Nate Jacobs, M.Ed.
Assistant Director of Transfer Students/Adult Learners
University of Missouri-Kansas City

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
During and after receiving my M.Ed. in adult and higher education, I worked under the umbrellas of graduate student life and student affairs. After moving to the Kansas City metro area, and looking for a new job, I got my foot in the door at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) with admissions as a transfer processor (reading applications). After a year in that role, I started considering the next step in my career and heard we were going to be launching a Center for Transfer Students and Adult Learners within our Office of Admissions. Having the opportunity to spearhead a team that focused on streamlining and improving the admission experience for these students seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to apply the knowledge received from my education and my own educational journey as both a transfer student (multiple times!) and an adult learner.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Having the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of students is truly an honor. However, this wouldn’t be possible if not for having the best supervisor who sees the best in me, continues to encourage me, and brings joy to every day. Additionally, our director of admissions cares for our team and the impact we are making, while also supporting our professional growth and development. When you have leaders in your corner like that, it inspires you to excel at your job and the service you provide your students. That kind of support is invaluable.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
My primary engagement with NACAC has been the library of resources it provides for members and the profession. However, I’m hoping that I can help contribute to the conversation around transfer students and adult learners as well. I have also gotten involved more locally with MOACAC and I’m currently serving on the executive board as technology co-chair. I recently had the opportunity to serve on the on-site committee for the 2023 MOACAC Conference.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today? 
I read this question from the lens of my role in admissions. I think there is still much work to do in supporting the transfer student and adult learner populations—including, but not limited to: the admissions process, credit transferability, financial aid and scholarships, prior learning assessments, specific on-campus support services and communities, family-welcoming programming for students who are parents, and more. This requires a lot of work with campus partners, innovation, and creative thinking. You must advocate for those students and their needs/wants in what they are looking for in a college.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I attend and serve at a local church, and I love spending time with family and friends. I am a #girldad of two and it is a joy to watch them learn and grow. I love watching and attending sporting events—be it our Kansas City Roos (UMKC), my alma mater (University of Oklahoma), or lots of Chiefs and Royals games. I am also down for a good adventure! I love to travel and visit new places. So far, I have been to 20 states and 10 different countries outside of the US.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Tough to pick one, but for this response, I’ll go with Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Like I previously said, I love a good adventure, and Aragorn’s development toward stepping into his calling came from the heart of adventure. It was always inspiring to me to see him being willing to risk his life for the sake of others and a cause greater than himself.


Published June 12, 2023