Enrollment & Retention Strategic Planning



With TFS’ guidance, we are targeting graduating seniors, 18–25-year-olds, and the adult population with the national best and next practices that truly engage this generation.  Beyond the immediate benefits to individuals, this comprehensive strategy also strengthens our region’s economic development.  By attracting targeted seniors to our career-technical programs, we are training a highly skilled local workforce that can meet the needs of business and industry right here in our community.

Though we are in the early stages of our partnership with TFS, already we are seeing positive changes across our organization.  Mark’s inspiring presentation has motivated our entire staff to get behind our strategic plan to make Northwest-Shoals Community College our students’ proactive first choice rather than their reactive second choice.  From instructors to administrators to support staff, everyone is excited and that extends to our partnership with Florence City Schools as well.  The message Mark brought is stimulating the college and high school to come together in new ways, creating powerful synergies that will enhance the educational experience for the students we serve.

Our implementation team works directly with Mark/TFS and is focused, motivated, and productive, with great strides being made in the areas of organizational culture, results-oriented data, strategic messaging, and long-term planning.  As we hone our focus and define our vision for the future, TFS’ invaluable expertise and execution strategies will improve our performance on every level.

TFS consistently demonstrates that they understand the issues and challenges we face in attracting, retaining, and graduating the right students in our degree programs.  The TFS strategic planning process is a highly productive investment that is changing the educational paradigm in our college and community.”

Dr. Humphrey Lee
President of Northwest-Shoals Community College


Have you ever had a great team to work with, a good idea of what you want to accomplish, and a vision for the end result — but you just can’t seem to pull it all together? That was how I felt before Northwest-Shoals Community College started working with Mark Perna at TFS over two years ago!

Since we partnered with TFS, Mark has been able to focus our “Tools” group in a way that has shown immediate payoff. Everyone on staff has caught the excitement of our strategic plan. It’s amazing to hear the motto “more of the right students, in the right programs, for the right reasons” begin to flow off people’s tongues all across campus!

Our instructors have become excited again about showcasing their area to attract these “right” students — and nothing beats the thrill of seeing students who visited their program in the spring walk into their class as NW-SCC students in the fall.

Working closely with Mark, the College was able to define areas we needed to recalibrate to dramatically improve our retention. The partnership we formed with a local high school career-technical program enabled us to look at things from the high school perspective, and the insights we’ve gained are already helping us make great progress with our recruitment track.

I can’t thank Mark enough for pulling our team together and inspiring our entire staff to get behind our plan. Thanks to TFS, we’re providing our students with an educational experience that equips them to enter the workforce fully prepared and ready to go!”

Rose Jones
Associate Dean of Workforce Development at Northwest-Shoals Community College