Building Pipelines

Implementing success
Collaborate with a worldwide, higher education network as it comes together to explore, engage, and learn. Each year higher education professionals face new and unique challenges in their work and AACRAO's Annual Meeting is the place to find solutions to those challenges.


Student recruitment, institutional marketing, transfer practices, and enrollment management are popular topics in the higher ed space for good reason. The focus is on SEM leaders to build lasting student recruitment strategies for the coming years. Engage with leading experts in the field and learn the latest strategies you can bring to the table to make a difference at your institution.

Related Sessions



Related Content

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SEMQ Special Issue on Equity in SEM

Nov 28, 2023

A look at the current work being done to improve and increase equity in SEM practices.

Wide shot of the 2023 SEM Conference Welcome Reception.

SEM Conference - Reflections of a First-Time Participant

Nov 27, 2023

Experience the 2023 SEM Conference through the eyes of a first-time attendee.

Photograph of the exhibit hall from SEM 2023.

SEM Conference - Navigating the Seas of Knowledge and Connection

Nov 10, 2023

An in-depth review of the 2023 SEM Conference from the perspective of AACRAO member Tara Kent.

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SEM Conference - Collaborative Partnerships between Recruitment and Admissions

Nov 10, 2023

Optimizing the partnership between recruitment and admissions to promote student success.

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SEM Conference - The Not-So-Secret Strategy for SEM Success

Nov 10, 2023

Building a SEM success framework utilizing active listening, continuous improvement, and technology.

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Adjusting Strategy to Face Enrollment Challenges

Oct 30, 2023

Understand the research and methodology university leaders employ to address issues in enrollment, tuition, and more.

New Pathways to Enrollment Through High School Innovation

Oct 2, 2023

Ensuring that underrepresented and marginalized high school students are academically prepared for postsecondary education.

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Navigating the Journey

Oct 2, 2023

Tools and approaches you can use to reduce burnout and increase productivity at your institution.

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Student Barriers and Institutional Engagement

Sep 18, 2023

Researching, evaluating, and understanding the impact of holds on student success.

Individual filling out paperwork.

New and Improved? FAFSA Simplification and SEM

Aug 18, 2023

Are you prepared for FAFSA Simplification? New terminology, guidelines, and best practices.

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Revisiting the Supreme Court Race-Conscious Admission Decision

Aug 4, 2023

Steps are needed to ensure equitable policy in the future.

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Field Notes: Using Data and Analytics to Drive Student Success

Jul 21, 2023

Part 3 of our series on identifying and addressing barriers to student success.

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From Enrollment to Graduation - Part 2: Building a Culture of Engagement and Support

Jul 10, 2023

Part 2 of our series on identifying and addressing barriers to student success.

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Practicing SEM Outside of North America

Jun 26, 2023

Unique insights into SEM from a recent SEM-EP graduate.

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Meet AACRAO's newest SEM-EP evaluators

May 30, 2023

Meet the latest SEM-EP Evaluators and learn more about who they are and what they'll be doing.

Professionals looking at screen with text provided by artificial intelligence.

Chasing Innovation: New Tools for the Headwinds of Recruitment and Marketing

May 30, 2023

An in-depth look at the changing face of enrollment and the steps institutions are taking to prepare.

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Grant Opportunities to Reduce Barriers to Higher Ed

May 15, 2023

Education Dept. opens the application period for two federal grant programs that aim to expand higher education opportunities for Hispanic/Latino/a/x and Native American students.

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Restructuring Institutional Aid Programs to Meet SEM Goals

May 1, 2023

Connecting SEM strategies & principles to student recruitment to meet enrollment goals.

Purple & Green SEM in Action Book Cover with Bonsai Tree.

Implementing and Sustaining your SEM Plan: The Party is Just Getting Started

Mar 20, 2023

What to do once you've created your strategic enrollment management plan.

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Making the Product Accessible

Feb 20, 2023

Questioning, improving, and revitalizing enrollment processes at your institution.

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SEM-EP On the Road

Jan 9, 2023

SEM Endorsement Program participants visit and learn about the Colorado higher education department's enrollment strategies.

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SEMQ Special Edition - Call for Authors

Dec 23, 2022

SEMQ seeks authors for an upcoming Special Edition focused on topics in DEI.

Student shaking hands with an higher education recruiter.

How to Create a Recruitment Plan

Dec 12, 2022

Understand how to create, optimize, or revitalize your student recruitment plan.

2022-23 ASCEND Cohort at Toronto SEM

Passing the Baton

Nov 29, 2022

AACRAO Leadership Development program closes another chapter.

