Growing the Next Generation of Enrollment Leaders

April 18, 2022
  • AACRAO Annual Meeting
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • SEM Leadership
Photograph of a caterpillar with a butterfly shadow.

College and university leaders help shape all aspects of staff development, according to a panel at the 107th AACRAO Annual Meeting. The panel included Brenda Selman, University of Missouri; Brenda Schumann, University of Texas at Austin; Roslyn Perry, Capital University; and Sherry Waldon Wells, Lamar University.



These leaders shared some best practices to help grow the next generation of registrars, admissions officers, and enrollment managers: 

  • Build on staff members’ current skill sets 
  • Ensure fundamental skills are achieved
  • Be a continuous developer of staff 
  • Provide staff with opportunities

  Ways to grow and develop upcoming leaders:

  • Focus on supporting your staff through critical leadership moments
  • Adopt a human-centered approach that recognizes the challenges of leadership and puts the leader at the center of development experiences
  • Get to know your staff and your culture; leaders will have different development needs depending upon their context.
  • Assess skill sets and growth projects or opportunities. Provide opportunities to be involved in communities and projects across campus, and nominate staff for different activities and roles.
  • Cross-train staff and switch around responsibilities
  • Stress goal setting and professional development during regular one-on-one meetings and evaluations
  • Encourage staff to seek growth opportunities outside of work

 Core elements essential to staff growth:

  • Unravel the mysterious (such as “the budget”)
  • Show your team the reality of office politics and the best way to navigate and understand them
  • Communicate effectively
  • Invest in training
  • Know your culture
  • Connect staff with a professional network

Finally, higher education professionals interested in expanding their understanding of enrollment management practices should consider AACRAO's SEM Endorsement Program (SEM-EP). SEM-EP is a self-paced, 12-18 month professional development program available to all qualified in-service practitioners working in higher education.


AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter is open to members and non-members alike.