For those unfamiliar with ASCEND, this program focuses
on leadership development and is part of AACRAO’s Signature Initiative LEAD. ASCEND provides a unique and affordable opportunity for mid-level managers in admissions, advising, financial aid, and records and academic services to grow in their
AACRAO’s latest ASCEND cohort kicked off their program at AACRAO’s 2021 SEM Conference in Miami, FL, and had the opportunity to meet their program coaches. Each ASCEND participant is assigned a coach who provides mentoring, support, and guidance,
not just to complete the program requirements but also for career planning and professional growth and development.
In preparation for this article, we had a chance to speak with a few of this year's coaches and learn more about their roles, inspiration, and thoughts on the ASCEND program.
When asked why she chose to be an ASCEND coach Michelle Brown-Nevers, Associate Vice
President for Student Services at Montgomery County Community College, said:
I like sharing my knowledge and giving back to others. Being an Ascend Coach allows me to do that while also developing others as they progress in their careers.
And when discussing her experience with the ASCEND program to date, she replied:
My experience thus far has been good. We are just starting this year, and I haven't met my mentee yet, but I stay in touch with the person I mentored last year. Mentoring doesn't end because the program has ended. I plan to keep in touch with my mentees as long as they find me useful.
Another of our ASCEND coaches, Tammy Johnson, commented:
I believe the ASCEND program offers an amazing opportunity for enrollment professionals to take their careers to the next level. For those of us who have spent our careers in enrollment management, it’s no secret that the best lessons and insights come from other experienced professionals who have learned those lessons for themselves. As others have assisted me throughout my decades in the profession, I hope to give back just a little of that knowledge to the next generation of aspiring enrollment leaders.
Meet all of our ASCEND Coaches
Michelle Brown-Nevers, Associate Vice President at Montgomery County Community College
Tomikia LaGrand, Vice President for Strategy, Enrollment Management and Student Success at the Virginia Commonwealth University
PJ Woolston, Vice President of Enrollment Management at University of Texas - Permian Basin
Dr. Tom Green, AACRAO Associate Executive Director
Tammy Johnson, Dean of Admissions and Associate Vice President of Enrollment at Marshall University
Rachelle Hernandez, Senior SEM Leader
Arlene Cash, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management at the San Francisco Art Institute
Michele Sandlin, AACRAO Managing Consultant
Jody Gordon, AACRAO Managing Consultant
Explore AACRAO's Signature Initiative LEAD and learn how you can get involved.