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Fall 2016 Housing Occupancy

About Delaware State University


DSU a proud member of Americas Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It has a blend
of both long-standing traditions and growing diversity. Founded in 1891 as the State College for
Colored Students, DSU takes pride in its heritage as one of the countrys first land-grant educational
institutions, rooted early on in agriculture and education. Our current population includes a 67 percent
African-American enrollment and an increasing number of Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian and other
international students.

Introduction: As a professional in the Office of Housing and Residential Education at


Delaware State University, occupancy is one of our major hot topics each year. Each year
my director prepares us for the possibility of reaching capacity and the need to be
resourceful for our students and parents when approached with what can they do. With
this responsibility, choosing to predict the Housing Occupancy of Fall 2016 is one of
personal and professional interest. In conclusion of this report, I hope to identify on
campus housing need in advance to prepare for our students.

Helpful Resources: There are many helpful resource to provide assistance in this
predication. Two which I found extremely helpful have been the Director of Housing and
Residential Education and the Associate Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and
Analysis. After conversations and reviewing of data, the common variables were found
as what can affect housing needs.

Variable: The following are key factors that play a role in housing occupancy.

Enrollment- On any campus you will find enrollment number plays a factor
of how an institution operates. Specifically, this number can influence how
many spaces are needed to be available for a student to reside in on
campus housing (specifically freshman in which the university is required
to honor housing).

Available Spaces- On the campus of Delaware State University there is a


cap of spaces that are available. This plays a large part in housing
occupancy simply because if there is a need for additional spaces at some
point we will have no additional spaces available by default. In this case,
outside sources, such as hotels, will come into play.

Restricted Spaces- Due to sports, honor programs, international incentives,


and living learning communities, each year there is designation amount of
spaces that will be placed under restricted status. This becomes another
large factor for how many spaces we can provide for our students.

Prediction Plan: In order to make the Fall 2016 Housing Occupancy prediction, I used
data collected in the Universitys Data Warehouse, Oracle. For the predication I will focus
on occupancy numbers produced from Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, and Fall
2015. The formula I found that best fits for this prediction is Rate of Change Over Time.
With this we will gather the average of the last 5 years in addition to considering
changes which may impact future trends. I will also explore Housing Type (residence
halls assigned by classification) and Enrollment Head Count as these are also important
factors in determining housing occupancy.

DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY


HOUSING OCCUPANCY
2,302

2,236 2,230
2,220
2,206

Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015

Figure 1: Image data retrieved from Delaware State University Data Warehouse, Oracle.
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY
ENROLLMENT
4,644
4,560
4,505
4,425

4,178

Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015

Figure 2: Data Retrieved from Delaware State University Fact Book 2015-2016.
http://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/u52/ENROLLMENT%202011-2015.pdf

FRESHMAN TRADITIONAL HOUSING

966

920
885
866

818

Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015

Figure 3 Note: Data Retrieved from University Data Warehouse, Oracle.


UPPERCLASS APARTMENT HOUSING

1,402
1,382
1,370
1,345

1,240

Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015

Figure 4 Note: Data Retrieved from University Data Warehouse, Oracle.

Expert Intuition: After reviewing the data, I found myself questioning and unclear of
some of the inconsistencies. This caused me to question if I could truly make a accurate
prediction. Particularly my biggest concern was if we had a downfall in enrollment
wouldnt that reflect in our housing? Instead in the year we decreased in enrollment, we
increased in housing. With these thoughts I sought a deeper understanding and
contacted our Assignment Coordinators. The two assignment coordinators for the
housing department are responsible for all applications and waitlist. I found it ideal to
speak with both of them as one is responsible for traditional housing and the other
upperclassmen housing.

Traditional Housing - Mr. Keith Coleman, who is also the Assistant Director of
Housing, oversees all assignments for the traditional housing. Mr. Coleman
has also been with the University for 20+ years and has seen many trends in
this department. Mr. Coleman identified one of the biggest reasons for
declines are the closing of a Residence Hall. During the Fall 2013 the
Department took 2 residence halls off line due to major maintenance
required. Although enrollment was steady this caused a major decline in
occupancy for our upperclassmen housing.

Upperclassmen Housing- Mrs. Perry oversees all assignments for our


upperclassmen suites and apartment style living communities. She has been
with the university for almost 10 years. I was specifically interested in the spike
in our upperclassmen housing. She credits the increases due to the 12 month
agreements coupled with the opening (new property) and reopening (off line
areas) of our residence halls. 12 month leases are very desirable to our
upperclassmen students as they work locally and need to remain in housing
during breaks and summers. Many rather live on campus apartments because
of the billing convenience and the option to remain in their assignment all
year around.

Prediction: After reviewing the above data, I predict the Fall 2016 Housing Occupancy
will reach its capacity at 2336, an increase of 34 students, 1.5% increase.

FALL 2016 HOUSING OCCUPANCY


PREDICTION
2,336
2,302

2,236 2,230
2,220
2,206

Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Fall 2016

The two major factors considered heavily when determining this increase are the 3.2%
increase of housing occupancy from Fall 2014 to Fall 2015 and the capacity of 2,336
available spaces on campus. Although the decline in enrollment from Fall 2014 to Fall
2015 by 1.8% was a large concern initially, after reviewing the enrollment trends of the
past 5 years, the increases or declines havent had a negative effect on housing
occupancy and there isnt information provided to suspect a negatively influence
occurring on enrollment for the Fall 2016. With this, there isnt a reason to suspect a
major change.

In addition, all housing areas on campus will be available for Fall 2016, a first in 2 years.
With all spaces operable, I do believe we will continue to peek in housing as all of our
residence halls are open.

Conclusion: This project has allowed me to dive a bit deeper into the operations side of
housing. As a Residence Life professional, I mainly focus on the happenings once a
student gets inside their room and developing them as they matriculate. This
assignment has allowed me to see things from the housing operational perceptive
before they reach my front door. Making it a very eye opening experience to
understand the functioning of assignments, gain an understanding on enrollment, and
facilities management.

Initially, I had the mindset that one factor, enrollment, would determine the occupancy,
and although this can be a variable, it is possible that it wont affect occupancy at all. In
this prediction, there were more variables that affected the outcome of housing
occupancy. For Delaware State University, facility operations are a large factor on how
well occupancy remains. As identified, a building closing or an opening can increase or
decrease the numbers. The housing capacity is also a big factor of how large occupancy
can get. Even with enrollment increasing, at some point we will have to consider
additional housing options to service our students.

Concluding this assignment, a lingering question was what to do if we reach capacity?


After a conversation with the Director, this is something he anticipates every year. He
recalls a year where the need was a reality and a local hotel was used as an alternative
housing option. Although no university wants to run into this situation, he explains that
building a new building sometimes is not an option due to finances, land restrictions,
etc. He is, however, confident in the University identifying trends and in the future
coming to a plan to make the necessary adjustments to provide adequate housing for
our students.
References

About DSU. 2016. Delaware State University.

Retrieved from: https://www.desu.edu/administration/about-dsu

Fact Book 2015-16. Delaware State University.

Retrieved from: http://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/u52/ENROLLMENT%202011-2015.pdf

Oracle Database Warehouse. (2016). Delaware State University.