Last month, in Miami, Florida, we hosted our first-in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 500 of you joined us to learn, network, and be inspired by the leading thinkers in the field of enrollment management. While I’ve engaged
virtually over the last two years with many participants, there’s nothing like being there, and we were all ready to be back together in person. The joy of in-person connection with the AACRAO community was palpable the whole meeting.
As we close out 2021, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a part of AACRAO and the community created by our members. Without our connections to one another, the personal and professional challenges we have faced over the past two years
would have been so much more difficult had we tackled them alone; the experiences that we’ve had since the start of the pandemic have truly distilled for me the essence of what it means to be a part of a professional community.
ACCESS: We serve the professions that we represent and the higher education community at large. While we do offer many resources that are open to the general public, membership gives you access to the guidance, standards,
and best practices that support the work you do for your institution and your students. This is especially important in emergent crisis situations.
IMPACT: Through participation in advocacy, committees, workgroups, and association governance, members have the opportunity and ability to develop standards and best practices and can have considerable influence on the direction
of the profession and higher education as a whole.
CURRENCY: The higher education environment is dynamic, even more during a crisis. Members have access to the entire catalog of professional development resources to enhance skills and knowledge and stay up to date on changes
in the field. AACRAO offers opportunities to learn in-person, virtually, in online cohort-based courses,
on-demand learning modules, journals, research, and more.
CONNECTION: Whether you connect online, at an in-person event,
or via email through a listserv or virtual community, the connection to
those who can relate to your experiences provides the support you need to make sound decisions for your institution and your students when it matters most. Membership provides contacts at the local, state, national, and even international
level to help you solve problems, fill open positions, and grow your career.
At its core, AACRAO exists to support our members as they work to overcome everyday challenges and major events. We provide a space for continual improvement and learning for all members. Professionals who work alone may struggle to find new
ways to use new tools or achieve better outcomes, or they may not even be fully aware of new approaches or new requirements. In isolation, we are less effective, but we succeed together when we learn and grow together.
I’m thankful for my AACRAO community every day, and I look forward to seeing more of you, both virtually and in person, at the annual meeting in Portland in 2022.