Watercolor World Map

Organizational Membership

Connect to the world of higher education

With AACRAO membership you'll be connected to more than 11,000 members from institutions around the world. Facilitate your professional development by attending discounted meetings, gaining complimentary subscriptions to our College & University journal and more.

Why should you join? State higher education coordinating boards, higher education associations, accrediting bodies and international ministries of education and more can collaborate with our members and lend their voices to discussions about practices in the field. 

Annual Membership Price: $690

Requirements: YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC SECTOR AND/OR A PRIVATE NON-PROFIT ASSOCIATION WHOSE INTERESTS ARE CLOSELY ALIGNED TO AACRAO.  

Develop Professionally

Organizational Membership - Professional Development


Professional Competencies

Work on your skills like change management, technical knowledge and professional development and contributions to the field. We have the tools for you.

Online Learning

Strategic enrollment management. Admissions & recruitment. Transfer & articulation.  AACRAO regularly partners with organizations to hold joint discussions. No matter what your focus is, our webinars are loved by our members, and can raise the profile of your work. 

Take the next step in your career

AACRAO's Career Navigator is a wealth of job postings and resources for training. 

Gain Recognition

Intl Students - Recognition


Get Published

AACRAO's professional journals College & University and SEM Quarterly are always accepting articles and have a wide circulation base.

Research Opportunities

Leverage the expertise of our over 11,000 members and contribute to one of the premier sources of practice related research within the global higher education community. 

Join a committee

Do work you're passionate about, with support and mentoring from fellow members. From Caucuses to specialized topics, it's all one community, no matter where in the world your institution is located. 


AACRAO_Connect_logo_final_transparentbkg

AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter

Build a Modern Student-Centric Catalog

May 2, 2022, 10:03 AM
legacy id :
Summary : Updating and revitalizing the student catalog to meet the needs of students.
Url :

Sponsored by Coursedog

As student needs continue to evolve, a PDF catalog often doesn’t make the cut anymore. Not only is a PDF catalog limited in functionality, but the majority of students are accustomed to using more advanced technology in their everyday life. A technologically outdated PDF may cause students to pause and wonder what their experience will be at that institution. 

However, at many institutions, the catalog is still a manually updated PDF document linked out on a public-facing website. While this approach provides information to some individuals, the catalog ultimately functions as more of an archive of that term or year. Other institutions use a point solution for their catalog that moves beyond the downloadable PDF document but still serves as a web-based PDF. 

These solutions lack more dynamic search functionality, require significant manual work on the part of administrators, and result in a catalog that can easily become out of date without constant vigilance from staff. The goal of a modern catalog should be to create an immersive and explorative experience for current and prospective students. Newer solutions that provide this type of experience allow institutions to create a modern, student-centric catalog that serves as a tool to address student success metrics such as enrollment and completion rates. 

As more institutions look to create a modern, student-serving catalog, they should keep in mind the following: 

Ensure the catalog serves the changing needs of students as they progress through their program 

Students’ needs will change throughout their time interacting with your institution. Before enrollment, earlier stage students look to your catalog for information about where they fit in on-campus or what program makes sense for them. Enrolled students are focused on quickly finding information about program requirements so they can be sure they are on the right track. As they near the end of their program, students turn to the catalog to ensure they’ve met graduation requirements. 

Treat your catalog like it is the first impression prospective students have of your institution 

Just as students research products they buy and entertainment they consume, students are becoming savvy consumers in higher education. Many students research an institution’s program offerings before speaking to someone or setting a foot on campus.

The most recent Student Voice survey by Inside Higher Ed found “major/program of interest offered” was a top consideration in the decision to enroll for 65% of students. A modern catalog should allow for SEO optimization and other online marketing functionalities that consistently rank your institution high in online searches. 

Institutions can also leverage the catalog to market the institution and each individual program. To help students envision their future, include information such as lifetime earnings, potential job titles, and skills learned on program pages. As more students compare the returns of education vs. immediately entering the job market, helping them understand the value of education over the long-term will be key in keeping enrollment rates up. 

Leverage your catalog as a tool to drive increased completion rates 

To successfully complete their programs, students need to know the requirements for completion. However, according to a recent survey of over 200 university leaders, 48% said curriculum changes are not always accurately reflected on program maps, completion audits, the website, or other student-facing sources. Additionally, 62% said students are unaware of changes made to the curriculum that may impact them 

Enable students to easily access information that empowers them to successfully access the correct courses and complete their degree. To achieve this, the catalog must provide accurate, up-to-date, and easy-to-find information. 

To attract prospective students and retain current students, a more immersive and exploratory experience will be essential to help students navigate the labyrinth of the catalog.

Categories :
  • Corporate partners
  • Technology
Tags :
  • Student Success
Student at desk researching.
Related people

Build Connections

International Membership - Build Connections


Attend a event

Our meetings, workshops, and international institutes are designed instruct, educate and foster collaboration between professionals and institutions. Find one that works for you.

Learn More

Member Only Benefits

AACCRAO_Transcript-purple

AACRAO's weekly e-newsletter delivering policy and industry news

Member Login Required

Questions? Contact us at membership@aacrao.org or (202) 355-1040