The Admissions Directors Lunchcast
By Nathan and Teege
Each episode, Nathan and Teege will discuss an issue directly related to college admission. We don't have all the answers, so we'll bring in two guests each time - one influencer and one practitioner.
By the end of the episode, our hope is that you'll have an idea or a tactic that you can implement in your office, perhaps as early as the afternoon.
The Admissions Directors LunchcastMay 02, 2023
Partner Series - CollegeVine
Our limited edition partner series this weeks features CollegeVine, the recruiting network for colleges.
We begin with a clear outline of the challenges coming with changes in student search during our conversation with Vinay Bhaskara, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at CollegeVine. We follow up with a compelling discussion focused on "now what?" with Jonathan Wehner, Vice President and Dean of Admissions at Cleveland State University.
This pairing of topics couldn't be better, as CollegeVine is providing several avenues to help colleges through these changes, starting with the impact calculator: https://www.collegevine.com/data-lab/search-impact-calculator, which you can use right now to determine how significant these changes will be to your institution.
After that, CollegeVine may be part of the answer for many listeners. Their services help colleges build meaningful connections with millions of students looking to attend the right institution for them.
As the largest professional network of high school students and colleges, CollegeVine has reimagined student recruiting. Their transparent recruiting process centered around meaningful connections between students and schools will enable you to connect with right match students who want to be recruited.
Their unique process will allow you to get to know the whole student, drive affinity, and nurture your audience through one on one engagement that can't be replicated.
To learn more, contact Vinay Bhaskara, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at CollegeVine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Value of ACAC Involvement
When developing professional development plans for your team or for yourself, how frequently are you including involvement in your state or regional ACAC? In a fitting end for a season featuring affiliate leaders, this week we're talking about the many benefits for professionals and their institutions.
And yes, we even address the biggest perceived barrier: that the affiliates seem too cliquey to break in.
We've asked two guests who've seen the positive impacts of ACAC involvement in their own careers to share their stories.
Paul Welsh, School Counselor at Fenton High School in Bensenville, Illinois, and President-Elect of Illinois ACAC (for a few more days) talks about his experiences and other associations that could have captured his attention.
Michael Cartusciello, Director of Admissions at Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Past-President of New Jersey ACAC helps us think about the topic from the perspective of institutions who are already involved in their local ACAC.
Join us for this week as we send off season five with a clarion call - get involved in your local ACAC!
The Beauty of Staying Put
In our profession, we are often told that to move up, you have to move on. However, on every campus and high school, you'll find professionals who have spent most of their careers in one place. There are benefits to that experience, and perhaps we need to counter the conventional wisdom of moving from institution to institution.
Of course, both of your hosts took the path of moving on, with ten institutions between us, so we are incredibly fortunate to have two guests who can share their experiences and advice with you.
Jessica Sant, Chief Engagement Officer at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia and Past-President of Southern ACAC talks about the benefits of years-long connections to a school and a community while charting your career path.
Gordie Coffin, Director of Admissions at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska shares the experience of staying at one college through it all.
As you consider your next move, it may be worth considering if it really needs to include a move.
When Your Kid Goes Through The College Search Process
Many of us have been or will be there - parenting a child going through the college search process. In some ways, children of admissions professionals have unique advantages. In other ways, our insight into the process makes this a genuinely different experience for us. How should we approach it, and what can we learn from going through it ourselves?
This week, we are joined by two counselors who, at times, counsel both of your hosts as we are at the early stages of our own kids considering college options.
Stacey Cunitz, Director of College Counseling at The Crefeld School, and Certified Educational Planner Blue Moon Educational Planning, both in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as President of Pennsylvania ACAC starts the conversation with some tangible advice for parents who are admissions professionals.
Sarah Gammans, Director of School Counseling at Northview High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and President of Michigan ACAC adds to the discussion with some ideas of what admissions professionals who are parents can take away from this process.
We hope you find these interviews as valuable as we did.
Partner Series - High School Counselor Marketing
Our limited-edition partner series this week features High School Counselor Marketing. Those of us who have been in leadership roles have no doubt run into Glen Hauser, Director of Sales at High School Counselor Marketing.
High School Counselor Marketing has over the years become the most established company in the industry by providing reliable, updated and accurate Counselor data thereby offering a solution for many of us that filled a badly needed void in our enrollment marketing plans.
Join us while we discuss their services and how working with High School Counselor Marketing has become for many higher-ed institutions, an invaluable part of their student recruitment efforts.
