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Slippery Rock University uses SAS® to improve student recruitment, retention and quality


Reports on performance, graduation, enrollment readily available at all levels

CARY, NC – Slippery Rock University is using the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Suite for Education to improve student learning and success, meet performance goals and obtain funding from the state. The software from business analytics leader SAS uses data management and reporting to help the university improve recruitment, retention and graduation rates.

Using SAS, Slippery Rock tracks and shares information on student performance and quality. “We believed we were attracting better students, but it was hard to quantify,” said Amanda Yale, EdD, Associate Provost for Enrollment Services for Slippery Rock. “With SAS, we can show that our average student has a 3.3 GPA this year compared to 2.99 last year, and our percentage of students representing the top 10 percent and top 25 percent of their high school class has increased.’’

Before SAS, student information languished across disparate systems; creating reports, identifying needs and analyzing trends was very difficult. The enrollment services staff wanted retention data segmented by department, major, state, county and high school -- updated daily. It wanted to know how many students from which majors were retained and at where the greatest attrition was. The staff also wanted to calculate retention or graduation rates of students transferring from community colleges.

Unfortunately, simple reports took days. “We had data in so many different places it was hard to get. Producing the reports we needed was very labor-intensive,’’ said Yale.

With SAS, the university has automated all of its enrollment reports. Employees from the president to student-life directors access information from their desktops, including up-to-the-minute data on new enrollment, quality performance measures, graduation rates, retention, registration, orientation participation and enrollment broken out by gender, race and region. The retention staff uses the system to intervene at critical times, including when midterm and final grades arrive.

SAS helps the university market more efficiently, targeting regions from which students are likely to enroll. Striving to improve the quality of students enrolling, the university is working with SAS to predict what factors create successful students.

Ultimately, Slippery Rock wants to be a wise steward of state funds, private donations and student tuition dollars. “SAS is an effective solution for not just managing enrollment but for improving institutional effectiveness,’’ Yale says.

Yale is a featured speaker at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ Annual Strategic Enrollment Management conference (AACRAO-SEM), where she will talk about applying concepts from the management book Good to Great to higher education and host a workshop on search engine marketing at four-year institutions.

With more than 2,000 college, university and business-school customers in 109 countries and education specialists on every continent, SAS serves the education industry by delivering software solutions, strategic services and academic programs that spark innovation and expand educational opportunities.

About SAS
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. With innovative business applications supported by an enterprise intelligence platform, SAS helps customers at 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know®


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