AACRAO launches admissions podcast

October 29, 2018
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headphones and cellphone lay on a green wooden surface with the text "Admit It hosted by James Miller" displayed Have you discovered the joy of listening to a great podcast, maybe while you’re cleaning, or driving, or exercising? Like books and films, podcasts come in many flavors -- nonfiction, fiction, educational, history, self-help, professional development, and more. And as with other media, it’s nice to have a handful of reliably excellent titles to choose from depending on your mood and listening context.

Here’s a new series to add in to your rotation: the AACRAO admissions podcast Admit It. To meet member’s professional development needs and interests via as many avenues as possible, AACRAO began production on Admit It this fall, with a records and registration themed series, For the Record, in the works for 2019.

“If you search podcasts, there’s not much in the higher education space, and certainly not in college admissions,” said the podcast’s host James Miller, Director of Admissions at University of Washington Bothell. "There are great publications, peer reviewed journals, online newsletters and breaking news, but there’s no place for the kind of ongoing conversation an audio medium allows.”

A commuter, Miller is no stranger to the podcast world, and he’s been thinking for awhile about the need for a higher education podcast that focused on people and events affecting admissions officers. 

“Then when Melanie Gottlieb [AACRAO Deputy Director @melgott] tweeted that AACRAO was looking to start a podcast, I thought that would be really cool and interesting,” Miller said. “AACRAO is the perfect organization to provide the platform and initiative for this project.”

DoMjR6hU8AIj9tiA conversation with the listener

Miller has developed three podcasts thus far of a ten-episode series. His style is to go beyond the standard interview format to engage the listener in a more nuanced conversation.

“One part of the podcast is the interview, but then we’re overlaying that with asides (inspired by the Ologies podcast amongst others) and further commentary on topics that are brought up,” Miller said. “So if listeners are interested in a particular topic, they’ll hear about places they can get more information in addition to the mainline conversation.”

“My goal is to bring voices to the table we don’t often get to hear and conversations we don’t get outside of conference settings,” he said. “If there are conversations that are under-covered or if you know an awesome person who has a great take on a topic, contact me.”

Leaders in the field
Admit It’s initial episodes address some of the field’s hottest topics, including:

Ep. 01 with Scott Jaschik explores the implications of Inside Higher Ed’s annual college admissions directors survey.
Ep. 02 with Dr. Genny Beemyn reflects on LGBTQ+, and particularly trans, issues in higher education admissions.
Ep. 03 with Dr. Michael Benitez examines the relationships between diversity center directors and college admissions officers.

The first episode will be launched on Monday of the AACRAO SEM Conference (Nov. 12), and will be available via iTunes and Google Play. Other episodes will follow on a bimonthly basis. 

“Our goal is 30-45 minutes per show,” Miller said. “I want to stay away from long-form episodes, but you can’t have a substantive conversation in less than a half an hour because everyone is so delightfully nerdy and passionate about the work we do.”

Have an idea for the show? Miller encourages listeners to contact him directly with topic suggestions.