To learn more, contact Glen Hauser, Director of Sales at High School Counselor Marketing at email@example.com.
The Future of Test Scores
What's the surest way to initiate a heated argument between admissions professionals that boils over?
Take a strong position on the use of test scores in college admissions.
So that's what we're going to do - specifically, focus on the future of test scores.
As always, we have two great guests to provide insights.
Perry Robinson, Happily Retired School Counselor, and Vice President for Enrollment, and President of Wisconsin ACAC, talks about the history of the test-optional movement, weights test-optional and test-blind policies, and discusses how families are reacting to these changes.
Kristoffer Toribio, Manager of International Admissions at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, and President of International ACAC, weighs in on the international perspective, the right of passage the tests have become, and the role of tests in the rising direct admissions options.
Any conversation about standardized tests with admissions professionals is interesting, so we hope you enjoy listening to these discussions as much as we enjoyed having them.
What Did We Learn About College Fairs?
Over the last several years, we all underwent a dramatic learning curve on the values, benefits, and drawbacks of in-person, hand-shaking college fairs. We wanted to get perspectives on what we all specifically learned, which lessons will stay with us, and which innovative approaches will stay behind only as a covid-era necessity.
As always, we are lucky to have two outstanding guests to help make sense of this.
Herbie Walker, Director of School Climate & College Counseling at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, and President of Western ACAC helps us think about this from the perspective students and parents.
Drew Shradel, Director of Admission at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and President of Iowa ACAC discusses the institutional cost/benefit analysis, different approaches that may be needed, and the future of colleges attending college fairs.
While spring travel season is well underway, planning for fall travel is just around the corner. These conversations will help prepare you to make the best decisions for your institution this fall.
Hail Mary Strategies
If you've had more than two cycles in admissions leadership, you've no doubt been there: despite your best-laid plans, your class did not come in as intended. In these situations, our playbook is thinner, and the ROI is more challenging to justify.
Or is it?
This week, we're breaking form a bit by bringing two active admissions professionals to share their thoughts on when, how, and what hail-mary strategies they consider, accept, and reject.
It's a thought-provoking week, largely thanks to our two outstanding guests.
Dr. Brian Jones, Director of Admissions at Minnesota State University - Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota, and President of Minnesota ACAC shares his skeptical perspective on these last-ditch efforts.
Ramon Blakely, Director of Recruitment at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, and President of Texas ACAC brings his own thoughts to the discussion.
Here's hoping you won't need this episode this year, but it's here for you when you do need it.
Staff Development During The Great Resignation
While it's not quite a covid episode, you might say the pandemic inspires the topics discussed. All around us, and at every level of our profession, The Great Resignation is real. It's hitting admissions offices particularly hard. How does this rapid turnover, large number of admissions counselors who've never experienced a travel season, and changing expectations of families impact staff development?
We are fortunate to have two guests ready to address these topics with us.
Marion Meadows, Director of County Programs at I Know I Can in Columbus, Ohio and President-Elect of Ohio ACAC brings insight to how students, counselors, and CBOs are responding to admissions counselors and how that should inform our staff development decisions.
Seinquis Leinen, Director of Admission at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, and President of Dakota ACAC discusses how she is approaching staff development in this new normal.
The entire season isn't about covid, we promise.
What's Happening Post-Covid?
We're not superstitious, so we'll ask the question: now that we're in the post-covid "new normal" - what's happening with the college search process? Which of the emergency adjustments are here to stay, and which are going to be left behind in favor of a return to the old ways?
To tackle these questions, we have lined up to great guests.
Kathi Moody, Department Head for School Counseling at Lynnfield High School in Lynnfield, Massachusetts and President of New England ACAC speaks to the question as a counselor and a parent.
Jennifer McClendon, Assistant Director of Recruitment at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and President Great Plains ACAC discusses the issues directly related to recruitment and admissions.
We're back for a fifth season, and of course covid is still the hot topic.
Season Five Teaser
We are (about to be) back for another season! As always, we have sixteen different guests, each bringing their own perspective and insights to issues being faced by admissions directors everywhere.
To find guests, we tried something a little different this time. Each guest is a current President, President-Elect, or current Past President of their state or regional ACAC organization.
Episodes will drop every Tuesday morning in March and April!
J Term: Mark Salisbury
We now conclude this Financial Aid J Term with the extended conversation with Mark Salisbury, Co-Founder and CEO of Tuition Fit. The edited interview aired during our conversation about student loan fears, but we had to cut so many great insights for time. Enjoy this extended conversation where we discuss new federal regulations, crowdsourcing tuition data, and the need for change and disruption in how this whole system works for students and families.
