Darlene Fountaine, Director of Admission, Westside Neighborhood School (CA)
Why do you belong to The Enrollment Management Association?
I learned of the association after attending a regional seminar at USC a couple of years ago. I felt inspired as an admission professional after that meeting, and decided that I needed to become a member. I appreciate that The Enrollment Management Association is professionalizing the enrollment management field and providing the user’s manual that is necessary, but never existed before. I also love all of the resources available on the website.
What has changed the most in the world of independent school admission and enrollment since you first started?
The biggest change since I’ve started has been in technology; specifically, database software and marketing through social media. When I started in admission, my school used a lot of paper. There were binders everywhere. We moved from binders to an automated web-based system. I remember coming in on Saturdays to get my work done. Now if I don’t finish something, I can do it from home. We are now using our third database since I arrived. It won’t be our last...
What surprises you about your job?
Working in the admission office means that you work with every department in the school. I always open our beginning-of-the-year meetings with “raise your hand if you are a part of the admission-marketing team.” I don’t stop asking until all hands are raised. They are all a part of my team, and I am a part of their teams as well. We are truly a community.
What is the one piece of knowledge/advice you’d like to pass along to your admission/ enrollment colleagues?
Build a strong team, use all of your resources (list serves, consortia/ peers, webinars, The Enrollment Management Association), and never be afraid to ask for help.