Step Up

Clarion's Strategic Enrollment Plan

A major initiative of the University has been to develop a comprehensive enrollment plan that focuses on helping Clarion strategically and intentionally plan for enrollment sustainability, and even growth in key areas.  While no planning process is perfect, the STEP Up Plan aims to incorporate the voices of faculty and staff from all areas of the campus to help facilitate and implement the stated strategies and objectives listed.  An outcome of this process is to help the campus community better understand enrollment trends and patterns, as well as to allow for inclusiveness of multiple viewpoints, perspectives, expertise, and engagement in the enrollment planning process.  

Message from Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

I am very pleased to share with you Clarion University’s STEP Up Strategic Enrollment Plan.  This is an exciting time in the life of our University as we engage in the STEP Up Plan, which addresses the elements that will guide our enrollment management efforts.   Clarion’s STEP Up Plan will influence our everyday actions to achieve our enrollment goals. I urge every employee to review the document, understand the goals and work together to complete the targets.  Support and collaboration will be vital from all of us as we come together to adopt the plan into our working environment. 

It has been well documented that western Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth, and the Northeast are experiencing a declining population of high school graduates. Additionally, within Clarion’s primary student feeder area, there are negative migration and demographic patterns that subsequently affect the enrollment figures for our university. Additionally, we all know it is easier to keep students than find students. This plan will help us navigate these waters and find our True North to enrollment and fiscal sustainability.

We have created the STEP Up Strategic Enrollment Management website for the campus community to learn more about our university wide efforts, goals, and actions to take advantage of our enrollment opportunities. As you review and learn more about this effort, support and collaboration will be vital from all of us as we come together to adopt the plan into our working environment and see Clarion succeed in the following years, decades, and century to come. I invite us all to STEP Up and capture our True North: Clarion’s success.

- Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

President, Clarion University of Pennsylvania


Fundamental to any successful strategic enrollment management program is developing and implementing a strategic enrollment plan focused on recruitment of new students and the successful retention and progression of current students.  

An enrollment plan is, by definition, a set of clear and unambiguous goals with associated strategies, objectives, and action plans that, when taken in totality, lead to the achievement of annual student enrollment goals. Specifically, the plan presents a systematic and honest assessment of university strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in addition to accomplishing the following:

  • Creating awareness of obstacles that may need to be overcome;
  • Coordinating and unifying staff effort;
  • Assigning responsibility and accountability and scheduling work;
  • Communicating and documenting the enrollment “game plan”; and
  • Providing a basis for future planning.

Planning without execution is meaningless. The key to success will be the effectiveness with which the Clarion University community is able to implement the components of this enrollment plan, and adjust the plan in a highly nimble manner to undetermined market disruptions. 

THE STEP UP PLAN and Intranet Site

This page is intended to share the major tenets of the plan with the Clarion community as well as to provide updates and important information on our enrollment efforts. The Intranet site link below will connect you with a number of resources intended to educate on our major strategies and objectives, as well as to track overall effort (i.e. successes, opportunities, challenges, etc.). 

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The STEP UP Intranet Site includes the following materials:

  • The STEP UP Enrollment Plan (Recruitment and Retention)
  • STEP Up Strategies and Action Plans
  • Weekly Admission Reports
  • Fall 2019 Enrollment Goals
  • Other Clarion reports and data pertaining to our students, our institution, and our region. 

Enjoy learning about Clarion's efforts to attract, retain, and graduate our Golden Eagles!

Go to sTEP UP intranet site

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For questions contact:


David Dollins
Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management
Last Updated 3/4/20