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McPherson College Hires New VP With Enrollment Focus

posted Sep 06, 2013 in ACADEMICS

Enrolling students and guiding them through to graduation - the two perennial challenges of every college and university.

McPherson College has hired Michael Gravitt as vice president for enrollment management - a newly created job - to make enrollment and retention MC’s areas of greatest strength.

President Michael Schneider said he was pleased Gravitt has joined the MC family.

“He connects with us,” Schneider said. “His experience and perspective are welcomed as we continue to grow.”

Gravitt now oversees all aspects related to successful enrollment and retention at McPherson College - including admissions, financial aid, marketing and retention.

His career has been focused on enrollment and student services in higher education, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Iowa. Most recently, he was the vice president for enrollment management and student achievement at the Kansas City Art Institute.

His history of managing enrollment for institutions with a niche market fits well with MC’s approach to liberal arts education, Gravitt said.

“You’re reaching out to students who not only want a broad-based education, but also a skill set that’s going to make them marketable,” Gravitt said. “This meshes perfectly with MC’s mission to develop the entrepreneurship mindset.”

Some of his initial plans include working with an advertising company to complete a branding and marketing audit of MC’s current efforts, with the purpose of creating a more clear and consistent identity for the college.

Also, Gravitt is leading the implementation of brand-new retention software, which helps track students’ risk of dropping out of college and to allow an early warning of problems.

For these measures to help recruitment and retention, however, Gravitt said the college will rely on a resource that’s been its strong suit since the beginning.

“It begins and ends with real people,” he said.

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