For many students the thought of enrolling at a college may seem like a scary process, but at Carrington College California we have a dedicated Enrollment Services Team to take you through the process. At every campus, the goal of Enrollment Services is to make the entire process as simple and straightforward as possible, offering you assistance, direction, and plenty of information along the way.
To give you a better understanding of what Enrollment Services can do for you, we spoke with Mitch P. Charles, Senior Director, Enrollment Services for Carrington College California.
Mitch, before we get started, tell us a little about yourself and your position?
“I’ve worked my way up through admissions; and I was a campus Executive Director for three years. My role is to help perfect the enrollment cycle for prospective students through reviewing and enhancing our processes, and through improved training. From the initial conversation, to the campus tour, to the enrollment decision and follow-up, I want to create a professional, well-organized, efficient process for every student that approaches Carrington College California.”
So what is the primary focus of the campus Enrollment Services department?
“I see Enrollment Services as a support system to help guide students through what can be, at other institutions, a complicated process. We offer a lot of individualized attention; we’re student-centric and our main focus is always customer service. We work with prospective students to assess their needs and their reasons for considering going back to school.
Maybe they need to make a change in their life, perhaps they want to better themselves in a new career, or maybe they want to add a qualification to help them build on the career field they’re already in. We use our experience to advise them, identifying what programs we have to offer and what might be the best fit for them, giving them the best opportunity for success.”
When does a prospective student first meet the Enrollment Services team?
“We reach out to them once they have set an appointment to visit a campus. We introduce ourselves and make sure that they are ready for their visit. We try to discover more about their goals and objectives so we can tailor their visit to enable them to get the most out of it.
During the campus visit, we will take them through our programs, our history, our accreditation, and what they can expect during the day. We take them on a tour, introduce them to faculty, staff and the Executive Director and then make program recommendations. If they want, we can help them start the process to apply and enroll on that first visit.”
What’s the most common question that students ask on that first visit?
“The first question is usually about Financial Aid. The beauty of our institution and the way this process has been set up. They get to meet one-on-one with a Student Finance Advisor during that first visit to get their finance questions answered and get a tuition planning overview. They then schedule another individual meeting to go through their specific personal situation with regard to Financial Aid.
The second question is usually about graduate employment; we can share our statistics, and introduce them to our Career Services department who outline how they work with students in terms of resume preparation, interview skills and so on.
How many people make up and average Enrollment Services department?
“I would say that most of our campuses have a team of three to five Enrollment Services Representatives, plus a Director. Sacramento has a team of twelve as it is a bigger campus with more programs.”
Does the relationship with Enrollment Services end once the student enrolls?
“No, the relationship definitely doesn’t end at enrollment. But I would say it’s more informal; it’s a check-up. The Enrollment Services Representative is a person the student can go to because they’re comfortable with that person, they have a relationship. They’re someone the student can share their successes with, or someone who can point them in the right direction if they have an issue or need assistance in any way. It all depends on the relationship formed between the student and the representative. We are there to support the student, as much or as little as they want, all the way through their experience at Carrington College California.”
Do Carrington College California graduates utilize the services of the department?
“Sometimes they do, yes. If a graduate of a certificate program is looking to pursue their education through an associate degree, they do reach out to us. We also do a lot to help graduates, depending on their program, if they’re looking to move on to a bachelor’s degree. We work to connect them to DeVry University as we have an articulation agreement in place with them.
We usually partner with Career Services to talk to students about the benefits of pursuing their education just before they go out on their externship. Whether they pursue it with us, with DeVry University, or somewhere else, we want them to know the advantages that further education can bring.
But we always want our graduates to work, that’s why they come to us. We want to give them to chance to start working in their chosen field as quickly as possible, but we still offer them the opportunity to continue their education part-time. For example if they’re working in the field as a Medical Assistant, having graduated from the nine month certificate program, we offer them the opportunity to continue their education and earn an Associate of Science degree in Medical Assisting by completing online courses.”
How does the enrollment process differ from a traditional 4 year university?
“Our process is much more personalized; our students get one-on-one individualized attention through the entire process. We match the personal needs and goals of each student to the programs and options we have available. We work hard to make sure our students are on a path to success.”
Finally, if someone wanted to work in Enrollment Services, what attributes would they need?
“Obviously they have to believe in higher education; they have to believe that it can lead to a better career and a better future for the student and their family. Of course you also have to generally like people, and want to help them better their lives. You also have to be self-motivated; you have to have some grit and be willing to ask the tough questions.”
For comprehensive consumer information, visit carrington.edu
Program availability varies by location.