Freedom Newspapers: Eric Kluth
Officials at Eastern New Mexico University say this year will bring a new five-year high of freshmen from the Clovis and Portales area.
To date, there are 138 incoming first-year college students from the Clovis/Portales area, or about 24 percent of this year’s freshman class.
Enrollment officials and ENMU President Steve Gamble said the 17 percent increase from last year is a result an increased effort by university officials to attract area students.
“The last two years we’ve really been (recruiting) our own area, our own back yard so to speak,” Ronnie Birdsong, vice president of University Relations and Enrollment Services, said. “We work closely with the counselors and the public schools and we hope that that’s benefiting us.”
Cristina Gregg, a 2002 graduate of ENMU, is the university’s recruiter for the Portales/Clovis district.
Gregg said the increase in enrollment is a product of what she described as a team-oriented recruitment team.
“Our staff is very enthusiastic,” Gregg said. “I don’t think I have one co-worker who doesn’t put the students first.”
All five recruiters are ENMU graduates, and while a tie to the university is not mandatory for the position, it does give the recruiters more credibility, Gregg explained.
“If I didn’t believe in what the university was doing I wouldn’t promote it,” Gregg said. “I believe in the changes going on here. In the last six years I’ve seen the university grow, as a student and now as a staff member.”
Moreover, Gregg boasted of a new student profile computer system that saves various interests students provide to recruiters.
For example, if a student expresses interest in sports the recruiter can add the information to the computer profile. When the student calls again with a question about the university, recruiters can pull up the profile and immediately know the student’s information, from test scores to extracurricular interests.
“The program is about three years old but you have to go through the implementation process and debug it and things of that nature and we’re at that point now,” Gregg said. “I think everyone feels that this year that has definitely been a strong asset for us.”
Jerry Odom, head counselor for Clovis High School, said ENMU personnel are more assessable than in the past.
“I think the admission representative has been more readily available at our campus than some have in the past,” Odom said.