SEM Conference - Institutional Models of Strategic Graduate Enrollment Management

Nov 15, 2022

Explore the latest research and information about Graduate Strategic Enrollment Management (G-SEM).

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Digital Transformation and Digital Maturity: Two Important Concepts in The Future of SEM

Oct 3, 2022

An in-depth analysis of what digital transformation can look like and specific steps towards achieving it.

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The Future of SEM is Digital

Aug 8, 2022

Staying ahead of the changing face of enrollment management and positioning your institution for success.

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SEM & Organizational Change Management

Aug 8, 2022

Understand change management and the crucial role it plays in higher education.

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Join the SEM Quarterly Journal Editorial Board

Jul 25, 2022

Join the SEMQ Editorial Board and help guide and promote the future of enrollment management.

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Completion Promises and Enrollment Health

Jul 25, 2022

Understand the importance of degree pathway research and learn how to reestablish confidence with students.

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Increasing Equity through SEM

Jun 24, 2022

See how the SEM Endorsement Program can be used to promote student success in diverse populations.

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AACRAO Welcomes New SEM-EP Evaluator

Jun 10, 2022

Get to know our newest SEM-EP evaluator and learn more about the program and its goals.

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Attaining Digital Maturity

May 31, 2022

Learn how AACRAO is partnering with Salesforce to help institutions explore their Digital Maturity.

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Connecting the Dots and Data to Improve Student Success

May 31, 2022

Learn specific steps you can take to improve student success and retention.

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Key Enrollment Indicators - The Building Blocks of Strategic Enrollment Management

Feb 21, 2022

Understand the key enrollment indicators impacting your institution and how to measure them.

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Latest Issue of C&U Releases Exploring Topics in EDX, Enrollment, and More

Dec 13, 2021

See the latest from AACRAO's College & University Journal.

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Using SIS Data – What You’re Doing Wrong

Dec 13, 2021

See what makes a great higher-ed CRM and learn how a CRM can aid your enrollment strategy.

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Two Universities Improve Enrollment by Building Connections

Nov 30, 2021

Learn how Xavier University and Augusta University improved enrollment outcomes through connection building.

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The Science of Motivation

Nov 29, 2021

Learn new ways to update and improve aspects in your enrollment strategy through behavioral science.

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Design Thinking and Strategies to Improve Enrollment and Lifelong Learning

Nov 29, 2021

SEM Conference speaker, Shaimaa Hassanein, gives advice on fostering improvement and leadership skills.

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Success Coaching Impacts Community College Student Retention, Research Shows

Nov 1, 2021

Latest SEM Quarterly looks at the impact of success coaching on community college student retention.

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With Test Scores Out of the Admissions Process, Can Artificial Intelligence Help Fill the Void?

Sep 20, 2021

Learn how A.I. can help higher education professionals bridge the gap in the application enrollment process.

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SEM-EP Celebrates 50th Graduate - An interview with Patrick Tanner

Sep 7, 2021

An interview with Patrick Tanner our 50th SEM-EP graduate.

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AACRAO to Offer Five Scholarships to Partner Data Analytics Course

Aug 9, 2021

AACRAO partners with Element451 to provide 5 scholarships for enrollment analytics course.

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SEMQ Releases Volume 9 Issue 2 - Highlights

Jul 26, 2021

Latest release from SEMQ explores a variety of topics in enrollment management.

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History and Progress - 400 years of American Higher Education

Jul 12, 2021

Learn about the behind-the-scenes work that went into creating AACRAO's latest on-demand course on the history of American Higher Education

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Meet AACRAO's newest SEM-EP evaluators

Jun 1, 2021

The AACRAO enrollment management program is shepherded by team with a wealth of expertise.

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AACRAO Research Looks at Evolving Trends in Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM)

May 3, 2021

Exploring practitioner defined research in strategic enrollment management.

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SEM as a Connector

Apr 2, 2021

AACRAO Annual Meeting session presenters discuss building relationships in the new normal and the responsibility of SEM professionals.

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Engaging faculty in SEM

Jan 25, 2021

5 key faculty roles to build institutional success.

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Are you the next Enrollment Management leader?

Dec 15, 2020

Research reveals interesting opportunities in the field.

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What you can give back to your staff

Dec 12, 2020

Stress-relieving activities, time off, and small gifts can help people feel appreciated.

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Inaugural ASCEND cohort recognized at AACRAO SEM

Nov 12, 2020

Participants receive mentoring, support, and guidance from SEM experts.

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Using behavioral science to improve messaging to students

Nov 1, 2020

One community college used these 5 strategies to shift students' mindset.

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Understanding the college choice process among underrepresented students

Oct 19, 2020

A recent SEM-EP grad explores the research.

