Case Study: 
How Rochester is Growing Enrollment with Rize

Rize Programs Driving Enrollment and Student Satisfaction at Adrian

September 7, 2022
110
New Freshmen Recruited
29
Students Retained
$8mm
In Enrollment Revenue Added
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College Background

Adrian College is a four-year private institution located in Michigan offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The undergraduate program attracted 1,865 students in the 2021 academic year. The College is known for ranking as the #1 most innovative college in the Midwest in 2022. The earliest adopter of Rize programs through the LCMC, Adrian College is a great example of how colleges using Rize programs can grow enrollment.

Adrian College is situated in a part of Michigan that is dense with large, public universities. To its north, Central Michigan University offers over 325 academic programs, and to its east, Eastern Michigan University offers more than 525 academic programs to their students. Despite offering many advantages as a smaller, active campus, Adrian often couldn't compete for students with just 50 academic programs.

Starting a single academic program can take a small college many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after dedicating time and resources to developing programs, the majority of new programs fail to attract enough students to cover its costs (Burning Glass). Starting multiple academic programs in one year is even further out of reach.

To circumvent those obstacles, Adrian partnered with Rize and the LCMC to add high-quality, low-risk academic programs without significant upfront and ongoing costs.

Programs Adopted

The first step for Adrian was identifying which new programs prospective students and regional employers were looking for. Dr. Andrea Milner, VPAA, worked with the Deans and their Rize Academic Partner to identify a variety of academic programs that were strong complements to the existing catalog. By the start of the Fall ‘21 enrollment cycle, Adrian’s faculty had approved a combination of majors and minors across more than 10 high-growth fields.

Enrollment and Retention Results

Over the Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 enrollment cycles, Adrian generated the below enrollment results:

In a survey shared with freshmen that selected a major, 85% of respondents reported that they wouldn’t have come to Adrian if they didn’t have that LCMC major. Accounting for expected student attrition over 4 years, Adrian College is estimated to generate $7mm in incremental revenue from these new enrollments.

In addition to attracting many new students, 29 existing students responded in a survey that they would consider transferring to another school if Adrian did not offer the new program.

Leveraging the full suite of programs powered by Rize, Adrian’s enrollment team has continued to grow applications and enrollments for the Fall 2023 cycle. We are excited to see these results compound in the years ahead.

Students Satisfaction Results

While growing enrollment is a core value proposition of launching new programs, delivering excellent course experiences is paramount for Rize and our partners. All students that take Rize courses are surveyed at the end of each semester to assess course quality and student satisfaction. The Spring 2022 survey results were a positive sign of the quality of the courses and of the instructors.

  • When asked how Rize courses compare to their on-campus courses, 81% of Adrian students responded that they are as good or better than their on-campus courses, below.
  • When asked how likely they would be to recommend their course to a classmate, the most common rating was 10/10, representing about one-third of all Adrian students. 

Excitingly, Adrian students are also reporting meaningful improvement in Rize courses across additional measures of course quality.

Over the last year, Adrian’s Academic Affairs staff identified, built and approved programs in another 10 high-growth fields alongside Rize and the LCMC. The full suite of programs will allow Adrian to grow enrollment in by offering students more promising pathways to great careers. 

If you are interested in learning more about Adrian College’s Rize journey, please reach out to Abigail McCulloch at amcculloch@rize.education.

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