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.

3 tips for building the strongest SEM team possible

To achieve organization-wide strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan buy-in, two- and four-year institutions are deploying campus-wide SEM teams. A well-functioning team can greatly increase the chances of your plan’s success.

SEM as the Tool for Effective Retention Planning

Too often, higher education professionals look to Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) simply as a recruitment plan. While this perspective overlooks the planning and organizational framework supporting effective SEM work, it also overlooks SEM’s role with successful retention planning.

Get endorsed by AACRAO for competency in SEM

Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP) director Christopher Tremblay chatted with AACRAO Annual Meeting attendees at his session covering AACRAO’s SEM-EP program. The program is a self-paced professional development program which promotes industry competency and readiness.

SEM-EP grad’s home institution benefits from her research and credential

​Stepping into her role as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Buffalo State in 2014, Erin Alonzo wanted to deepen her understanding of SEM. First, she signed up for the 2015 AACRAO SEM Conference, as well as preconference workshops.

Making SEM personal

It was the summer of 1978, and I was preparing to teach my first semester. I was just hired as a full-time psychology faculty member at Jordan College, a small Wesleyan Methodist, private college in Cedar Springs, Michigan. The main campus at that time included earth-brimmed buildings operating off of wind power, solar energy.

Why and how to understand your institutional culture

​In a SEM Conference session titled “Working Smarter, Not Harder,” Medicine Hat College representatives shared one foundational element of SEM planning: understanding institutional culture. Upon taking her position at Associate Vice President of Student Development, Irlanda Price was tasked with creating a SEM plan -- but realized she first needed to evaluate the history of the institution.

Community college SEM roundtable pools shared wisdom

​At the AACRAO SEM meeting on Monday, Tara Sprehe*, of Clackamas Community College in Portland, Oregon, facilitated a discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing SEM professionals in community colleges.

SEM Research: Make better decisions with data

Randall Langston, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), is a big believer in the effectiveness of well-utilized data.​ “Our success at Brockport-SUNY [Langston’s previous institution] helped us increase enrollment,” he said. “We ended up with record enrollment, a record number of first-time students, and record number of transfer students -- all achieved in an environment where students were leaving the state.”

There’s still time to register for a conference workshop!

​Pre-Conference Workshops SEM Institute​ (Additional Fee) – Sunday, October 29 – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Writing a SEM Plan​ (No Fee) – Sunday, October 29 – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Afternoon Half-Day Workshops​ (Additional Fee) – Sunday, October 29 – 2:00 – 4:45 p.m.

Do you know what data you need to reach your enrollment goals?

What is your enrollment goal? That number is one you likely have at your fingertips. But if that’s as deep as your data goes, you’re missing key decision-making information. “Many institutions focus on the big macro number, like ‘we need 2,000 new students,’” observed Janet Ward, senior consultant with AACRAO Consulting.