Broaden your Professional Perspective

July 25, 2022
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • ascend
Four plants growing in sunshine.

We recently met with AACRAO Member Janail Silver, Director of Records and Registration, Oakland University - William Beaumont School of Medicine. Mrs. Silver shared details about her background, experience in the ASCEND program, and reasons why she chose the ASCEND program as an avenue for professional and personal growth. 


Mrs. Silver moved from a traditional private university to the William Beaumont School of Medicine. Speaking about her experience moving from a conventional private university to a professional school, Mrs. Silver said:

I decided I wanted something more and saw the position at Oakland University; I applied to be the Director of Records and Registration for the new medical school...and received an offer shortly after. It's been an interesting experience in this role because I've had the opportunity to build a registrar's office from the ground up.

Mrs. Silver continued comparing and contrasting the difference in student type, enrollment, and generally different feel her role represents working at a professional school.

Next, we discussed specific modules the ASCEND cohort works through as part of their course program and how these modules apply to her position. When asked about the Enrollment Marketing (one of the modules the cohort recently finished) portion of the program, Mrs. Silver said:

At our institution, while we do some enrollment marketing. We probably don't spend nearly as much as undergraduate institutions because students who want to come to medical school do so with a purpose. There's a whole process; a lot of it is managed through the AAMC, an organization that represents medical schools, teaching hospitals, etc., because students have to initially apply through their application system.

We still have to market because, within medical schools, you have different focuses. For example, some schools are more research-based, community-based, etc.

For us, it's sometimes a challenge because we're in a suburban area, and it requires more effort to attract diverse populations

Planning for Growth

Finally, I asked Mrs. Silver about her expectations for participating in the ASCEND program and how she viewed the program from the perspective of professional development:

I have worked in the registrar environment for nearly 20 years now. When I saw the ASCEND program and read about it in some of the things you guys posted about the first cohort, it really attracted me to the program. I saw an opportunity for professional and personal growth.

Sometimes when you are in a specific area, you get siloed, and you don't necessarily get those experiences to broaden your professional perspective. ASCEND really provides that opportunity as well as some amazing mentorship with leaders, you know, in enrollment management. And truly, I feel like it's a bit more than mentorship; I would say it's more like sponsorship because you have somebody that has truly been in this area and can help advocate for you and help you advocate for yourself in going for other positions or more responsibilities.

Overall, ASCEND is an absolutely wonderful program where you not only learn about strategic enrollment management but you get connected to some amazing mentors that really pour their expertise and their knowledge into you and are willing to kind of help you navigate your professional journey.

AACRAO members interested in learning more about AACRAO’s ASCEND program, want to get involved, or are curious about the process should visit our Signature Initiative page and join the list to stay updated on news about the program.

About the ASCEND Program

The ASCEND Program prepares mid-level professionals in the competencies required to take the next step in enrollment management leadership. The year-long intensive program seeks to:

  • advance the careers of program participants and provide them with important professional development;

  • help AACRAO and regional associations develop a “deep bench” of talented, motivated leaders from diverse backgrounds; and

  • provide individuals from identified under-represented groups in the association community (i.e., people of color, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people, people with disabilities) with support, access, and leadership opportunities.

The curriculum design incorporates AACRAO Professional Competencies and Proficiencies and leverages AACRAO's existing professional development opportunities.


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