AACRAO's SEM Endorsement Program (SEM-EP) participants recently attended an interesting and unique in-person field visit at the Department of Higher Education in Colorado. The SEM-EP program, for the uninitiated, is a 12-18 month professional development program focused on enrollment management practices and offers formal recognition of enrollment management skills, on-the-job experience, and facilitates career advancement in the area of SEM.
SEM-EP is open to all qualified in-service practitioners employed by post-secondary institutions nationally or internationally. This program is designed to allow participation from almost any geographic location and those who complete the program receive the SEM Endorsement badge to recognize their achievement.
On the Road
In researching this article we had the chance to sit down with Carl Einhaus, Senior Director for Student Success and P20 Alignment at the Department of Higher Education in Colorado. Over the last eight years, Mr. Einhaus has worked with student service departments at all of Colorado's public institutions in addition to some technical and private schools. As host to the SEM-EP field visit, Mr. Einhaus shared the various strategies used in Colorado to increase enrollment throughout the state. Commenting on this portion of the field visit Mr. Einhaus said,
(We) help them (institutions) interpret policy and state law that impacts their operations so they can remain in compliance. And in addition to that, we have a Commission on Higher Education that sets our strategic direction for higher education in Colorado. A lot of the work involves not only increasing the number of students in Colorado who earn a credential, but also credentials of value so that the credentials they're earning, they're able to have a meaningful career that will help them pay their bills.
Instead of having a degree or a credential that doesn't help them be marketable to get into a career that they're happy with and can help them have the financial freedom to have a good life. And, like a lot of other states, we're trying to incorporate work-based learning in education, including K through 12, which is not in our purview, but we partner with them and also higher education so that students in Colorado have direct hands-on experience in the workforce, which will help them with their career planning and (in) figuring out what it is they want to do.
Curious about how "credentials of value" are determined or designated, we discussed Colorado's process for that which involves an in-state commission that uses a formula based on high in-demand occupations, critical services, education, health services, and others. The goal for all of this is to ensure students can make informed decisions about their education and can reasonably attain a meaningful career.
Though we didn't have a chance to discuss each session in detail, SEM-EP participants attended a number of sessions during their field visit including:
Closing out the interview Mr. Einhaus commented on the experience saying:
We were very grateful to be able to kind of highlight some of the cool work that we're doing here in Colorado. It was a great way to kind of talk about all the cool things we're working on.
Interested in learning more about SEM-EP? Visit our SEM-EP page for details about the program, faculty, the SEM-EP National Registry, our application process, and much more.