J Term: Matt Osborne
Any time we get a chance to interview someone on the cutting edge of a problem facing admissions directors, you have to assume the interview is going to run long as it did with our conversation with Matt Osborne, Senior Vice President of Client Service and Sales at Ardeo Education Services in Bloomington, Indiana. Matt had so much to say, a thoughtful perspective, and a clear message to Admissions Directors that we almost had no choice but to drop the extended interview here in January. Student loan fears remain real, and going into the spring, you're going to be hearing a lot more about them. Consider this conversation a re-primer on the topic.
J Term: Ryan Gebler
The theme of the J Term this year is financial aid, and we continue that by bringing you the extended interview with Ryan Gebler, Director of Financial Aid at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition to the great conversation we dropped a few months ago, we also discuss the seeming shift in perspective where students in the "financial aid donut hole" used to be a pressing topic of conversation in a way that is not true now. We also go all in on answering the question of whose responsibility is it to change the story: state and federal governments, families, or individual institutions.
J Term: Jim Zielinski
As revealed in our initial interview, Jim Zielinski, Co-Director of College Counseling at The Prairie School in Racine, Wisconsin, is a professional role model for Teege - and as such, the conversation went on far too long during our recording in August. With decades of experience as a Director of Admission and now many years on the school counseling side of the desk, Jim had a lot to say about how to think differently about middle-class families going through the college search process. Often represented as a "donut hole" in terms of college financing options, this is an area that we can all benefit from ongoing thought.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go (To The Darkside...)
All of us have, at some point, considered what a jump to the vendor side of the desk would be like. Is there a better work/life balance? Is the salary better? Would you still get a sense of fulfillment from your work? How stressful are sales goals relative to enrollment goals? Can I work from home? Would there be fewer meetings than in an on-campus job?
We're breaking the mold again this week with two guests who have leaped - from a campus to a private company. This week, we'll better understand their stories, the transition, and if they'd ever cross back over to a college campus.
Erin Stine, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Motimatic in New York, New York, talks about how and why she leaped.
Josh Bistromowitz, Enrollment Management and Marketing Consultant at Media Cross in Saint Louis, Missouri, offers his own take on the experience.
One impact of the Great Resignation is that everyone, Admissions Directors included, is reconsidering their approach to work. If that currently describes you, this week's episode is most definitely for you. We can't think of a better way to end season four.
Well, this was easily the hottest topic at NACAC in Houston - how the Great Resignation impacts admissions offices. Holding on to great admissions counselors has always been important - but it's now also top of mind and what everyone is talking about. In this week's episode, we hope to provide you with more arguments and rationale to take back to your campus as you look to initiate strategies to hold on to your staff. We detail the benefits of holding on to staff and underscore the negative impacts when counselor transition occurs.
This week's guests help us navigate this topic in a relevant and easy-to-understand way.
Amanda Booth, Director of College Counseling at Wichita Collegiate School in Wichita, Kansas, talks about how a counselor transition impacts the students and counselors you are working with.
Julie Nelson, Assistant Dean of Admission at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio (but regionally based in Batavia, Illinois), discusses the management aspect of keeping counselors happy, challenged, and retained.
This is a rapidly evolving conversation, but we're excited to join you this week.
Authenticity In Recruitment
Well sure, we would all agree that the buzzword "authenticity" should apply to our recruitment efforts. But in practice, what does it mean and how do we achieve it? How do counselors stay authentic to themselves while also being authentic to their institution? What happens when we miss on this mark? We have two natural voices offering their genuine thoughts on the topic of authenticity.
Kerry Carusso, College Scholarship Coordinator at Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana helps us understand how students and counselors measure and react to authentic communications from institutions.
Kailagh O'Keefe, Admissions Advisor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin talks about the role authentic recruitment has played in her career path so far and how she ensures that she is being true to herself and her institution at the same time.
Moving beyond the buzzword, we're diving deep into how to have an authentic approach to recruitment this week.
Middle-Income Families and Financial Aid
Guiding middle-income families through the financial aid process is particularly vexing. That's not to imply it's easier with low- and lower-income families, but in that case there are more programs and places to point them to. Middle-income families often exist in the "donut hole" of financial aid - making too much to qualify for state or federal grants, but not enough to afford the cost of their child's education. What can we do to help this group?
We are joined by two experts, each uniquely positioned to provide insight.