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Building a bridge with faculty during the SEM planning process

Oct 19, 2020

4 keys to collaboration and inclusion.

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Pandemic survival 101: Collaborate with IT to catalyze change

Oct 19, 2020

Strong leadership requires relationship.

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3 tips for global recruiting during a pandemic

Oct 4, 2020

One institution used both synchronous and asynchronous events to meet students where they are.

I am: available to listen, warm and welcome, genuine, inspiring. I am not: too busy to talk, cold or dismissive, phony, indifferent, etc.

Warm or cold? Helpful or dismissive? How "voice" affects retention

Oct 4, 2020

A consistent, supportive message increases yield.

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

Sep 21, 2020

Repurpose, don't abandon, your efforts.

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Use data science to nudge students at exactly the right time

Sep 20, 2020

2 marketing strategies to increase enrollment.

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“Strategic” doesn’t mean static

Aug 24, 2020

How to do dynamic enrollment management.

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Strategy in the face of crisis

Aug 9, 2020

Assessment is critical to enrollment management, even during a pandemic.

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What 2020 means for enrollment

Jul 28, 2020

Without a crystal ball, how can enrollment managers make decisions?

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Getting students to the “Finish Line”

Jul 8, 2020

The University of Memphis and Saylor Academy partner to help stop-out students and ensure educational equity.

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4 transcript and enrollment questions raised by the pandemic

May 1, 2020

Guidance and resources from the National Student Clearinghouse.

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Become a better leader

Feb 10, 2020

5 pillars of excellent leadership, regardless of your status or style.

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A SEM project management tool

Feb 10, 2020

How to manage the intricate, codependent, and time-sensitive processes that accompany any SEM plan.

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Scholarship opportunities abroad: Pakistan

Jan 14, 2020

A resource for international enrollment management.

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Make your office the best place to work

Jan 10, 2020

In this era of professional mobility, how do you cultivate and keep reliable, long-term staff?

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Cultivating relationships with faculty for campus-wide SEM

Dec 16, 2019

Like most things, the solution is simple, but the work is not.

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Scholarship Opportunities abroad: Cyprus and Bhutan

Dec 16, 2019

A resource for international enrollment management.

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Field Notes: A project management tool for SEM

Dec 15, 2019

A living SEM project management system for multiple, simultaneous, and interdependent projects.

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An alternative to college "choice" models

Dec 15, 2019

A more organic framework for understanding whether and where students go to college.

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Optimization: Aligning technology planning with SEM

Dec 15, 2019

4 considerations for mission-driven, collaborative technology implementation.

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Strategies for student success: Preparation, progression, and completion

Dec 2, 2019

Move beyond a focus on "retention" with these 14 best practices.

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Re-envisioning Graduate Enrollment Management

Dec 2, 2019

A revenue-based approach to GEM that lead to increased enrollment.

2019 SEM-Q editorial board pose for a group photo

SEMQ recognizes editorial board members

Nov 18, 2019

Outgoing, current, and new members provide a valuable contribution to the field.

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How to be successful at your new SEM job

Nov 18, 2019

The basic and often unspoken rules to succeed in a new job.

SEM Conference Director Clayton Smith at podium

4 questions to guide SEM implementation

Nov 18, 2019

Closing thoughts from AACRAO SEM 2019.

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4 compass points for successful business process improvements

Nov 15, 2019

How enrollment, academic, and student services units can add value.

Monday SEM plenary speaker

10 lessons learned when restructuring for transformative change

Nov 5, 2019

Facing the difficult prospect of restructuring, one president shares his insights.

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Finding best-fit students

Nov 5, 2019

5 keys to a successful search program

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How a road trip (and a flat tire) drove SEM plan success

Nov 4, 2019

One institution's unexpected roadmap to change -- and six practical tips for campus-wide SEM buy-in.

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Remove policy and procedural barriers to access

Nov 4, 2019

9 questions to help you find and address issues hindering students and the institution.

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Running toward fear

Oct 20, 2019

A counterintuitive approach to leadership.

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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

Oct 7, 2019

Strategize all you want; your enrollment plan lives or dies depending on institutional culture.

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Creating a culture of hustle

Oct 7, 2019

How to cultivate staff and leverage CRM to meet students earnestly and with urgency.

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How students know they belong

Sep 23, 2019

One community college learned that communications can impart a growth mindset from the start.

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Student success coaches for online learners

Sep 22, 2019

Since implemented, one institution has seen increased retention and decreased melt.

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Field Notes: Mentoring to build students' sense of belonging

Sep 9, 2019

3 ways to create thoughtful mentoring match-ups that increase retention.

