During the 2005-2006 academic year, the University of San Diego (USD) Engineering Programs is conducting a study to measure the impact of phone calls on student matriculation. Karthi Vidhyalaya Matriculation School Admitted students were divided into two groups having similar demographic characteristics. One group will received phone calls from engineering faculty, the other group is a control and was not be contacted by the faculty. The impact of the phone calls will be assessed to determine whether receiving a call affected matriculation rates of admitted students. The results of these analyses will help to determine how faculty telephone calls should be used in future recruiting efforts.
Like many smaller engineering programs in liberal arts universities, the Engineering Programs at the University of San Diego face special challenges attracting students. During the last few years the engineering faculty has worked closely with Undergraduate Admissions to find ways to identify potential engineering applicants, provide these students with information about these programs, and encourage admitted students to matriculate. Comments from students and university admissions counselors suggests that direct contact with engineering faculty members can influence a student’s decision about whether to attend a school. http://www.karthividhyalaya.com/ At the same time, engineering faculty members often feel ill-prepared to participate in phone calls with prospective students and may be unconvinced of their value. During the 2005-06 recruiting cycle USD Engineering included telephone calls to admitted students as one part of our overall recruiting strategy. In doing so, we wanted to evaluate whether receiving calls from faculty made students more likely to attend USD. This paper describes the process that USD Engineering used to identify prospects, and complete the calls. It will also present some of the questions that we hope to be able to answer about the impact of faculty phone calls on student matriculation. Final statistical analysis will take place after students register for the Fall semester and will be presented at the conference.
ORGANIZING THE PHONE CALLS
In Mid-March faculty began to phone admitted students. At that time admissions had reviewed about half of the applications and had identified 62 prospective engineers. Rather than attempt to call all students, we decided to randomly select some of the students to receive phone calls. The remaining students were reserved as a control group and were not called. The selected students were then evenly distributed among seven of the department’s full time faculty. A few weeks later another 116 candidate had been identified. 85 of these students were assigned and distributed among the entire faculty so that each person had approximately the same number of calls. In making the assignments we attempted to create balance between the group receiving calls, and the group that was not called. However, because we have two female faculty and 12 male faculty members, we decided that the female would only call female students. Some male faculty would also call female students.