate application for reimagining citizenship, which is the name of the program. So they have to apply to Dominican and they apply to the program, and so it's all happening right now. We're on a short timeline. We had an event last week where we had parents and students and city council members attend. We actually went about an hour over the hour designated time because people had so many questions about again, how do the scholarships work? How do I qualify? What are the internships? You know I'm a nursing student. Will I be able to work in a healthcare setting? Those kinds of questions. So again, we're all pretty excited about it and we're developing it as we go. It's awesome, great early indicators. But Ye, has this initiative made you or your fellow colleague excited about trying to develop partnerships with other local cities near Dominican? It is, and we've been talking about that and how we could be very strategic with other cities. For example, we're located in the city of San Rafel and there are eleven cities and Marine County,...

...so we could just start right there and that could keep us busy for the next couple of years. But the other thing that was kind of exciting is when I was talking to someone at the one of the local school districts, she said, you know, we employ students and have interns here in the county education department. Would you be interested in maybe talking to us? So I think there's potential beyond cities for other organizations that are governmental who want the same kind of program it's so awesome, biggie. Any next step advice for institutions who are listening to this and looking to take that next step in and start making better in roads and partnerships with their local cities? Absolutely, I mean I think the first step is you need to have something to offer them. So for us, the Dominican experience is that robust offering an experience that we have for the student. And then you have to have some skin...

...in the game. So we are offering a little bit higher scholarship to students who enroll in this program. And then the second piece is to start networking, if you haven't already, with your local elected officials or your education departments and start talking to them about how can we work more closely together so that this can benefit all of us, benefit the students and ultimately it benefits the community. So good, good, thank you. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any follow up questions? Well, there's a couple of ways. I mean, I think linkedin is usually the best place for people to connect with me, but also my email address is Vicky and it's VIIC KIE dot Allaman at Dominican got eed, you awesome. Thanks again so much for joining us today, Viki. Well, thank you, Eric, I really appreciate it. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and...

...universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Slash playbook you've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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