As I was searching for recent openings in higher education, I noticed many openings for Recruiters, Admissions Reps, Admissions Counselors…Recruiter, Admission, Recruiter, Admission. Maybe somewhere in there were a few academic advisor position openings. Where are all of the advisor positions?
It seems that colleges are hiring more of recruiters and admissions counselors to recruit new students. This is fine, but what about keeping those students?
I know retention has been the buzzword lately, especially in higher education, so why don’t they hire more of academic advisors and less admission recruiters? What does it matter if you recruit so many students, but many of them leave anyway?
The number of caseloads that an academic advisor has is very high. Wouldn’t it be nice if colleges were hiring more advisors and less recruiters? If this happened, I am sure retention would go up drastically. After all, isn’t it about retention anyway – keeping that student happy in college from start to end when they graduate on time?
I can see from my job search that colleges are a business and want as much incoming profit as possible. But in the long run this only hurts the institutions, since a lot of funding they receive is based on retention rates.
If they hire more academic advisors, counselors, and student development associates, the student to staff ratio would be greater. Then, students would receive the personalized attention they deserve and be happier overall. As a result, these students would stay and graduate from that college!
It’s time to see a change because this is all we see in the job search, and because of the reputation of college being more expensive as the years go by. After all, many of us working in higher education want to grow in our positions. We don’t want be demoted and apply for admissions positions.
Personally, I didn’t receive a masters degree in counseling in higher education just to apply for admission recruiter positions. I received a masters to counsel, advise, plan, schedule, and program various events to help the students be successful and transition to college life. I do not want to look at them as numbers and money entering the college. I’m not interested in letting go of their hand after the admissions process is done with them, as I recruit another student.
Don’t get me wrong, being an admissions rep is a great position too. It changes someone’s life by helping them enter the college and offering them an opportunity they didn’t have. But don’t let the vicious cycle of admitting and withdrawing be the only thing students see.
I really do hope this mindset changes.