For many prospective students the thought of the college enrollment process may seem daunting, but at Carrington College it really isn’t. Each campus has a dedicated Enrollment Services Team whose primary mission is to walk you through the process, making it as simple and painless as possible, while offering you help, guidance, and plenty of information along the way.
To give you a clearer understanding of what the Enrollment Services Team can do for you, we spoke with Alan Yanda, Senior Director, Enrollment Services for Carrington College.
Alan, before we get started, tell us a little about you and your position?
“I’ve been with Carrington for about a year; I’ve been learning how Carrington follows the enrollment cycle, from the initial inquiry from a prospective student, through their decision of whether they want to enroll, and the subsequent follow-up. My goal is to help create the most efficient, effective enrollment process for every interaction, for every student, for every program, for every interview, for every campus.”
How do you measure the success of that goal?
“I want every prospective student we deal with to feel the need to say ‘thank you for everything you’ve done for me’ whether they choose to enroll or not. If they say ‘thank you for following up, thank you for giving me all the information I needed, thank you for everything you’ve done for me’ then I think we’ve done our job well. Ultimately, of course, we want them to say ‘thank you for everything you’ve done, I can’t wait to get started!’ ”
So what is the primary focus of the campus Enrollment Services department?
“Our focus is on interviewing students who have inquired with the school, and helping them through the enrollment cycle. I expect each campus Enrollment Services department to provide students with all the information they’re seeking, to provide them with a top notch tour, and then follow up appropriately to make sure the student has everything they need to make an informed decision.”
How many people make up and average Enrollment Services department?
“On average each campus will have four to five Enrollment Service Representatives, plus a Director.”
When does a prospective student first meet the Enrollment Services team?
“The initial student inquiry goes to our contact center; the contact center then schedules an interview for the student to come to the school, meet with us and take a tour. Our first contact is the call prior to the interview, not just to confirm the appointment, but to learn more about the student, learn why they inquired, and to build rapport and identify their goals. That call gives us the knowledge to tailor the student’s campus visit appropriately.”
Does a student deal with the same Representative throughout the enrollment process?
“Yes, ultimately our goal is for it to be the same individual. We like to maintain continuity. I would say that 95% of the time that is the case, but as we all know, occasionally someone could be out ill or have a vacation scheduled; but the focus of the whole team is providing outstanding customer service.”
What are the most common questions that students ask?
“I would say the most common are ‘How long is this going to take?’ ‘What will my schedule be like – when do I need to come to class?’ and ‘How much does it cost?’ The one question that many of them won’t ask, but is probably on their mind is ‘Can I do this?’ We help motivate them to take action to meet their own educational goals, and to help them see that yes, they can do this. We tell students ‘yes you’re going to be nervous, yes it’s going to take hard work, and yes you can do this.’ We remind them of the reasons they inquired in the first place, and the benefits their education can bring.”
What access does an enrolled student have to the team?
“There is no ‘need’ or formal arrangement for enrolled students to have continued access, but we do encourage it. The Enrollment Service Representative will always be a student’s first point of contact, and that continues until they build relationships with other members of the staff or faculty. I always say that Enrollment Services is available for any student at any time; we may not be the ones to assist the student ultimately, but we will point them in the right direction to find the help they need.
We encourage Enrollment Services to follow-up with students after their first class or during their first course and congratulate them. We don’t have a process in place that mandates that, but we encourage the relationship – it’s good for the student to have that constant point of reference from day one.”
What advice do you have for students to stay motivated?
“We always encourage students to tell their friends and family what they’re doing at school and why; that will help keep them motivated to finish what they’ve started. Think about it – any initiative that you take on that requires commitment and hard work on your part, be it exercise/diet/education or whatever, it gets taken to a whole new level when you share your goals with people. Tell people what you’re doing, by sharing it, you’ve raised a level of expectation and your level of commitment.”
Do Carrington graduates utilize the services of the department?
“No, not really. There isn’t a need because we have our Career Services Department, but I will tell you that many of them come back and say thank you to the individual in Enrollment Services who helped get them started. They remember them. Enrollment Services Representatives often go to graduation ceremonies. They remember ‘their’ students – they remember enrolling them; it’s what makes the job all the more meaningful when you realize the positive impact you’ve had on someone’s life.
When you see students complete something that you know means so much to them, and something that was such hard work, to see the joy on their faces and on the faces of their families, is very gratifying.”
How does the Carrington enrollment process differ from a traditional 4 year university?
“It differs in the level of customer service we offer. If you inquire at a big university, you’re a number; it’s unlikely that someone will call you, follow up and schedule an appointment that quickly. We recognize that students have choices. That’s what sets us apart. We help them through the process step by step from start to finish. We have set up an efficient, effective and organized process of follow-up to ensure that no student falls through the cracks. We follow-up personally with every single student until they say ‘yes thank you’ or ‘no thank you’, but ‘thank you.’ And that’s the difference right there.”
Finally, if someone wanted to work in Enrollment Services, what attributes would they need?
“You have to be a good listener and someone who likes to help people; and it can’t be about you. What I mean by that is this – if someone in Enrollment Services wants a student to start more than that student wants to start, it never works out. You have to be self-motivated and well organized. You can’t motivate someone if you’re not motivated yourself.”
For comprehensive consumer information, visit carrington.edu
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