Increasing Equity through SEM

June 24, 2022
  • AACRAO News
  • Enrollment Management
  • SEM-EP
Aerial view of Sante Fe, New Mexico

Meet our newest enrollee to AACRAO's Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP), Mr. Jonathan Breaker. Mr. Breaker's tribal affiliations are Blackfoot (Southern Alberta, Canada) and Cree (Central Saskatchewan, Canada), and he serves as Program Officer for Tribal College University Student Success at the American Indian College Fund

Mr. Breaker began his career in public service for the Canadian government but eventually switched tracks taking an interest in higher education and the work he could do to improve and support positive outcomes for Native Americans. Speaking on this experience and his change in roles, Mr. Breaker said:

Education is key, I think when it comes to Native Nation building and community, positive outcomes, community development, and health and wellness, education is central. I felt like I could see myself in the work I do, and also feel the benefit from my efforts and see those efforts making a difference.

We're working with these colleges to ensure that their enrollment planning is strategic and that they get the resources they need to develop strategic enrollment management plans. That includes everything from front-end recruitment, admissions, and enrollment management, as well as working with career services, graduation, and alumni as well.

Prior to joining the American Indian College Fund, Mr. Breaker served as Assistant Director for Admissions at the Institute of American Indian Arts. In his new role, Mr. Breaker has the opportunity to bring his passion and expertise to a variety of Tribal Colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Many of these institutions are smaller, with student populations ranging between 500 - 1500. 

Utilizing the SEM Endorsement Program

As with many SEM-EP graduates, Mr. Breaker looks forward to sharing the knowledge he gains from the program with his colleagues at the American Indian College Fund, but more than that, he'll be coaching and sharing his expertise with numerous professionals at a variety of Tribal Colleges. Speaking on his experience with SEM-EP and outlook for utilizing the training, Mr. Breaker said:

We have to share our expertise, whether it's through professional development training, presentations, exercises, or activities. We're on a learning journey as an organization, and I think this type of program will be really instrumental for us to be a part of our learning as an organization. 

Often it's a huge organizational and cultural change to work with. These are small institutions, and their resources are stretched. People at the colleges wear many hats, and the whole idea of introducing SEM planning is really an amazing journey.

I think our role is pretty instrumental, coming from a tribal college, for example, or knowing the context of higher education among Native Americans, our role is pretty key to be able to work with tribal colleges to translate that into their environment and build those SEM plans. I'm excited.

In his free time, Mr. Breaker enjoys spending time outdoors and camping with his partner of 14 years.

Interested in learning more about the SEM Endorsement Program? Visit our site to explore the course, content, and badge.