Increasing Enrollment by Reducing Opportunities for Summer Melt

  • On Thursday May 4th, Cuyahoga Community College – in partnership with the Higher Education Compact, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and College Now – hosted the second annual Cleveland Goes to College at Tri-C day aimed at reducing summer melt*. Ninety-eight seniors from Collinwood, East Tech, Garrett Morgan, John Adams, Jane Addams, Lincoln West, MLK, New Tech East, New Tech West and Washington Park attended the day-long orientation.

    The event began with an enthusiastic team of Tri-C staff welcoming students and providing them with swag bags that included student-specific handouts and a Tri-C t-shirt. Retention project manager Jose Ramos Garcia formally welcomed attendees and outlined their day ahead. Over the course of the day, students learned about the academic resources available on campus including TRiO Student Support Services and math tutoring services; additional ways to get involved on campus through athletics and special interest groups; and how to best utilize their financial aid. Students were then given time to create their My Tri-C Space accounts and meet one-on-one with their academic advisor where they could formally register and sign-up for classes.

    Attendees left more certain about their postsecondary choice, with additional knowledge about Tri-C’s offerings, and having accomplished specific tasks that will help expedite their transition from high school to college. Of the 98 students who checked-in, 80 registered and 8 are pending to register.

    It is important, however, that these students (with the guidance and support of their school counselors, College Now advisors, and families) remain focused on their postsecondary goals between now and the first day of classes in August. The Compact will continue to work with Tri-C, College Now and CMSD to ensure that students are able to smoothly transition from their senior year of high school to college and to reduce barriers to enrollment and completion.

    *Summer melt occurs when college-ready students who demonstrate intent to enroll fail to show up for their first semester. While the causes of summer melt are varied, for some students, navigating the complex college enrollment process (getting a student I.D. card, registering for classes and figuring out financial aid) can leave students feeling overwhelmed and incite a change in their postsecondary plans.

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