What’s in a Name? A Lot, We Think.

July 26, 2016 Heather Hoerle
What’s in a Name? A Lot, We Think.

Welcome to the online headquarters of your association, The Enrollment Management Association, formerly SSATB.

Many companies and organizations have famously – and sometimes infamously – changed their names. BackRub became Google (and then Alphabet) … Nike was once Blue Ribbon Sports … Sound of Music became BestBuy. In the best of cases, these new names were the result of companies reflecting new realities and looking ahead to new opportunities.

Our name change aims to do the same. As many of you have heard me say, enrollment management— the number one issue for independent schools today— must be lifted to new professional levels, as we engage school leaders in the hard work of developing strategy to remain sustainable and strong. Simply put, admission tactics of the past will not sustain independent schools of the future. As your professional association, we aim to lift our work to new professional levels as well.

For many years now, we have recognized that the name SSATB wasn’t representative of the organization that we are and it hasn’t allowed us to showcase the programs and services that we have for members. Many member school leaders told us they didn’t understand what SSATB stood for, and further that they were confused by our name, which focuses on our core service, the SSAT. Our name now rightfully emphasizes our member-driven, nonprofit status as an association dedicated to helping independent schools with their enrollment needs.

So in tangible terms, what can you expect going forward from The Enrollment Management Association?  

Together with the board in 2014, we set out specific and measurable strategic plan goals to serve members. These goals remain intact for our newly named association. By 2020, we hope to have achieved the following:

  • Assessment: We will have produced and provided state-of-the-art assessment.
  • Enrollment Management Services: We will have become the organization that you rely upon to optimize your school’s enrollment outcomes.
  • Professional Development: We will have enhanced the value of enrollment managers and elevated the profession.
  • Industry Leadership: We will have become your school leadership’s key strategic partner in compiling, analyzing, and disseminating relevant research and market analytics.
  • Organizational Capacity: We will have ensured optimal governance and leadership in service to our stakeholders.
  • Brand Identity: We will have become known as the industry’s leading enrollment management resource.

Over the next several years, you can expect The Enrollment Management Association to build the most complete set of resources for your professional needs. We will continue to support admission professionals new to the field through our signature Admission Training Institute and Mentorship Initiative, and we'll provide increased programming for senior enrollment professionals through such events as The Erdmann Institute and USC's Leadership in Enrollment Management Certificate Program (online).

Our commitment to gold-standard testing also continues and we'll ensure ongoing high quality admission testing for your decision making needs. Indeed, this fall we will release a new family engagement portal which offers test practice to students who want to get ready for the SSAT.  By fall 2017, our Character Skills Assessment tool should be ready for all schools to use as part of their admission process.

Finally,  you can count on The Enrollment Management Association to keep you abreast of research and trends to help your school make strategic and forward-thinking decisions.  We know that your greatest job responsibility is to identify, attract, admit, enroll, and retain mission appropriate students for your school.  To that end, we will continue to bring you special reports such as our recent piece on the international student market and our soon-to-be-released brief, The 2016 State of Independent School Admission Industry, which will shape dialogue in the independent school industry and support your broader management interests.

We welcome your feedback about our new name here on the website, on social media, and/or in person at our Annual Meeting this September in Baltimore. In the meantime, enjoy exploring our new virtual home here at enrollment.org.

About the Author

Heather Hoerle

Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer

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