The enrollment management problem led to a “communications audit”: the college gathered every piece of information each department sent to students about signing up for classes. The total was overwhelming, said Kimberley Collins, assistant vice president for academic services at Monroe: in all, the college and its departments had created 286 separate communications about enrollment. Most of those messages — 60 percent — were e-mails; 30 percent were letters and 10 percent were phone calls.
Effective communication is crucial for community college students, Collins said. While frequent reminders might help students at a residential college, who are on campus 24 hours a day and can easily respond to reminders by dropping by the right office, community college students are often only on campus for class, and too-frequent reminders are overwhelming and confusing instead of helpful.