Bressette sets goals for new administrative position

Cassie Lajeunesse, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

Andrew Bressette, an organic chemistry professor in his 20th year at Berry, was named the new vice president of enrollment management in May. In the past, he has also served as interim provost, associate provost and dean of academic services. In his new position, Bressette works with the admissions office, the financial aid office and the registrar to recruit students who are a good fit for Berry and who will be successful here. 

“I think what it really comes down to is bright students who want to make a difference,” Bressette said. “The fit of the student is the overall goal, not ‘did we get the right number of students?’”

In order to recruit these students and help them to get excited about Berry, Bressette believes in an individualized recruitment and admissions process. Admissions counselors are trained to give every student who enquires about Berry personal attention. The admissions office makes note of students’ interests and goals. They then send personalized information to prospective students about events on campus based on their interests. Faculty and staff members can also be involved in personally reaching potential students.

“[The whole campus] play[s] a role in helping to sell Berry and help prospective students and their families see themselves here,” Bressette said.

Admissions also works to help keep students excited over the summer after they make their deposits. According to Bressette, events like SOAR help students stay engaged between the time they deposit and the time they start school. He also believes that continued personal communication is important over the summer. The admissions office continues to send information about events at Berry to students throughout the summer.

“We talk about the summer ‘melt’,” Bressette said. “How many students deposit but don’t show up in the fall.”

Retention and graduation are one of Bressette’s goals in his new position. He hopes that the admissions office can help students be successful in their time at Berry, and has a goal of an 85 percent retention rate from freshman to sophomore years, and a 70 percent four-year graduation rate.

Another of Bressette’s goals as vice president of enrollment management is to increase diversity of all types at Berry. Bressette is excited about the increase in diversity in this year’s freshman class, but believes that Berry can continue to do more to increase diversity. He is working to understand the things that were successful this past year and to make sure that the campus and campus experiences are as welcoming as they can be to anyone who wants to come to Berry. 

“Diversity is a very sensitive issue, but I think that the more diverse Berry becomes, the better our graduates will be,” Bressette said.

He believes that diversity of all kinds, whether it be racial, political, religious or socioeconomic, is helpful to students because it teaches them how to talk to and interact with people who may think differently than they do. According to Bressette, this helps people reflect on their own beliefs and become more accepting of differing opinions.

“[Diversity] is about helping everybody to reflect and come to know their own place and position better,” Bressette said.

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