by Antoinette D'Addario, AACRAO Intern
Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP) director Christopher Tremblay chatted with AACRAO Annual Meeting attendees at his session covering AACRAO’s SEM-EP program. The program is a self-paced professional development program which promotes industry competency and readiness. The curriculum has been created by leading enrollment professionals to provide a formal endorsement of one’s strategic enrollment management skills. This is the only endorsement program for SEM in the world.
To be eligible for the program you need to have five years of experience in the SEM field, at least a bachelor’s degree, be currently employed at an accredited post-secondary institution, submit a one page resume, and a short online application.
The program consists of four components: the Essentials of SEM online course, online webinars, field visits and a capstone research experience. The Essentials of SEM is a four-week online course which helps the learner develop a baseline understanding of SEM and is offered in February and September. While it is typically billed as the first part of the program, it doesn’t have to be done first. However, current student Stacy Maestas started with the webinars and said she had some trouble grasping certain concepts and she recommended starting with the online course.
The webinar requirements will be changing soon, allowing learners to choose two of three required webinars and then choose an additional webinar. After viewing the webinars, students complete a write-up and submit it for review.
Three field visits are also required, though there are different ways it can be completed. Learners can visit three different institutions, or visit two institutions and an AACRAO meeting or do two live institution visits and one virtual visit.
“This is the richest part of the program,” Tremblay said.
Learners are required to spend at least six hours at each institution, with some time spent in admissions, the Registrar’s office and the enrollment management office. A visit to the financial aid office is also strongly encouraged. Learners choose what institutions they want to visit allowing them to choose their experience.
“You get to customize this [program] to what fits your needs best,” Tremblay said.
For the capstone project, learners once against have options as to how they’d like to complete it. They can perform a research study, a literature review or an enrollment project. These options allow learners to assist their universities by performing projects that will offer important data to their institution while also completing the program.
This program builds professional capital and positions you as a leader in your field. It is the cheapest option for advancement in SEM, as other programs available are Masters programs and certificate programs. The program is 92 credit hours and often times the cost of the program will be covered by the institution as it is seen professional development.
“You can do this,” program graduate Darcy Briggs said. “You can fit it into all the other things you have going on in life.”
According to the 2017 U.S. Chief Enrollment Management Officer Career Profile report, almost 750 jobs will be open in coming years for higher education professionals. Participating in this endorsement program will put you in a better position to fill these openings.
Learn more about the SEM Endorsement Program.