The VCU Division of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success strives to attract and retain a talented and diverse student body that will not only graduate at a high rate, but also will contribute to a highly skilled 21st-century workforce.

We're comprised of multiple units that provide the primary oversight for the recruitment, retention, success and graduation of students at all levels; we are bigger and broader than the units that make up the division. SEMSS helps the institution set and meet goals associated with enrolling students at every level and supporting their success to promote retention and graduation.

Our work begins with an understanding of the world around us, including national and state trends and institutional mission and goals. As a division, we partner with many other areas throughout the university to impact campuswide marketing, recruitment and retention, tuition pricing, financial aid, academic and career counseling, and curriculum reform. SEMSS efforts reach far beyond our offices.

  • 1/3 of the fall 2020 freshman class is first-generation
  • 1/3 of the fall 2020 freshman class is Pell Grant eligible

Mission statement

SEMSS is committed to maximizing the university's capacity to recruit, retain, graduate and prepare broadly diverse and academically qualified students to contribute to a highly skilled 21st-century workforce through the design and execution of innovative and research-based enrollment and student success strategies in support of the university’s mission.

Core values

  • Collaborative: SEMSS builds productive relationships with external partners, VCU departments, faculty, students and alumni to address the needs of VCU, the greater Richmond area and the commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Bold: SEMSS employs a courageous and creative edge grounded in a willingness to try new, innovative and informed approaches dedicated to improving enrollment, student success and post-graduation outcomes.
  • Inclusion: SEMSS ensures a climate of mutual trust and respect where individuals of different cultural backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are embraced, engaged and empowered to drive excellence and success (VCU Quest 2025).
  • Outcomes-oriented: SEMSS fosters a culture of decision-making and continuous improvement guided by data and information that focuses on achieving quality program and service results that provide for the best positioning of VCU.
  • Expertise: SEMSS provides subject matter experts who help to interpret institutional and external requirements and policies. These experts share knowledge with the campus community; advocate for our students; protect the integrity of the institution; proactively identify challenges that may affect students, staff or faculty; and implement solutions.

Did you know?

To support access, equity, diversity and inclusion, VCU has been SAT/ACT test-optional since 2015.

Division goals

  • Student-centered: Create a student-centered enrollment experience through the implementation of initiatives, programs and services that are dedicated to empowering and connecting a diverse population of students with the primary goals of student access, success and satisfaction.
  • Enrollment: Optimize partnerships with internal and external constituents to attract prospective students and engage current students to utilize programs and services designed to achieve enrollment and student success goals. (revised)
  • National prominence: Provide a data-centric enrollment and student success model that is responsive to national challenges of student diversity and educational equity.
  • Promote a culture of appreciation: Provide leadership, resources and environment that highlight the division’s commitment to collaboration, inclusion, equity and professional growth.

Key initiatives

SEMSS achieves its business goals and supports VCU students through:

  • A student-centered enrollment experience 
  • A data-centric student success model 
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

Learn more about these initiatives