Abstract for:Student Enrollment Dynamics at University of California, Merced

The University of California, Merced (UCM) is the newest campus to the University of California (UC) system.  As a member of the UC, UCM is expected to have graduation rates that are consistent with its 9 sister campuses. To succeed, UCM must develop intervention strategies to improve graduation rates across all degree programs, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.  However, because there is no working model to help the institution identify the key points of intervention, the institution is unable to strategically ensure that this goal is met in the most efficient way possible.  A mental model of dynamic systems (MMDS) has been built that attempts to clarify the process and intervention opportunities for undergraduate enrollment to enable campuswide discussions on opportunities for improvement.  This work will contribute to existing literature on System Dynamics Models in Education and provide insight into operational dynamics of a research university.