Leaders in Enrollment Advancing Diversity (LEAD)

The LEAD initiative takes a multi-pronged approach at identifying and preparing a diverse group of enrollment leaders to take on leadership roles in Enrollment Management in North America and across the globe.

Program Offerings

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ASCEND Leadership Development Program


The first program under the LEAD initiative, the ASCEND Program, was launched in 2019. The ASCEND Program is designed to prepare mid-level professionals in the competencies required to take the next step in enrollment management leadership. The year-long intensive program uses self-paced modules and live discussions to cover the technical topics of enrollment management. This program utilizes panel discussion and coaching to cover the professional concepts and attitudes of mind required for leadership.

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    Women's Leadership Institute


    In partnership with ACUI and NASPA, the Women's Leadership Institute brings together administrators from across campus functions to help attendees gain a practical understanding of what it takes to be a leader on a college or university campus—both the challenges and the rewards.

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    Photograph from the 2023 SEM Conference in Seattle, WA of the 2023 - 2024 ASCEND Cohort.

    Promoting and Developing Future Leaders

    Dec 8, 2023

    AACRAO's professional development program ASCEND kicks off with the 2023-2024 cohort.

    2022-23 ASCEND Cohort at Toronto SEM

    Passing the Baton

    Nov 29, 2022

    AACRAO Leadership Development program closes another chapter.

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    Introducing the Future of Enrollment Management

    Oct 31, 2022

    Learn about AACRAO's professional development program ASCEND and meet the 2022 cohort.

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    Cultivating Leadership

    Sep 6, 2022

    Position yourself as a future institution leader with this professional development program.

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    Providing Support in a Changing World with an Uncertain Future

    Aug 23, 2022

    Apply for the AACRAO ASCEND Program by September 16.

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    Growing your SEM Community

    Aug 8, 2022

    See how one ASCEND member, Kayla St. Clair, utilized the program to build and develop her SEM community.

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    Broaden your Professional Perspective

    Jul 25, 2022

    Explore professional growth and development with a member of AACRAO ASCEND.

    Red tool box full of tools on wooden bench.

    Curating your Toolkit

    May 16, 2022

    Learn how one of AACRAO's current ASCEND members applies broad enrollment management strategies to her unique situation.

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    The Value of Professional Development

    May 2, 2022

    Learn more about the AACRAO ASCEND program from member Malia Jones.

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    Sharing Knowledge and Strategic Thinking

    Mar 21, 2022

    Learn more about AACRAO's ASCEND program through the lens of its participants.

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    Overcoming Challenges and Building Confidence

    Feb 7, 2022

    Learn more about AACRAO's ASCEND program and the opportunities it provides.

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    Unique Pathways to Leadership

    Jan 10, 2022

    AACRAO ASCEND participant, Anne Thurmer, discusses her pathway to her current position and her participation in the ASCEND program.

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    Meet the Future Leaders of Enrollment Management

    Nov 1, 2021

    Learn about AACRAO's professional development program ASCEND and meet the 2021 cohort.

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    AACRAO ASCEND Program Application Now Open

    Aug 23, 2021

    AACRAO's Ascend Program Application is now open. Learn more about the program, its goals, and how to apply.

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    #GivingTuesday: Transform our world

    Nov 30, 2020

    Ideas about how you can give back to the AACRAO community.

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    Inaugural ASCEND cohort recognized at AACRAO SEM

    Nov 12, 2020

    Participants receive mentoring, support, and guidance from SEM experts.

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    Top 5 picks from AACRAO’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019

    Dec 2, 2019

    Join AACRAO Gives for #GivingTuesday, and shop professional development for yourself and your staff.

    photo of ASCEND cohort

    Field Notes: Leadership development cohort kicks off at SEM

    Nov 4, 2019

    ASCEND will prepare a diverse group to take on leadership roles in Enrollment Management.

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    The fast track to advancement

    Oct 21, 2019

    AACRAO is pleased to introduce the inaugural cohort of the ASCEND Leadership Development Program.

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    AACRAO's leadership development program accepting applicants

    Jul 8, 2019

    ASCEND helps you prepare for the next step in your enrollment management career.

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    ASCEND program announced: Standing by our commitment to nurturers of diversity

    Apr 29, 2019

    AACRAO seeks faculty and mentors for diverse midlevel enrollment managers.

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    AACRAO LEAD Curriculum Work Group members named

    Mar 17, 2019

    Workgroup to establish the Senior Enrollment Management Officer leadership development program, which will kick off this fall.

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    The demand is high. The picture is big. The goal is meaningful.

    Nov 27, 2018

    Photo taken from the audience's perspective looking at a stage of panelists.

    AACRAO kicks off the LEAD Initiative

    Nov 13, 2018

    With a new caucus, working group, Career Navigator, and more, AACRAO is advancing diversity in enrollment leadership.

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    AACRAO takes the LEAD on diversifying enrollment leadership

    Oct 30, 2018

    Identifying and preparing a diverse group of enrollment leaders