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

Apr 29, 2019, 19:32 PM
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Summary : AACRAO seeks faculty and mentors for diverse midlevel enrollment managers.
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Increasingly our campuses are looking to their enrollment managers to assist with, or lead, their long-term campus enrollment planning, address budgetary challenges, and meet the demands and expectations of your students, Board members, legislature, and the public.

However, our own research projects reveal several strong indicators of vacant Senior Enrollment Management Officer seats in the next decade. This demand on the profession in conjunction with the dwindling pool of talent creates a unique opportunity for AACRAO to take meaningful action on behalf of our diverse membership.

Leaders in Enrollment Advancing Diversity (LEAD)

Last fall, AACRAO introduced the LEAD Initiative, an umbrella program for all leadership development focused on advancing diversity in the profession. This program will help ensure current and future enrollment leaders are positioned to help your campus meet the evolving challenges higher education is facing.

With expected declines in high school graduates, the constant media attention on cost of higher education and campus budgetary challenges, and the ever-changing demands of our institutions and the students we serve, it is critical that our campus enrollment team has the expertise to provide the leadership we need to effectively carry out your institution’s mission. Diversity in leadership is crucial to the success of our institutions, and AACRAO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion are more than buzzwords. As leaders in the field, our commitments require action.

AACRAO Stands by Our Commitment to Nurturers of Diversity (ASCEND)

The ASCEND Program is designed to prepare midlevel professional in the competencies required to take the next step in enrollment management leadership. The year-long intensive program seeks to:

  • advance the careers of program participants and provide them with important professional development;

  • help AACRAO and regional associations develop a “deep bench” of talented, motivated leaders from diverse backgrounds; and

  • provide individuals from identified under-represented groups in the association community (i.e., people of color, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people, people with disabilities) with support, access, and opportunities for leadership.

The curriculum design incorporates AACRAO Professional Competencies and Proficiencies and also leverages existing professional development opportunities offered by AACRAO.

Get Involved

Like all successful AACRAO programs, member involvement is crucial. The LEAD Curriculum Work Group is accepting applications for ASCEND faculty and mentors. Apply now.

As Dr. Alton Austin, Registrar/Director of Enrollment Services, College of Central Florida and LEAD Curriculum Work Group member, shared on Twitter, "[the AACRAO LEAD program] is one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have been involved with.” We encourage you, too, to take part in this uniquely rewarding experience that will shape the future of enrollment management.

Categories :
  • AACRAO Leadership and Governance
  • Competencies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Volunteer
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  • Volunteerism
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  • Meet the Members

    Steven E. Smith, University Registrar, Adelphi University

    Steven Smith CCAACRAO's LGBTQIA Caucus holds a very special place in my heart. I spent my early years in the closet and at my first Annual Meeting, I walked past the Caucus meeting three times but couldn't gather the courage to walk in. I timidly took that step at my second conference and my life changed forever; attending that Caucus meeting was the first public thing I ever did as a gay person. The people I met that day are now some of the best friends I have, in fact, years later one of them flew half-way across the country to attend my wedding!  

    Joining the Caucus gave me the courage to come out at home and work. It has connected me with some fabulous colleagues whom I contact regularly by phone, email, and social media. It has informed me about many issues that I thought I knew well, but realized I had more to learn. The three-year stint that I served as chair is one of my fondest memories. The LGBTQIA Caucus has been an important part of my life and I encourage those who identify with any of those letters (including the "A" allies!) to be a part of this important group. 


    Carrie Cuy, Assistant Registrar, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

    Carrie Cuy CCDiscovering the LGBTQIA caucus was a highlight for me during AACRAO’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.


    As a new member, I found the caucus to be a welcoming and friendly group of higher education colleagues. I look forward to participating in future AACRAO and caucus events and fostering a supportive environment for knowledge sharing and professional development in our field.

    Michael N. Robertson, Director of Admissions & Enrollment Services, Southern College of Optometry

    Mike Robertson CC
    When a small group of us helped found the LGBTQ Caucus many years ago, one of our main goals was to simply give “folks like us” a place where we could be ourselves  and share common goals, issues and concerns.  Now, we’ve evolved into a strong group whose added goal of educating our constituency about LGBTQ issues on campuses has made differences at colleges around the world.  The caucus has made me proud of AACRAO and has helped make me a better administrator.  For that, I will always be grateful.

    Stephen Arod Shirreffs, Ph.D., Associate Registrar, Stanford University

    Stephen Arod Shirreffs CC
    I'm in the LGBTQIA caucus because I think visibility is a core value as an engaged gay man and as an engaged AACRAO member. I've been involved in the gay movement since the early 70s, the heady days of gay liberation. Now, as our profession as well as our campuses are more diverse than ever, being "out there" says it loud and proud that we all belong and everyone is welcome. As AACRAO advocates for the issues that are critical to our jobs, having the public backing of our caucus is important work, and I want to be part of it.

    Allen Corben, Assistant Registrar/Graduation Services, Fuller Theological Seminary 

    Allen Corben CCI'm in the LGBTQIA caucus because because none of us are free unless all of us are free.




Mission Statement

AACRAO's LGBTQIA Caucus strives to work for LGBTQIA rights, and educate other higher education professionals so they are able to serve their students with an understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The Caucus welcomes any AACRAO member willing to advance LGBTQIA rights, regardless of sexual identity or orientation. 


LGBTQIA Caucus Chairs

Paul McCarty CC

Paul C. McCarty, Registrar | Washington College

Holly Halmo CC

Holly Halmo, Director of Student Success Initiatives | New York University
Please fill out the form below to join the LGTBQIA Caucus. After submission, a Caucus member will contact you with next steps. 

Student Identity Report

The guidance and recommendations are presented as good, better, and best to accommodate the varying student population needs, political environments, systems/technology use, and educational missions of U.S. colleges and universities while still arming practitioners in admissions and registrars offices who have a duty to serve and advocate for students in a manner that is inclusive and welcoming.

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