Jim Zielinski, Co-Director of College Counseling at The Prairie School in Racine, Wisconsin brings his experience as a school counselor and his decades of experience as Director of Admissions at a liberal arts college to the discussion. How he advises families through the process and when he poses the question of, 'whose responsibility is it to pay for your child's education?' are two particularly highlights.
Ryan Gebler, Director of Financial Aid at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin adds his own level of insight. Having worked at multiple private institutions and counseled hundreds if not thousands of students through financial aid systems, he offers a level of information that we all need right now.
Filling the donut hole is not easy, but it's a discussion we should collectively continue.
Student Loan Fears
Whether rational or not, the biggest fear stopping students from enrolling is the fear of student loan debt. While mainstream perspectives and media representations are wildly off base, that incorrect information is what many families bring to the college search process. So what can we do about it?
We took a different approach to guests this week - finding folks who can share unique perspectives that we can all consider immediately.
Mark Salisbury, Co-Founder, and CEO of Tuition Fit in Davenport, Iowa, unpacks the fears students have and how we can collectively shed some light and perspective on what their experience is likely to be.
Matt Osborne, Senior Vice President of Client Service and Sales at Ardeo Education Solutions in Bloomington, Indiana, shares his experience as a Vice President for Enrollment and how creative solutions may be what is needed.
Collectively, we can all benefit from spending more time thinking about student loan fears, and this week is our contribution to that dialogue.
What the Heck is Executive Functioning?
If this topic catches you off guard - you're not alone. We'll bring it all together as we work through how understanding the executive functioning and development of high school students can improve your recruitment efforts. Then, we'll dig a bit deeper and discuss the levels of executive functioning with admissions counselors and even Deans and Directors. The key takeaway: we could all benefit from ongoing training and attention in this area.
Joining us this week are two folks who have been spending a lot of time thinking about this topic.
Shannon Donaldson, Assistant Director of College Counseling at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland has been watching how high school students are growing in this area, and specifically how the pandemic has impacted them. Then, we ask her to help us understand how admissions counselors are performing out on the road when their Directors and VPs are back in the office.
Asia Wong, Director of Counseling at Loyola University New Orleans, in New Orleans, Louisiana has been working with students after they arrive on a college campus. She'll help us connect the recruiting work we're doing with the student success work happening on a college campus.
It's all about executive functioning with a college admissions twist this week.
Why Do We Travel, Again?
:: written tentatively in case covid surprises us again ::
We are now knee-deep into our first "full" travel season post-covid. High school visits, college fairs, afternoons at Starbucks and Panera, and an endless array of Hampton Inns / Holiday Inns / Marriotts / Whatever Points Plan You Have are back. Yet, when you consider the fact that the pandemic has thwarted travel for two falls and the turnover coming from The Great Resignation, we have a whole slew of road warriors who not only have never done this before, but have been successful without doing it. It creates a weird dynamic - those of us who have been around for years intuitively understand (or think we do) the value of doing this travel. But for the first time, we have to explain and justify to admissions counselors why this "new" job responsibility is so important.
To put it plainly, why do we travel, again?
To help us think through this, we have two excellent guests.
Chris Reeves, School Counselor at Saint Henry District High School in Erlinger, Kentucky (and co-host of the great "Get Schooled by Reeves and Ford" podcast) shares his perspectives from the receiving end. Not only how students react, but the challenge and justification needed to bring other people into the building to serve students.
Andrew Curiel, Associate Director for Admission at College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York (and Founder of Be You Stay True) discusses the challenges and benefits from the college side.
There may be no better time to step back and consider travel - why are we doing this?
Establishing Yourself In A New Role
A unique feature of our profession is that even as adults, we can find ourselves in the awkward situation of being the "new kid" in school. Successfully transitioning to a new role or a new campus can sometimes hinge on coming out of the gate strong in those first few critical weeks on the job. While each of your hosts has had a few transitions, we invited into the conversation two folks who have managed their transitions exceptionally well.
Matt Mettille, Co-Director of College Counseling at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, Illinois, talks about his experience moving between a few high schools while crisscrossing the country. As a bonus, he shares insights from Deans and Directors about how they can best connect with school counselors when arriving at a new campus.
Nikki Chun, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in Mānoa, Hawaiʻi, gives a master class on how to establish yourself, sometimes before day one, as a leader at a new institution.
When you make your next move, putting serious thought into those first few days and weeks will be critical to setting yourself up for success. This episode will help you to do just that.
