Group of female students celebrating at Commencement

Key initiatives

The Division of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success helps VCU achieve national prominence through a data-centric enrollment and student success model that is responsive to national challenges of student diversity and educational equity. Our key initiatives support VCU's strategic plan, Quest 2025: Together We Transform.

Student-centered enrollment

Did you know?

The incoming fall 2020 class was 58% minority, up from 45% in 2011.

SEMSS creates a student-centered enrollment experience by empowering and connecting a diverse population of students with the primary goals of student access, success and satisfaction.

We recruit students of all backgrounds and experiences, from traditional freshmen to transfers to graduate students to adult learners and other nontraditional students. 

To increase enrollment, we're focused on:

  • Diversified and scaled marketing initiatives that communicate VCU differentiators and improve brand recognition and perception
  • Organization of recruitment and enrollment yield events that create memorable experiences
  • Faculty, current student and alumni engagement in yield strategies and events
  • Transfer maps and partnerships with community colleges
  • Recruitment of master’s-level students through a partnership with the VCU Graduate School dean

Strategic Enrollment Management Plan 2025

In partnership with five SEM planning councils, we assessed our enrollment organization, mapped new directions for the future and are now working to turn plans into action.

Learn about SEM Plan 2025

Student success

SEMSS works to create collaborative partnerships across departments, schools and colleges to ensure students succeed inside and outside of the classroom, during their academic careers, upon graduation and into their careers or postgraduate education.

Our student success initiative aligns with Theme I of Quest 2025, which strives to:

  • Create a university culture that transforms the lives of VCU's distinctive and diverse student population
  • Support students through inquiry, discovery, innovation and creative expression
  • Engage faculty, staff and administrators to create resources that help students navigate university experiences focused on increasing student success
  • Address the rising cost of higher education and continually seek to provide affordable access and support on-time completion

Student Financial Management Center

As part of our commitment to lower student debt and enhance the overall return students gain on their investment in their degree, we've created the Student Financial Management Center. SFMC gives students the opportunity to work with a dedicated financial counselor throughout their academic careers. These financial counselors help students plan for their economic success beyond graduation, just as academic advisors help them to succeed in their coursework and in earning their degree.

Visit the Student Financial Management Center

Diversity, equity and inclusion

We promote a culture of appreciation by providing the leadership, resources and environment that highlight the division’s commitment to collaboration, inclusion, equity and professional growth.

To create a sense of belonging, connection and purpose, we:

  • Provide early notification programs that trigger outreach from academic advisors, the Campus Learning Center, the Writing Center, the dean of students and Student Financial Services
  • Promote faculty engagement in research, curriculum design, independent study, club/organization advisors, mentoring and use of major maps
  • Partner with Student Affairs to intentionally provide student leadership, cocurricular and identity/affinity group experiences to second-year students
  • Partner with VCU REAL to target second-year students to participate in REAL experiences
  • Ensure all undergraduate students have access to a financial counselor through the Student Financial Management Center
  • Ensure our advisors meet with all students at least once a semester and provide each student with a four-year Student Educational Plan 
  • Remove curricular barriers by providing early access for students to experience courses in their majors

Black Equity and Inclusion committees

In 2020, we established the Black Equity and Inclusion committees to provide accountability to ourselves as a team and to show our progress to our students for whom we are working hard to uphold our commitment to establishing a campus environment that eliminates barriers to graduation.

Learn more about this initiative