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Taking the reins

MI’s enrolment management co-ordinator new AARAO president

Campus and Community

By Leslie Earle

Jennifer Howell, enrolment management co-ordinator at the Marine Institute, is taking on new duties this spring as the newly elected president and CEO of the Atlantic Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers (AARAO).

Jennifer Howell
Photo: Krista Sweetland

The 37-member institution, which includes universities from across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario, promotes the communication between recruitment, admissions, registration and records officers, fosters the professional development of their membership and facilitates national and international student recruitment fairs.

Official election

Ms. Howell’s election took place at AARAO’s annual Interchange Conference held in Antigonish, N.S, last month, where she was a co-presenter on the Marine Institute’s efforts to engage the campus community in enrolment management.

She previously served on the AARAO executive as the chair of the Recruitment and Admissions Managers Committee co-ordinating the annual post-secondary recruitment fairs for the member institutions that tour across Canada and internationally — a task that brings thousands of high school students together with post-secondary institutions for several months of events.

Lessons learned

For Ms. Howell, that role over the past four years has led to some valuable lessons about the influence AARAO has on students, parents, recruiters, registrars and guidance counsellors.

“Being on the road with the recruitment fairs, I’ve experienced the work of AARAO from the ground up,” she said.

“I’ve heard the questions that students and their influencers need to have answered to make a sound decision about their post-secondary choices. It’s vital that we position AARAO to be an important and accessible source to which they can turn for reliable information.

Road ahead

To do that, Ms. Howell is also focused on the professional development of AARAO’s many student recruiters, registrars and admissions officers, among others, that take care of students once they arrive at institutions for their post-secondary studies.

“We want to increase our competency through the sharing of ideas and policies while also preparing [students] for the ongoing changes and challenges that we are seeing.” — Jennifer Howell

“We are committed to promoting the many ways we can communicate and exchange information to help our members do their jobs more effectively. We want to increase our competency through the sharing of ideas and policies while also preparing them for the ongoing changes and challenges that we are seeing in our secondary and post-secondary education systems across the country.”

Ms. Howell points to the many significant strides AARAO has taken in the last few years to advance the organization, including updates to its constitution and by-laws, creation of a policies document, implementation of an ethics agreement and an overhaul of the AARAO website.

“During my time as president, I look forward to continuing this agenda while engaging our members of AARAO in new and exciting ways,” she said.

A first for MI

This is the first time an employee from the Marine Institute has taken the helm of AARAO.

“It is an exciting opportunity for us to foster the leadership in this Atlantic organization,” said Angie Clarke, director, student affairs, Marine Institute.

“We are pleased to support Jennifer as she embraces this new role. Working with and learning from our counterparts across Canada will be important as we continue to embrace enrolment planning at our campus.”

Ms. Howell will serve as president for a two-year term.

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