Season Four Teaser
The fourth season (FOURTH!!!) begins in just a few days. We have sixteen dynamic, interesting interviews scheduled revolving around 8 different topics directly related to recruitment and admission. If you haven't already, subscribe now so you don't miss a single episode.
Partner Series - Ardeo Education Solutions
Sponsored episode: Ardeo Education Solutions
2022 NACAC Booth: #1119
Our limited edition partner series features Dr. Jonathan Shores, Senior Vice President of Client Service at Ardeo Education Solutions and current Ardeo client Dr. Evan Duff, President at North Carolina Wesleyan University in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Ardeo Education Solutions helps colleges and universities enroll more students - especially those with concerns about student debt – by taking the fear out of borrowing. Ardeo’s LRAPs are a proven enrollment tool that address the largest concern most students and families have about attending college today – cost and debt. If a student graduates with a modest income Ardeo will help them repay their student and parent loans.
Ardeo Education Services helps admissions offices by addressing the number one concern of most students and families today – student debt. We’ll help you enroll students who are hesitant to attend your institution due to fear of borrowing.
After listening to this week's episode, you can continue the conversation with Ardeo Education by visiting our website at Ardeo.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner Series - Meghan Cooley Consulting
Our limited edition partner series features Meghan Cooley, a Higher Ed Marketing Specialist in Rock Island, Illinois and a current client, Omar Correa, Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Meghan Cooley is a Marketing Strategist, Copy Writer, and Communication Expert who also provides mentorship and guidance to Directors, VPs, and other marketing staff.
Meghan Cooley Consulting helps admissions offices by streamlining, updating, and advancing enrollment marketing strategy. She partners well with all levels of staff, resulting in better and on-time delivery of communications often by supporting overworked staff members. She has an in-depth knowledge of the Slate Deliver module. You'll find her creativity brings new life to marketing efforts and her sense of humor and easygoing nature will inspire the best out of your team.
After listening to this week's episode, you can continue the conversation with Meghan by emailing her at email@example.com, connecting on LinkedIn or calling 309-721-6564.
Partner Series - Verto Education
Sponsored episode: Verto Education
Our limited edition partner series features Mitch Gordon, President and Co-Founder and Michael Kabbaz, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at Verto Education in Portland, Oregon and current client Meredith Twombly, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Verto Education is transforming the way students approach gap years and colleges recruit transfer students.
Verto Education helps admissions offices by connecting you with qualified, internationally engaged applicants.
Partner Series - Loper
Sponsored episode: Loper
2022 NACAC Booth: 723
Our limited edition partner series features Sam Bernstein, Co-Founder of Loper in Chicago, Illinois.
After listening to this week's episode, you can continue the conversation with Loper by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Loper is a personalized pathing platform that helps students explore their preferences and discover best-fit schools. The average user inputs dozens of criteria on Loper’s mobile platform, enabling admissions teams to automate targeted in-app messages and push notifications to amplify their omnichannel marketing presence.
Sam and his co-founder Eric Menna founded Loper last year with the mission to meet students where they are to help them find the right next step for their education. Bringing students greater transparency into their college search empowers them to make better choices, all with the goal of driving stronger student outcomes.
Summer Session - Mary Napier
Personal testimonial from both of your hosts: Mary Napier is one of the kindest, most helpful, and effective executive search consultants operating in the enrollment management space. In our final episode of the season, "Making the Move", Mary Napier, Founder and Search Consultant at Napier Executive Search in Deland, Florida, guides us through the process of a search, how to prepare yourself, and perhaps most importantly: how to know when you're ready to make the move. There was too much to fit into the regular season episode, so we bring it to you now to round out our summer session.
Summer Session - Terry Tumbarello
Each season, we've brought you a guest a step or two removed from our profession. We've had a parent, a bakery owner, and now a Director of Residence Life. As you'll hear in this extended cut, Terry Tumbarello, Director of Residence Life at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, in Whitewater, Wisconsin, has a lot to say about how colleges and universities can help students become higher education professionals. There is a lot that we can do better in admissions, and in this extended interview, we have an opportunity to dig deeper.
Summer Session - Dan Savaadra
In our original episode, Dan Savaadra, Founder and President of StriveScan in Chicago, Illinois, shared some thoughts about the future of college fairs. We had so much left on the (not-literal) cutting room floor, that we knew immediately we'd have to bring you this extended cut. What happens to college fairs in the next few years is going to impact us all. As a genuine thought leader on college fairs, there's no better source to predict how this wild ride continues.
