April 23,1998

Aggressive marketing, orientation pay off in increased enrolment

Commerce enrolment shows definite rise

The Faculty of Commerce and Administration has been aggressively marketing itself, and the payoffs have begun to show.

For one thing, the Faculty has shown a substantial increase in enrolment, thanks to determined efforts in recruiting, both local and international.

Figures for September 1997 show a 10-per-cent rise over the previous fall, and the number of students who entered in January 1998 was 57 per cent higher than for January 1997.

Incredibly, this was accomplished with a raising, rather than lowering, of the Faculty's admission standards.

Part of the increased enrolment was accomplished by undertaking an international recruiting campaign. Because education fairs are held in many countries, and are an excellent way to reach large numbers of potential students and their families, faculty members have been representing Concordia's business school around the world this year.

Vishwanath Baba (Management) went to the West Indies Education Fair, Mahesh Sharma (Decision Sciences/MIS) to the India Education Fair, Miguel Carillo to the Mexican Fair, and Dale Doreen (Dec Sci/MIS) to the one in Prague. The Faculty has also sent two representatives to an education fair in Dubai later this week, accompanied by Richard Diubaldo, Director of Continuing Education.

Meanwhile, Harold Simpkins (Marketing) has been to Toronto and New York to recruit in colleges and high schools, and a brochure was specially designed for foreign students and their parents about life in Montreal. It is being translated into several languages.

Also, every new student is required to attend an orientation session before registering (except for the international students, who arrive already registered). More than 100 sessions are given each year.

Associate Dean Danielle Morin, who is responsible for Academic and Student Affairs, said recently that these orientation sessions can be the determining factor in persuading students to choose Concordia over another business school that may also have accepted them.

As well as showing them the Faculty's features, the sessions guide students through the intricacies of registration, course selection and program requirements, and brings them together with classmates before classes start.

Under Morin's direction, the Faculty has been making special efforts to increase its share of the local francophone market. Two years ago, she instituted portes ouvertes (open houses) in the francophone CEGEPs. Ten students came the first year, 30 the next year, and 62 last year. Anne-Marie Croteau (DecSci/MIS), Marie-France Turcotte (Management) and Pierre Brunet (Management) have all been active in these portes ouvertes.

Before their program starts, incoming francophone students are encouraged to attend Faire le grand saut, a two-week intensive course in English-language study skills. As a result of these recruitment efforts, francophone enrolment is steadily climbing in the Faculty, with a 20-per-cent increase in francophone students in September 1997 over the previous year.

- BB

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