CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - At a time when Southern Illinois University is facing all time low enrollment numbers around 11,500, new efforts are being made to bring more students to the school. Now, St. Louis and Chicago students are a priority target for two new recruiters.
According to Vice Chancellor of Enrollment, Jennifer DeHaemers, the school has already had a full-time recruiter in Chicago, but never in St. Louis. Since Chicago is in state and such a competitive market, she said they wanted to have another person there.
“15 years ago, there was not that many institutions recruiting students in Chicago,” she said. "And now there’s at least 200 and most of them are not based in Illinois.”
One of the people they’re sending to Chicago is Jhonathan Vallecilla, who has been working at SIUC in the Admissions Department for over two years, is an SIUC alum, and grew up in Chicago.
“When I came into admissions in 2016, enrollment was already declining,” he said. "So, I said, ‘okay, I’m not leaving this place until we get enrollment back.”
Vallecilla believes the best way to go about doing that, is showing as much face in the region as possible.
“Especially in Chicago and St. Louis,” he said. "I mean these are huge metropolitan areas with a lot of public schools, private schools, and there’s a lot of competition there.”
Right now, DeHaemers said they are projecting 1,500 students to graduate after spring semester. They are hoping for at least 1,000 new freshmen in the fall.