The program is designed to impart a number of entry, intermediate, and some expert level proficiencies in the enrollment management profession. For more information, view the learning outcomes.  

AACRAO will provide official documentation verifying successful completion of the professional development curriculum. Graduates will be listed on the AACRAO SEM-EP national web registry. It is recommended that candidates begin with the 3 recorded webinars followed by the Essentials of SEM 101 online course. Candidates may begin with either the webinars or the SEM Essentials course depending on the timing of their program entry and the candidate's personal schedule. Faculty also advises candidates to begin contemplating their Capstone Project early on in the program to ensure timely completion.

Prospective participants should be aware that this program is designed to be flexible in order to accommodate in-service professionals. However, students that exceed 24 months from the date of acceptance are subject to a renewal fee of $500.00 on the 25th month to continue the program. Extensions are valid in 6 month intervals to keep the enrollment active. Inactivity of 6 months or more without prior notice to faculty will result in inactive status and the inability to continue.

The following courses and activities must be completed to receive your professional certification:

  • Essentials of SEM Online Course


    A four-week course to develop a baseline understanding of SEM, offered biannually in February and September.

    Once accepted into the program, candidates are automatically enrolled in the next available course. If an application decision is pending and an offering is upcoming, a spot will be reserved.

    Individuals who can demonstrate successful completion of the Essentials of SEM course within the past 3 years of application may petition to exempt this segment of the SEM-EP curriculum. The program fee will be adjusted accordingly.


  • Webinars


    Review three (3) on-demand webinars focused on key components of Strategic Enrollment Management. Each webinar is 45-60 minutes.

    2 Required Webinars

    Learners select 2 of 3 required webinars among these 3 options:

    • Creating an Inclusive and Collaborative Strategic Enrollment Management Structure and Plan
    • How to Write a SEM Plan: Something for Everyone
    • Enrollment Management Marketing in the Era of Big Data

    Learner's Choice Webinar

    Learners may choose one (1) additional webinar among AACRAO's Upcoming OR On-Demand Webinars within the last 3 years. Review available webinars.

    You will be required to document your observations in a follow-up assessment. A brief 3 to 4 page report is expected on the combined webinars illustrating elements that apply to your campus and how your operation could benefit from the webinar content. You should format the report according to the webinar topics followed by your "take away" assessments for each title. 

  • Field Visits


    NOTE: Either SEM Essentials or the pre-recorded webinars must be completed in advance of the field visits.

    Field visits are the hallmark component to the SEM-EP program. Candidates must participate in 3 field visits followed by a written report guided by prescribed questions. There are multiple ways to complete a field visit:

    • Virtual field visit organized by AACRAO (these take place every 1-3 months)
    • Virtual field visit organized by you
    • In-person visit organized by you
    • Conference attendance (max of 1 conference) (see below)
    Conference Attendance (field visit alternative) - attending a national, regional, or state ACRAO conference is an optional component of the program. Doing so will satisfy one field visit requirement, providing participants write a brief 2-3 page report on a session particularly useful to his/her campus or career. The report should illustrate how the topic content applies and benefits enrollment operations. The price of attending the conference is not included in the program fee. Participants must still conduct two other field visits (either virtual or in-person).


  • Capstone Experience


    Participants choose to engage in either a small research project, a literature review paper, or an independent enrollment project to complete the Capstone Project. While the three options differ, final submissions should always be reviewed by a peer, and those comments should accompany the final project.

    1. Capstone Research Project -- A brief research project demonstrating comprehension of SEM concepts and how they relate to your local student populations. Candidates pursuing this option should begin researching their topic early in the program to ensure timely completion.
    2. Literature Review Paper -- A brief paper demonstrating an awareness of the current trends in enrollment management and how they relate to current situations on your campus.
    3. Enrollment Planning Models or Plans -- A flexible project option that could incorporate a specific aspect of strategic enrollment management (i.e., forecasting, budgeting, marketing, or strategic projects that might guide operations). Participants choosing this option, should contact the SEM-EP faculty with a project abstract and outline before progressing.

    Each capstone project is required to have a peer review by a SEM-EP peer prior to submission. The peer’s name and email should be included on the cover page of the submission. There is no requirement that their comments be provided to the SEM-EP faculty. You can access the class roster via the SEM-EP portal. You may also email to request assistance with locating a peer reviewer.