The Admission profession has always attracted great people: passionate and compassionate people and wise, intuitive people; people who know and care about kids at all stages of development; people who care about a fair and just process; people whose lives have been transformed by education, or who have seen first-hand the transformation of others. But the world, our schools, and the role of an admission professional, has become much more complicated. It is time for the industry to respond. Indeed, the role an admission professional plays in their school and with students and families is too critical to continue without a program to train and certify these professionals who lead.
You need a license to drive a car. Coaches in many sports need to be certified to work with children before ever interacting with them. Of course law, medicine, professional stock brokers and CPA’s all need licenses or certifications. The last time I went to the car dealer I saw certification placards for the mechanics. It makes sense, those are important jobs or complicated subjects, often both. Yet, an admission professional, sitting across from a candidate whose future they will play a key role in , perhaps THE role, in “judging” for fit and admission to your school, has no required training or credential to be in that position of incredible power? Time for that dynamic to change.
The reality is that human beings, especially children or students making their way through school, are developmentally complicated beings. This reality requires a highly trained professional to both meet, get to know and assess them for their school and beyond, never mind the ever complicated dynamic of attracting the right candidates. On top of having that wide and varied skillset to accomplish those goals, the importance of moments when an admission professional interacts with a prospective student (and family) at their school is one of great influence. Those interactions are defining for so many students and it’s a privilege to be in a professional with this kind of influence.
If independent or private schools are to thrive, as they should given their ability to transform lives, they need the most professional, well trained individuals inspiring families at first point of contact, during and throughout the lifecycle of a student and family’s interaction with their school. This requires training and a certification process to be sure that we define the essential components of the profession and deliver on the education and training for the professionals who lead.
When I take a step back, with pride, from the role I have played, and have watched thousands of peers and colleagues play, in the position of admission professional, I realize it is time for us to expect more of ourselves and the profession. AISAP recognized this need and boldly took the initiative in January 2016 to launch the Certification for Admission and Enrollment Management Professionals (CAEP.) We urge you to join us in raising the level of the profession as we support the professionals who lead.