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Elevate: Women In Enrollment Management Leadership Seminar Series

Elevate: Women in Enrollment Management Leadership Seminar Series

Angie Cooksy
Bradley University

The opportunity to share Elevate with IACAC members (and anyone who will listen) has quickly become one of my favorite things, so when The Admission Essay asked for a little write-up, I was happy to share more about this new program! A little over a year ago, I began having conversations with colleagues at college fairs, over drinks, and via Google chat. We discussed how amazing it would be if there was a place (or program) for women in our field who are dedicated to having the big conversations around the ideas of advancement, overcoming imposter syndrome, and defining one’s own professional brand in enrollment management. Those conversations morphed into an idea that became Elevate – A Women in Enrollment Management Leadership Seminar Series. IACAC has long set the standard in providing amazing professional development programs, such as Summer Institute, Summer Tours, Middle Management Institute, Transfer Summit, Sharing the Dream Conference, Annual Conference, and, most recently, Counselor Camps and L.E.A.D. These programs led the way for Elevate to become a possibility and find support in our regional affiliate.

Since we made the announcement earlier this year, many members have asked,

“Who is Elevate for?”

“If I’m not looking to become the next Vice President of Enrollment Management or the next Director of Admissions, is this program for me?”

“If I DO want to become the next Vice President or Director, is this program for me?”

The answer is YES. According to a 2014 NACAC survey, women are overrepresented at entry- and mid-level positions, comprising about 70 percent of counselors and assistant/associate directors, but they become increasingly underrepresented at more senior positions. While we hope that Elevate results in promotions for those who attend, our ultimate goal is to increase representation and confidence for all women who look to have a voice at the enrollment management leadership table. Elevate will mean different things to different attendees and that is amazing. If your goal in attending is that you gain a new level of self-assurance to share your ideas with your team, or that you have more tools in your toolkit to help you apply for that dream job when it comes across the listserv, I hope you will join us.

When we announced the approval of this program in January our intention was to launch four single-day events in a seminar series, which was intended to start in June and take place throughout the year. COVID19 and the current situation has changed this plan, as it’s changed so many plans for all of you. We do plan to launch Elevate this year, however, we will now wait until December to start. While we wish we could start sooner, it is our belief that the success of this program lies in the personal connections that the attendees will make with each other and our presenters. For that reason, we have opted not to move to a virtual format and instead will wait until we can be together again in person. It is our hope that by waiting, it will give every woman who wants to attend Elevate the necessary time to adjust to whatever our new normal looks like over the summer and into this fall.

Thank you to everyone who has joined the conversation around Elevate. To the 2019-2020 IACAC Executive Board for believing in the value of the program and agreeing to provide funding, to all who have shared ideas for topics and speakers, and to the committee, especially Courtney Wallace at Augustana College, for jumping in with both feet to make this idea a reality. We can’t wait to bring Elevate to IACAC officially this December and we hope to launch registration in the fall.

Can’t wait to see you all in person again soon!

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