Coaching and Your Path to Senior Enrollment Management

April 1, 2024
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • ascend
Two professionals working at a desk.

Continuous learning is imperative for historically underrepresented professionals seeking to attain senior roles and excel in them. Mere access without proper support can lead to isolation and burnout. Intentional investment in one's growth builds the necessary competencies and resilience to ascend and thrive as a leader in today’s higher education landscape. 

Coaching is an invaluable catalyst to cultivate the currency required to enhance one’s development to reach new heights. Super & Hill (1987) outline that mid-career marks a critical junction between cementing functional expertise and exploring pathways toward elevated strategic influence. For historically underrepresented professionals, access to advanced leadership roles is enhanced with applicable resources to sustain one’s position in that role. Coaching significantly helps navigate this transition.

Opportunities with AACRAO

As a centerpiece of AACRAO's ASCEND Leadership Development Program for high-potential mid-career professionals, each participant is paired with a dedicated coaching faculty member. ASCEND Coaching Faculty are seasoned, diverse strategic enrollment management leaders within AACRAO and AACRAO Consulting. Using SEM Core Competencies as a framework, the ASCEND coaching faculty builds relationships as they co-facilitate the alignment between competencies, career development, and participants' current experiences to aid in the accelerated actualizing of executive potential, pursuit, and position. 

Coaching has been heralded as participants' most beloved ASCEND component, credited as being “simply priceless.” Survey feedback from ASCEND alumni affirms their coach's integral role in charting their leadership ascent. One participant shared, "Coaching and networking gave me the support I needed to know that I can do this [work]." Others emphasized how their coach enabled them to "better assess challenges from a strategic leadership perspective" and “transition from manager to leader.”

Here are four key ways coaching propels strategic career advancement for ASCEND participants:

  • Guiding Insightful Self-Reflection
    • Utilizing Clifton's Strengths, coaches prompt reflection on motivations, strengths, growth areas, and career alignment. This self-awareness enables strategic positioning.
  • Accelerating Leadership Competency
    • Coaches use SEM Core Competencies to cultivate critical executive skills like strategic thinking, change management, communication, and emotional intelligence.
  • Expanding Networks and Visibility
    • Coaches connect participants to high-visibility opportunities and influencers to elevate their professional presence.
  • Providing Ongoing Professional Support
    • Coaches provide real-time guidance to apply learnings to participants' current roles and institutional dynamics. This instills confidence, currency, and resilience.

For mid-career professionals, one-on-one coaching delivers specialized career acceleration to ascend into executive ranks as empowered strategic leaders. Are you ready to ascend? To learn more, apply for ASCEND at


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