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The most overlooked recruitment insight

Aug 26, 2019

4 tips for recruiting students who feel like they belong.

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Is what you’re offering relevant to students?

Aug 26, 2019

The oft-missed connection between branding and recruitment.

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The single biggest factor affecting retention

Aug 12, 2019

What 40 years of data tell us about persistence.

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Surveying students to improve onboarding

Jul 29, 2019

Reducing student frustration and improving processes.

North Idaho College's campus next to a body of water on a sunny day with blue skies

Redefining community college recruitment

Jul 29, 2019

A low-cost strategy that significantly increased matriculation and eased registration at one Idaho school.

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The value of relationships in SEM planning

Jul 25, 2019

Relationships with faculty and the larger campus community help ensure student fit and success.

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Scholarship opportunities abroad: Oman

Apr 12, 2019

Build internationalization strategies and international enrollment management resources.

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4 ways to engage faculty in international SEM

Mar 17, 2019

Tips include modifying academic programs, improving teaching practices, and enhancing student recruitment and support strategies.

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AACRAO LEAD Curriculum Work Group members named

Mar 17, 2019

Workgroup to establish the Senior Enrollment Management Officer leadership development program, which will kick off this fall.

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Scholarship opportunities abroad: Bahrain

Mar 17, 2019

Building internationalization strategies and international enrollment management resources.

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The subtle art of graduate enrollment management

Mar 4, 2019

The marriage of academia and student success. PLUS: the brave new world of stackable credentials.

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SEM & Assessment – Count everything that moves!

Mar 3, 2019

No new service or program should be offered without first asking how its impact on student success will be determined.

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3-minute mentor: Compartmentalize and save your brain

Feb 18, 2019

An occasional Connect column delivering bite-size career advice for higher education administrators.

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AACRAO SEM-EP partners with Bethel University's EdD program

Feb 17, 2019

“We are thrilled that a four-year university like Bethel University is recognizing the educational value of our training and endorsement,” said AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly.

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What level of customer service are you providing?

Jan 21, 2019

An OACRAO newsletter article with tips to consider.

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The overlooked impact student services can have on retention

Jan 20, 2019

3 simple strategies for serving students better

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How is your college putting purpose first?

Jan 18, 2019

Learn about AACRAO's vision for "starting with the dream in mind" and share your stories.

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From cotton picking to college professor

Jan 7, 2019

One black woman’s story of courageous leadership in the academy.

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Reflections on SEM: 3 catalysts for change

Dec 10, 2018

AACRAO President (and first-time SEM Conference attendee) Tina Falkner shares her takeaways.

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Reverse engineer Strategic Enrollment Management for GREAT outcomes

Dec 10, 2018

Start with the end in mind.

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Staff development: Practicing what we teach

Dec 10, 2018

Connect professional development with academic programs and processes.

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By the book, by the culture, or by strategic goals?

Dec 10, 2018

What SEM style is right for your organization?

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Taking SEM Home

Nov 26, 2018

Principles learned and how to apply them.

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10 questions colleges should ask to understand their retention challenges

Nov 26, 2018

Villanova University student retention officer Brian Galloway offers his insights.

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10 minute mentorship for enrollment professionals

Nov 26, 2018

Common concerns and a helpful strategy for shifting perspective.

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How higher education can prepare graduates for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Nov 26, 2018

Predicting skills and gearing institutions for the future.

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A better student onboarding process for a competitive marketplace

Nov 26, 2018

A Pennsylvania community college shares its strategies.

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Closing achievement gaps is possible -- and imperative

Nov 13, 2018

SEM's opening keynote, Dr. Timothy Renick, shared the eye-opening paradigm shifts and scalable strategies that revolutionized education at Georgia State.

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AACRAO kicks off the LEAD Initiative

Nov 13, 2018

With a new caucus, working group, Career Navigator, and more, AACRAO is advancing diversity in enrollment leadership.

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How predictive analytics brought a leadership team together

Nov 13, 2018

Data teams improved enrollment and outcomes at Lone Star College.

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Reflections on the future: CRM systems of intelligence

Nov 13, 2018

Platforms that can learn and evolve.

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Why are veterans disregarded by SEM practitioners?

Nov 13, 2018

Research shows this often-overlooked cohort has a lot to offer campuses.

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AACRAO takes the LEAD on diversifying enrollment leadership

Oct 30, 2018

Identifying and preparing a diverse group of enrollment leaders

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Models for implementing change

Oct 29, 2018

Take small steps to build confidence and avoid backsliding.

