Educational Administration, Department of


First Advisor

Brent Cejda

Date of this Version

Fall 11-20-2020


Clem-Brown, V.L. (2020). Enrollment management and intercollegiate athletics: A study of women's beach volleyball. (PhD Dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership & Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Brent Cejda. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2020

Copyright © 2020 Valerie Clem-Brown


With college costs increasing annually and the number of high school students dropping in many areas of the country, enrollment management professionals must seek out creative strategies to appeal to a broader population of out-of-state students. This study assessed the impact of the three common faces of a holistic enrollment management plan: structural management, planning, and leadership, on the recruitment of out-of-state student-athletes to play NCAA Division I beach volleyball. Alternative explanations were explored to determine how an institution was successful in recruiting out-of-state beach volleyball student-athletes when the three common faces of a holistic enrollment management plan were not evident.

Using a single significant case study approach, one institution was selected that stood out from their peers as being able to successfully recruit a high number of out-of-state student-athletes for their beach volleyball program. Interviews were conducted with three key stakeholders as the primary data collection method. A narrative inquiry methodology was used to analyze the data from the interviews, with the institution’s website and recruitment materials serving as supplemental material in order to allow the true essence of the story to emerge.

Findings revealed that the institution did not demonstrate any of the three faces of a holistic enrollment management plan as limited collaboration was identified between the admissions office and the athletics department. The essence of this study indicates that extraordinary efforts from very dedicated individuals resulted in the successful recruitment of out-of-state student-athletes for a new or emerging sport. The results suggest that the institution would have even greater opportunity for success if they created strategic collaborative relationships across campus to facilitate the sharing of data and work together toward common recruitment goals.

Advisor: Brent Cejda