Summer Session - Dean Jacoby
When an interview runs long, we have to make edits to fit the format. This week, we are excited to bring you the extended cut of our interview with Dean Jacoby, Director of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In this longer interview, Dean discusses gap year experiences, what the current research says, his own gap year experience, and what colleges can do better for students taking a gap year.
Making The Move
Whether it's moving in to your first Director role, or moving on from it, the decision on when to make the move is critical. And difficult. And not always yours to make.
Our influencer is Mary Napier, the Founder and Search Consultant at Napier Executive Search in DeLand, Florida. She discusses how the process works, when she knows someone is ready to make the move, and what you might want to think about when you're considering the move. Our practitioner is John McGreal, Dean of Enrollment Services at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. He describes his own journey, and the multiple times he decided he was ready to make the move.
It's an introspective episode, as we prepare to take our summer hiatus.
In the olden days, we just mailed an admit letter to a student. Then we upgraded to "the big envelope." Then, admit boxes, with balloons and gifts. Then, digital portals. Then, digital confetti.
Where on that spectrum does an in-person application and admission decision fit? We're joined by two great professionals to discuss just that topic. Crys Latham is the Founding Director of College Counseling at Washington Latin Charter School in Washington, DC. and Board Chair of Colleges that Change Lives. Sanjay Mitchell is Director of College and Alumni Programs at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Washington, DC. They both discuss the onsite admissions programs they put together as school counselors, how they work with colleges and students for these events, and touch back to their time on the college side of the desk to consider the effectiveness of these programs.
If you're not doing onsite admissions, this is episode is for you.
We're all fully aware about the changing demographics facing admissions professionals. As a result, colleges are turning to transfer students with increasing urgency and interest. While it should have perhaps happened long ago, we've got two experts to guide us through the current state of play today.
Our influencer guest is Andre Richburg, Director of Enrollment Services - Management Consultant at CampusWorks in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Andre has a career full of community college and transfer experiences and provides great insights into how and why we can all do better for transfer students. Our practitioner guest is Nick DeFalco, Director of Transfer Admission at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Nick walks us through the best practices and approaches to serving both a four-year institution and transfer students at the same time.
Student Workers Turned Admission Professionals
Each season, we have a guest that is a bit out of left field. That's this episode.
This week, we wanted to dig into the process of developing admission professionals from student workers. We're joined by someone from outside the world of admission to show us that there's a much better way to do this. Terry Tumbarello is the Director of Residence Life at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, in Whitewater, Wisconsin - and is a personal friend and mentor of one of our hosts. He describes how student affairs efficiently exposes rising professionals to a wide range of options outside their alma mater. We follow up with a career progression discussion with a rising star, Conner Ellinghuysen, Director of Admission at Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Iowa.
We hope you'll finish this episode and initiate a discussion with some of your student workers this week about the range of options they'll have in the admissions profession.
The Future of College Fairs
Three years ago, it would have felt like a wild thought experiment to imagine a world without college fairs. Or at least the start of a zero-based budgeting process for an admissions office. Now, the future of college fairs is genuinely unknown, and we have two experts to help sort through it.
Behind the scenes, Dan Savaadra has been influencing college fairs for years as the Founder and President of StriveScan, in Chicago, Illinois. We'll discuss what problems he saw with the old college fair model to begin with, how he's guided us to virtual college fairs, and what he sees next. Our practitioner guest is Mark Steinlage, Associate Dean of Admission at Saint Louis University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, and current NACAC board member. Mark has extensive college fair experience from his time at Missouri ACAC and shares his own great insights for us.
Are fifty handshakes in one night in our future again?
Gap Year Strategies
We've all been there. You hear from a fantastic student recruited for this fall that they're very excited to come to campus ... after a gap year.
What you do or say next will make all the difference. Our influencer guest is Dean Jacoby, Director of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy, in Albuquerque, New Mexico - and a nearly-certified expert on gap years. He'll talk to us about the perceptions (correct and incorrect) about how and why students pursue gap years, when it's the right choice for them, and what colleges can do to better recruit gap year students. Then, we're joined by our practitioner guest, Jake Weissbourd, Director of Partnerships and Strategic Innovations at Verto Education Group, in Portland, Oregon. We'll hear how Verto put together an academic gap year program that is a win/win for all involved.
The ground we all play on with search is rapidly shifting beneath our feet. This week, we try to catch lightning in a bottle by capturing the (current) best practices and thought processes with student search.
