The year-long ASCEND Leadership Development Program launched
last year at the 29th Annual SEM conference, with 10 members being accepted into the inaugural cohort. ASCEND is part of AACRAO’s Leaders in Enrollment Advancing Diversity (LEAD)
initiative, and aims to diversity enrollment management leadership across the higher education enterprise. ASCEND participants completed several courses over the year, such as writing a SEM plan, change management, and data analysis and leveraging
technology in higher education. They were also tasked to develop a strategic enrollment management plan as their capstone project.
Faculty members with extensive knowledge of and experience with enrollment management served as course facilitators and coaches. Each ASCEND participant was assigned a coach who provided mentoring, support, and guidance, not just to complete the
program requirements, but also for career planning and professional growth and development. Since participating in ASCEND, several participants assumed new responsibilities at their current institution or moved into new positions at another one.
According to ASCEND participants, “We learned so much from our coaches, faculty members and each other. We developed a strong bond as a cohort, and we leverage everyone’s strengths – that was key in helping us get through COVID.
We’ve been able to use this network to bring ideas back to our campuses. Our coaches and faculty were great. They provided us with real-world insights into life as a chief enrollment management officer, and suggestions to expand or improve our
career portfolio for our next step. Thank you, AACRAO for recognizing a need and developing this program.”
A new ASCEND cohort will launch soon, so keep an eye out for details. Support this work through the AACRAO Gives LEAD Fund.