A strategy for Mississippi State University to become
the region's most respected land-grant institution
FutureSTATE 2015 Progress Reports
ACHIEVE FISCAL STABILITY
Initiative: Develop a strategic initiative that focuses on recruiting graduate and undergraduate international students from specific regions, retaining those students by helping them to feel welcome at Mississippi State and in Starkville, and developing strong, continuing relationships with international alumni.
Achievements of the past year:
- OAS introduced several admissions and recruiting strategies aimed at increasing international undergraduate student enrollment. Targeting admissions and recruitment, the OAS conceived and implemented useful processes and practices in alignment with the presidential initiative.
- ADMISSIONS STRATEGIES: Admissions process was simplified into three steps: academic, immigration, and English proficiency. The scholarship priority date was adjusted to suit students' college search trends. A provision to submit national level college entrance examination scores in lieu of ACT/SAT score was introduced. Saudi Arabia National College Entrance Examination is currently being used and the Chinese National College Entrance Examination is under review. Four new alternate tests other than the TOEFL test were implemented to certify English language proficiency and an expanded list of countries whose students are exempt from English language requirements was introduced. Admissions criteria was enhanced to admit academically qualified students with English language deficiencies contingent on successful completion of the university's ESL program.
- RECRUITING STRATEGIES: Developed cutting edge e-marketing strategic five year plan to market MSU globally and introduced weekly chat sessions to interact with prospective students and their parents. Created an email alias firstname.lastname@example.org to improve the query response time. Restructured international section of the Office of Admissions and Scholarships website to improve navigation for international students. A pre-paid express mail option was introduced for students to expedite document transport. Recruiting sessions were conducted for ESL and other international exchange students to showcase academic, research, and student life. Visited and hosted international Mississippi high school students, and foreign and US embassies to generate interest in MSU's undergraduate program. Published informative admissions and scholarships requirements and international student life brochures. Established international alumni chapter in South Korea.
Goals for the next year:
In addition to furthering implementation and expansion of the existing five year e-marketing strategy, plans are underway to increase academic collaborations via delegation visits, embassy visits, and conferences. Names of international students who are taking ACT/SAT/TOEFL/IELTS tests will be bought to reach out to prospective candidates. Explore additional international alumni chapter opportunities.
Constraints to full implementation of this initiative:
Proposed modification of the initiative:
Overall assessment of the status of the initiative or other comments:
This initiative has resulted in substantial increase in international student applications.