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Carrington College Blog

Q&A with Senior Enrollment Services Advisor Kathryn Sheppard

January 24, 2023

Kathryn Sheppard has spent the last 20-years helping those interested in a nursing career find out if they have what it takes to make that dream come true. As Senior Enrollment Services Representative for the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at Carrington College’s Phoenix campus, she has taken that walk with each of them as they measure their aptitude, ambition, and resources in the hope they have what it takes to commit to that (in as few as) 2-year program.

Kathryn is a potential student’s first introduction to the ADN program provisions, requirements, and the support they can expect throughout that rigorous undertaking. And Kathryn does not release her responsibility as a primary resource until they walk across the stage at their graduation and accept their Associate of Science degree.

 

Describe your role?

As Senior Enrollment Services Representative I work exclusively with the Associate Degree in Nursing program. We have three start dates a year and it is my responsibility to make sure each student who takes a seat in that program is qualified and knows what to expect.

I meet with those interested in the program and give them detailed information about the program. I schedule testing for the entrance exam – and refer them to study materials to prepare for the exam. If they qualify, I set up meetings with the program director and the student finance department. I help them with all the paperwork along the way.

By the time they start their program they will have met with all appropriate department representatives and know their responsibilities, level of commitment needed, and support they will have along the way. They know I will help and that I care. But I think everyone here tries to be that way.

 

What makes Carrington College’s ADN program so effective for so many?

I think it is the quickest way to become a nurse, become licensed as a nurse, and be able to work in the field. We also provide a very hands-on approach for guidance and support – you’re not just a number here.

 

What is your greatest struggle in your position?

Sometimes delivering admissions assessment results when potential students don’t qualify is the hardest part of my job. I try to turn that into an opportunity for them to take another path in the medical community that is still positive.

I’ve had some students complete a certificate program in an alternative path, then qualify for the ADN program. We have many other medical program options: Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, Medical Assisting, even Dental Assisting. It’s still moving forward in a medical career.

 

What makes your position a good fit?

I have an advising background so meeting people and helping them through this process is my favorite part. And I interact with them through their whole program. A lot of times they will contact me for where they can get information like how to get their transcripts, or who they should ask about something.

I just enjoy the students and learning why they want to do this program now. And I love my co-workers and really enjoy working with this specific ADN program. We all want the same thing: for our ADN students to graduate our program and become excellent nurses.

 

What ADN program events stand out for you?

Orientation (new student introduction) is very exciting for me. I get to see everyone I’ve been working with in the same place, at one time. They’re starting their journey that will end with the Pinning Ceremony…the culmination of that journey. Those events are the bookends and are the most exciting for me.

 

What is the ADN program Pinning Ceremony?

We have a Pinning Ceremony for each graduating class that signifies this huge accomplishment for ADN students. It is a big deal for students to get to this point. Many have had to juggle kids, work, and finances to be here. It’s very emotional, but also what makes my job so worthwhile.

At one Pinning Ceremony a student and his wife had both graduated from our program. He was very appreciative of me helping him and his wife start this journey. It was very emotional for all of us.

We also have a graduation exercise for all students who have successfully completed their programs.

 

What motivates you to do your job well?

I like being part of positive change for people, helping them move forward in life.

I just think I am a person who always wants to do a good job. I want to meet the metrics of my job and do the best that I can each day.

My parents had a very good work ethic and that was something they instilled in me. I’ve always had pride in all my jobs – whether I’ve been waitressing or doing something else. I have two teenagers and I hope my kids will have watched me, too. That’s what I got from my parents, so maybe they will see and absorb that too.

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