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Tracking transfer trends

Oct 29, 2018

The National Student Clearinghouse 2018 report on transfer and mobility examines transfer pathways and enrollment patterns, including analysis by race and ethnicity.

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Student veterans: An untapped asset on campus and at work

Oct 15, 2018

Address this often-overlooked group and set the stage for success with other nontraditional populations.

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Higher ed's misconceptions about veterans

Oct 15, 2018

They bring unique assets as both students and employees.

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Whole-campus SEM planning

Oct 1, 2018

Tips for engaging the campus community in the development of an institutional plan.

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How Georgia State has increased graduation rates and eliminated achievement gaps

Oct 1, 2018

Leveraging data and analytics, GSU now awards more bachelor’s degrees to African Americans than any other college in the nation.

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Are you “deficit-minded” or “equity-minded”?

Oct 1, 2018

Challenging how we perceive and talk about diversity and inclusion.

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3 tips for building the strongest SEM team possible

Oct 1, 2018

The more people involved in making a decision, the greater the commitment to implementing that decision.

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How scholarship management can reduce reliance on institutional funding

Sep 18, 2018

The University of Arizona’s high-impact, low-cost solution awards several million dollars in scholarships each year.

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Change the Student Search paradigm

Sep 14, 2018

A more strategic search process can affect the entire recruitment funnel -- and beyond.

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‘Trojan horse’ SEM

Sep 14, 2018

Coordinate a coherent student success model in the absence of a formal enrollment management plan.

Duck mascot wearing green as they stand next to a group of students making faces of amazement.

University of Oregon offers first-in-nation virtual campus experience

Sep 3, 2018

Going beyond the linear-style online tour.

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Student services professionals change lives

Sep 3, 2018

Administrative advocates made all the difference for this dropout-turned-lawyer. More institutions should focus on helping returning students, he says.

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The 4th Industrial Revolution: Can colleges change fast enough?

Aug 20, 2018

Committees, meetings, and processes, oh my! Higher ed institutions aren’t generally considered nimble. But they’re going to have to change to thrive.

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Managing the data explosion

Aug 20, 2018

A webinar about integrating data from across disparate platforms used for loosely related institutional functions.

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8 fundamentals of successful student recruitment

Aug 3, 2018

Cut through the complexity and clutter of leading an admissions/recruitment program and ensure the fundamentals of sustained, successful student recruitment aren't neglected.

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Call for authors

Aug 3, 2018

SEMQ seeks manuscripts based on original research or practice in strategic enrollment management, demonstrating familiarity with strategic enrollment management (SEM) concepts.

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Field Notes: 5 strategies for supporting adult students to reach Wyoming’s higher educational attainment goals

Aug 3, 2018

Working adult students represent one of the largest opportunities to change the economic landscape and workforce in America. Learn about the strategies Wyoming is using to meet the needs of adult students and meet its attainment goal.

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Leading high-performance teams in a SEM environment

Jul 23, 2018

The overlooked competitive advantage.

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3 solutions for optimizing technology in business processes

Jul 2, 2018

Common challenges, and practical ways to ensure functionality.

Natural fiber ropes of every color of the rainbow neatly tied together in a knot.

Field Notes: 3 questions for shared governance

Jul 2, 2018

"Who to include?" might be the most important question.

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Field Notes: Visions, missions, and strategic plans 101

Jun 18, 2018

Making a Vision Statement, Mission Statement, and Strategic Plan that the whole office can rally behind.

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Does your communication strategy support enrollment conversion?

Jun 4, 2018

Tips from an expert, and an invitation to AACRAO’s regional traveling admissions leadership workshop in Massachusetts.

Single link of chain made out of cyber blue colored binary code.

You don’t have to understand blockchain to get it

Jun 4, 2018

The technology is the easy part.

Simplified bar graph with a downward sloping trend line.

Policies that may halt enrollment decline at liberal arts colleges

Jun 4, 2018

Effective strategies vary depending on school type, according to a recent article in C&U.

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Field Notes: Are your staff professionally competent?

Apr 19, 2018

A guide to assessing and building proficiency through mentorship, training, and promotion.

Two females of color conversing over an office desk.

The benefits of a team approach to professional development

Aug 22, 2017

When colleagues such as a Registrar and Director of Advising co-learn, benefits are exponential, says Darcy Briggs from Arapahoe Community College.

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Join #AACRAOctober for #EMchat !

Sep 20, 2016

An innovative way to connect with other enrollment management professionals.

AACRAO announces 1st U.S. Enrollment Management Career Profile Survey

Feb 23, 2014

In an effort to expand our understanding of the career paths of enrollment management professionals, we're conducting the AACRAO U.S. Enrollment Management Career Profile Survey.