Essentials of Strategic Enrollment Management

2024 Schedule

Member price: $495 | Non-Member Price: $545

General Syllabus


February 5 - March 10


September 9 - October 13


Strategic enrollment management (SEM) is a key concept in the administration of higher education institutions today. SEM provides a unique framework for improving student and institutional outcomes by jointly enabling student access to and success in higher education, best business practices, and comprehensive institutional planning.

The practice of SEM involves the participation of enrollment managers, registrars, admissions officers and enrollment service professionals who are served by AACRAO, as well as others engaged in programs designed to improve recruitment, retention, and student success. By exposing individuals in these positions to key readings in the field under the guidance of recognized SEM experts over a period of 31 continuous days, this online professional development program provides grounding in the fundamental principles of SEM from the perspective of 2-year, 4-year, public and private institutions.

Participants in this course will:

  • Become conversant with the core concepts of SEM
  • Gain familiarity with leading SEM literature and practice
  • Understand primary tools of SEM and guidelines for effective deployment
  • Test the implementation of SEM concepts with experts and with peers
  • Develop knowledge and skills to promote professional advancement

Topics covered include:

  • History and definition of SEM
  • Establishing clear goals for the number and types of students needed to fulfill the institutional mission
  • Promoting students' academic success by improving access, transition, persistence, and graduation
  • Promoting institutional success by enabling effective strategic and financial planning
  • Creating a data-rich environment to inform decisions and evaluate strategies
  • Improving process, organizational and financial efficiency and outcomes
  • Creating a service culture
  • Strengthening communications and marketing with internal and external stakeholders
  • Increasing collaboration among departments across the campus to support the enrollment program

Facilitated by experienced members of the profession, participants compare notes on a wide range of topics of common interest and create a helpful network of colleagues at other institutions.

Participants should plan to devote six to eight hours each of the four weeks the course is in session. Course work includes reading and online course activities at hours convenient to their individual schedules. AACRAO awards a Professional Development Certificate to participants who successfully complete all modules of the course.

This Essentials course is a part of the AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP). Registrants who successfully complete the course automatically qualify for a $500 SEM-EP fee discount, and will have already completed one-fourth of the Endorsement Program.