Kent Kleiva, Senior Consultant at KelmscottEDU in Berkeley, Illinois, may be one of the most important influencers in how we all conduct search today. With a few years of experience behind him, Kent helps us understand what's changing, and what's always been true ... at least for twenty years. Our practitioner guest is Kevin Halle, Director of Admission at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. In this role, he's built a new search campaign from scratch, with the scars, ideas, and insights to prove it.
If you haven't updated your search campaign in a couple years, this is an episode you don't want to miss.
Influencing the Influencers
Perhaps the admissions version is, "If you recruit a student to your college, you increase your next class by one. If you recruit an influencer to be your supporter, you increase your next ten classes."
This week, we're joined by two different influencers. Mia Suarez, Associate Director of College Counseling at Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay, Florida talks to us about how colleges can better connect with school counselors. Desvan Moody, Manager of High School Support at Kipp: Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland discusses how impactful community-based organization staff can be in the recruitment process.
We're slightly off format with two influencers this week, but we think you'll agree that it was a wise choice after listening to these conversations.
Season Three Teaser
Less than a month before another May 1, and we are back with another great season of The Admissions Directors Lunchcast. We have times these episodes to match the approach you might be taking to your work this time of year. The pressing issues will be in April, with topics that allow for more reflective thinking reserved for May. We are excited for the line up - mark yourself out over lunch for Tuesdays in April and May!
J Term: Jennielle Strother
And just like that, J Term comes to an end. For our final of four installments of the J Term edition of the Lunchcast, come along for the wild ride of our conversation with Jennielle Strother, Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management at Concordia University Texas, in Austin Texas. This conversation may carry more laughter and light hearted moments than most - but it also comes with a deep discussion on the mindsets of a good admissions director, the ways we can support each other, and an ever evolving sense of what time of year it is as we talk. Enjoy this conversation as we gear up for Season Three of the Lunchcast.
J Term: Daryle Tucker
Just like in real life, J Term goes by quickly. For the third of four limited edition episodes of the Lunchcast, listen in on the extended conversation with Daryle Tucker, Head Women's Basketball Coach at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Daryle discusses the disconnects between athletics and admissions, how he forged a successful recruiting relationship with an unlikely partner, and talks about the secret to success his father gave him. This could be the most fun lunch hour you have in January.
J Term: Carin Smith
Join us for the second of four "J Term" editions of the Lunchcast. This week we play the extended conversation with Carin Smith, Midwest Regional Admissions Manager for Beloit College, in Beloit Wisconsin. Carin took us on a delightful journey of the benefits of having a regional, the joys of the role, and the unique aspects of regional admission counselors. She then brings some real "Joan Crawford / wire hangers" energy when we discuss whether or not regionals should drive in for Saturday duty. This is a conversation you'll want to fully take in!
J Term: Pam Johnson
In the first of four "J Term" editions of the Lunchcast, join us for the extended conversation with Pam Johnson, of Pam Johnson Consulting. Pam took us on a masterclass of the student decision process, from browsing to shopping to buying, walked through the role of financial aid, how to work with parents, and even some advice to give admissions counselors.
As a previous guest, Jeremy Tiers often says, training admissions counselors is not just an activity in August. Additionally, ongoing professional development for admissions directors is not either. In this episode, we'll discuss both topics - training your staff after fall travel, and continuing your own professional growth. To do that, we're joined by Rafael Figueroa, Dean of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Jennielle Strother, Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management at Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas.
Teaming with Athletics
For many (perhaps most) colleges, we'll never hit our enrollment targets without a successful recruiting year from the athletics department. Ensuring a strong relationship between admissions and athletics is critical for any admissions director. Joining us to discuss the nuances, tensions, and opportunities in this relationship are Dan Tudor, Founder of Tudor Collegiate Strategies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Daryle Tucker, Head Women's Basketball Coach at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.
Regional Admission Counselors
When utilized correctly, regional admission counselors can help you dig deeper into a territory than you could from campus. When used incorrectly, they're coming to campus every fourth Saturday. This week we're discussing what we get wrong, what we get right, and how a regional admission counselor can help you connect with a new territory. We are fortunate to be joined by Traci Flowers, Post-secondary Counselor at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois and Carin Smith, Midwest Regional Admissions Manager at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.
There is a wide range of perspectives on how best to include independent counselors in your recruiting operation. This week, we are joined by two fantastic guests to work through this topic: Meggan Mattson of College Fit Consulting in Denver, Colorado, and Steve Syverson, Dean of Admissions Emeritus at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and recently retired Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at the University of Washington - Botthel in Botthel, Washington.
