Regional Admission Counselors SIG

The mission of the Regional Admission Counselors Special Interest Group is to support the vast and growing number of admission counselors or serve their institutions as remotely-based members of the admission team.

Regional Admission Counselors SIG Co-Leaders: 

Carin Smith
Beloit Collellge

Rae-Anne Mena
Saint Louis University


SIG FOCUS - August 2020

Regionally-Based Admission Counselors are Connected Both Nationally and Locally

This article was written by the co-Leaders of the Regional Admission Counselors Special Interest Group: Rae-Anne Mena, Saint Louis University (MO), based in CO, and Carin Smith, Beloit College (WI), based in IL.

COVID-19 forced many to begin working from home, but members of the Regional Admission Counselors SIG have been choosing to do so for years. Regionally-based counselors make their home (and office) in a place that is often far from their main campus. Their success in doing so has created a new professional track within enrollment management.

The Regional Admission Counselor SIG formed largely due to small groups of regionally based admission counselors gathering locally in their regions or at Affiliate ACAC Conferences. From those early gatherings, regional affiliate groups were formed across the country. The Regional Admission Counselor SIG meeting at the NACAC conference offered the opportunity for those smaller regional groups to come together to share best practices and talk about our national presence. 

Our most recent survey in 2019 indicates that there are over 1,200 regionally based admission counselors across the country who are part of 24 regional affiliate groups. Of the regionals surveyed, 69 percent have over five years experience in the field and 70 percent of the institutions they represent have had a regionally-based admission counselor for more than four years. 

Regionally-based admission counselors are very active in the community where they live and work, with 25 percent of those surveyed having served in an official capacity with NACAC or their affiliate ACAC. In fact, it was conversations started at a Regional Admission Counselor SIG meeting that helped members work with their affiliate ACAC as needed to make sure membership and leadership opportunities took regionally-based admission counselors into consideration.

The Regional Admission Counselors SIG originally assembled to help define the pros, cons, challenges, and opportunities of working with a regional model. As we have grown in membership, we have grown in scope and now conduct an annual survey to allow us to provide regional-based admission counselors and decision makers on their campus with real-time data. From salary and benefit offerings across the country to what impact hiring a regional admission counselor can have on enrollment goals, the survey results allow us to identify trends and needs. 

The Regional Admission Counselor SIG has been able to provide tremendous support and camaraderie to individuals who were often working alone and looking for connection. Many admission counselors have found a new lease on their career. The regional affiliate groups provide support, training, and mentorship for this new brand of admission counselor while providing the seasoned counselor an opportunity to mentor.

If you are a regionally-based admission counselor looking to connect with the Regional Admission Counselor SIG, please do not hesitate to email Rae-Anne and Carin.

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