AACRAO Consulting Blog

It’s all in the SEMantics

Keeping you ahead of the higher education curve is what we do. That includes providing quick and easy access to critical insight and information you can leverage to make better strategic decisions. Our SEMantics blog shares the latest news about the work our consultants are doing with institutions across the nation and the world, as well as the latest trends and developments that impact you. Read our most recent posts here, or browse through our archive by topic or key word.

Publications Release: Higher Education’s Road to Relevance

AACRAO Consultant Dr. Laura Wankel and Susan A. Ambrose’s book, Higher Education’s Road to Relevance was released in summer 2020.

Use data science to nudge students at exactly the right time

Getting students to follow through isn’t easy. Whether applying for financial aid, registering for classes, or paying bills, they can seem frustratingly indifferent to requirements and deadlines. And this truism is only exacerbated by the stresses of the pandemic. So, how can you encourage students to take steps toward their academic goals?

Update on AACRAO’s Strategic Planning process

Deploying the expertise and experience of AACRAO Consulting, the AACRAO Board is in the final stages of a year-long process of developing a new strategic plan. Most recently, consultants Stan Henderson and Tomikia LeGrande spent the summer gathering feedback via focus groups with various AACRAO stakeholders, including AACRAO staff and leadership (i.e. PAC Chairs, Program Committee, task force and committee chairs, caucus chairs, and state & regional leaders), and will report their findings to the Board next week.

Is the SEM Process useful in a time of seismic change?

As higher education professionals, our chief mission is to provide an optimal educational environment. We are enabled to do that if our institution is healthy, a state usually reached when our enrollment meets our expectations. Thanks to the pandemic, our status and our expectations are now a matter of new and uneasy speculation.

Reflections on the 2020 March on Washington

Dear Somebody…please let it be you! Everyone is aware of the recent racial and social injustice events that have taken place in our nation. If you have never heard the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, use a simple google search or go back through history to other notable civil rights activists such as Representative John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Martin Luther King, Jr to determine what we are fighting for. Racial inequality tensions escalated this past May with the death of George Floyd and the involvement of four police officers in Minneapolis. Various industries began issuing response statements, and Institutions of Higher Education were not an exception.

Holistic admissions: A just solution at a pivotal moment

Higher education is in the midst of a “test-optional revolution,” according to Michele Sandlin, Managing Consultant, AACRAO Consulting. “With the College Board and ACT unable to do college entrance exams due to the pandemic, a huge volume of schools are going test-optional,” Sandlin said. “Some are saying that change will be temporary, but a lot of predictions are that test-optional is here to stay.”

Recruitment Planning for Fall 2021 (and beyond?)

Join AACRAO Consultant James Miller, Director of Admissions at Seattle University, on Friday, September 18th from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT as he hosts an AACRAO Coffee Break about how you and your colleagues are meeting recruitment challenges this fall.

“Strategic” doesn’t mean static

In unpredictable times, institutions must be able to plan and respond nimbly. A well-developed Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) plan can be enormously helpful in this undertaking.

Strategy in the face of crisis

When engaging in Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) planning, we strive for 20/20 vision by utilizing an assessment-rich approach.

Collaboration as a structured process

Effective change management is essential to successfully implementing Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM). In the latest SEM Quarterly, authors Clayton Smith, Janet Hyde, Tina Falkner, and Christine Kerlin provide an overview of change management in higher education, identifying levels of change management and how to manifest change in institutions.