Working With CBOs
A successful admissions operation often relies on strong relationships with one or several community based organizations. However the ways we engage with CBOs and the students they serve can often require a different approach. This week, we are joined by Alia Georges, former College Preparation Coach at College Bound St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri, and Marc Young, Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Marketing Tips and Tricks
An evergreen topic for sure, but this week we dive into some of the best marketing approaches and tactics for Admissions Directors to consider. We're joined by Scott Voris, Managing Director at KelmscottEDU in Berkeley, Illinois and Carlos Cano, Director of Admission Communication and Marketing at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Visits in 2021/2022
Handling campus visits has never been more dynamic, challenging, or important. This week, we talk through these challenges with Angelica Melendez, College and Financial Aid Specialist at South San High School in San Antonio, Texas and Gerri Daniels, Executive Director of Admission at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.
Student Decision Path
The process a student goes through to make a final enrollment decision can sometimes seem mystical. To help break it down, we're joined this week by Sonia Ryan, Director of College Counseling at Justin-Sienna High School in Napa, California, and Pam Johnson, of Pam Johnson Consulting in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Teaser Season Two
It's hard to believe another academic year is upon us - but we are ready to go with another great season of The Admissions Directors Lunchcast. Now is the time to subscribe so that you are among the first to receive each episode. We've got a fantastic line up that will deliver great content every Tuesday in September and October.
Summer Session: Trée George
In the fourth of four extended cuts from season one, please enjoy our full interview with Trée George, Director of Admission at Louisiana Tech University.
Summer Session: Carmen Lopez
In the third of four extended cuts from season one, please enjoy our full interview with Carmen Lopez, Executive Director of College Horizons.
Summer Session: Jenny Gibson
In the second of four extended cuts from season one, please enjoy our full interview with Jenny Gibson, owner of Jenny's Sock Shop. https://jennyssockshop.com/
Summer Session: Andre Douglas
In the first of four extended cuts from season one, please enjoy our full interview with Andre Douglas, Director of Graduation Plus College Access & Success Services.
Properly training your staff is an ongoing concern, but how do you get the right training experiences in front of your team at the right time? We have two outstanding guests, Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, and DeVone Eurales, Director of Admission at Knox College to help think through this.
Plus, as promised all season, one listener will receive a free training workshop offered by Jeremy Tiers. To enter, just fill out this short survey about what you would like to see on Season Two of the Lunchcast.
Building A Staff
There may not be a more significant decision an Admissions Director makes than the people they hire to be admissions counselors. To help us think through those important decisions, this week we are joined by Nick Spaeth, Director of College Counseling at Brookfield Academy, and Trée George, Director of Admissions at Louisiana Tech University.
Fly In Programs
This year has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate how we spend travel resources to manage or grow enrollment. As we move forward, what is the best role for fly in programs? This week, we welcome Carmen Lopez, Executive Director of College Horizons, and Michael Decker, Regional Recruitment Director at Loyola University Maryland to provide insights and perspectives.
Bringing In Parents
Determining how and when to involve parents in the process is a delicate balance. This week, we're joined by Jenny Gibson, the parent of three college graduates and Tony Cabasco, Vice President for Enrollment at Bennington College. These conversations brought some of the most interesting conversations (everything from fishing to embarrassing dad stories) to help us figure out how to better work with parents throughout the recruitment process.
One of the oldest debate in admissions plays out on this week's episode of the Lunchcast: do Scholarship Days enroll more students, or reward the students already enrolling? This week, we're joined by Seth Harris, Managing Director of Analytics at the Education Advisory Board and Whitney Rundell, Director of Admissions at Northland College to share their thoughts and perspectives.
Financial Aid Counseling
Getting students, parents, admissions counselors, and financial aid counselors together to discuss financial aid is a perennial challenge for Admissions Directors. This week, we're joined by Andre Douglas, Director of Graduation Plus College Access & Success Services and Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Hamline University to discuss the best approaches to getting everyone talking about money.
Spring Yield in 2021
As if yield season wasn't challenging enough - throw in virtual visit days, limited travel, and economic uncertainty. This week, we're joined by Michelle Borleske, Director of College Counseling at the Gregory Schools, and Meghan Cooley, of Meghan Cooley Consulting to discuss the approaches to take this year.
Working Your Admit Pool
Season One Trailer
Clear your Tuesday lunch hours this spring to take a meeting with Nathan and Teege. Each week, we'll bring in two guests to discuss a topic directly related to the work of College Admissions Directors.
Our hope is that by the end of your lunch, you'll have picked up some new ideas and tactics that you can implement immediately - perhaps as early as this afternoon.