I used to work in admissions office at ISB. It was quite difficult for me to explain people what I was doing after earning degrees in engineering and management. At a very simplistic level--it was education marketing and recruitment. However, I see it as a cross-functional role, which included concept selling, recruitment, interviewing, career counseling, external relations, research and brand management. Above all it offered an opportunity to interact with top talent and support their best fit with the institution. But the "profession" of admissions and enrollment management is simply non-existent in India.
In contrast, admissions and enrollment management profession is well established in the US. It plays a central role in attracting and retaining top talent for the universities. It has advanced to the level that apart from professional associations there are even specialized research centers like the Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice (CERPP) at the USC and a journal published by the CollegeBoard.
This month, I attended two international conferences in the US that focus exclusively on admissions and enrollment management:
- NAGAP (National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals) has more than 1,800 members and focuses on graduate admissions.
- AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) has more than 10,000 members and focuses on undergradaute admissions.
For institutions who aspire to build brand and reputation, need to understand that admissions is not a clerical role about filling seats. It is a professional role of a brand manager who has competencies for building a brand and attracting the best talent. This is critical because alumni are the best brand ambassadors an institution can ask for.
Rahul Choudaha, PhD