Admissions Skill-Building: Core Training for New Counselors



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Training of new Admissions counselors is often, out of necessity, much too hurried and perfunctory. The training that new counselors receive has historically been focused on the everyday duties of the job (travel, reading and processing applications, CRM systems, etc.), accompanied by lots of “just in time” training where other key competencies are concerned. But in today’s intensely competitive environment, it is no longer sufficient to let your Admissions counselors go out and begin recruiting for you without having adequate training on key, all-important soft skills.

Join us for a trio of online training programs that will help get your new and entry-level Admissions counselors up to speed. These three 45-minute webcast sessions are focused on strengthening universal core competencies that all Admissions counselors must possess in order to be successful in their roles:

  • How to discuss and think about value in higher education
  • Effective counseling skills with prospective students and families
  • Strategies for building connections and relationships with other key external stakeholders

Efficient and Resource-Rich Trainings

To match your fast-paced schedule, we have deliberately designed these trainings to be brief, but powerful. Each 45-minute webcast is jam-packed with practical information from start to finish.

We also realize that hands-on, experiential training is very important for new Admissions counselors, so each webcast is accompanied by a robust collection of resources and practice activities that are designed to help you apply what you have learned.


WEBCAST #1: Communicating Value in the Admissions Process

Learning outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to communicate more effectively about value with prospective students and families in your person-to-person interactions.

In this training, we will offer guidance and examples of how you can effectively communicate with prospective students and their families about the value of higher education. What are some different definitions of what the term “value” can mean in the higher ed context? How can you be effectively communicating about some of the different facets of value, including:

  • The student experience
  • Financial aid and affordability
  • Post-graduation outcomes

WEBCAST #2: Effective Counseling Skills for New Admissions Officers

Learning outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to strengthen your Admissions counseling skills for prospective students and families.

The focus of this 45-minute webcast is on building effective Admissions counseling skills. What does it mean to effectively counsel a prospective student and his/her family? How should you go about opening the conversation and gauging best fit, not only for the institution, but for the student? How should you balance “selling” your institution with providing options and information that will be best for the student?

  • The ins and outs of Admissions counseling
  • Opening the conversation: drawing prospective students “out of their shells”
  • Gauging fit
  • Balancing counseling with sales

WEBCAST #3: Strategies for Building Connection with Key Admissions Stakeholders

Learning outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to build more meaningful connections with various external stakeholders who are important to the Admissions profession.

This webcast is specifically focused on tips and strategies for building connection and relational capital with various stakeholders who are key to the Admissions profession. In our 45 minutes together, we will address questions such as:

  • How can you make the most of high school visits?
  • What are some best practices for forming strong relationships with college counselors?
  • How can you stay connected to your home office while you are out on the road recruiting?
  • How can you maximize relationship-building opportunities at in-person recruitment events (college fairs, yield events, etc.)?


W. Kent Barnds, Executive Vice President and Vice President of Enrollment, Communication, and Planning, Augustana College

Since his arrival at Augustana in 2005, Kent has overseen the largest enrollment in the college’s history. He oversees the offices of admissions, financial assistance, and marketing, and serves a critical role on the comprehensive retention committee. This summer, he also led Augustana as the acting president while the current president was on sabbatical.


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