Join Us for the 50th CACRAO Annual Meeting
CACRAO is excited to invite you to join us for the 50th Annual Meeting held in Raleigh, NC at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Durham Research Triangle! Come celebrate 50 years of excellence in education!
The CACRAO Annual Meeting offers members the chance to come together and share innovative ideas and approaches for promoting post-secondary education throughout North and South Carolina. Annual Meetings feature influential guest speakers discussing important topics in the industry, as well as recognition for outstanding Association members who have contributed to the success and growth of CACRAO.
We look forward to hosting a full in-person meeting in December and do not plan to offer a virtual option at this time. Our Local Arrangements Committee and Program Committee have been busy planning a memorable conference to celebrate 50 years of CACRAO and our members. We want to ensure you that your health and safety is a top priority. CACRAO reserves the right to enforce any safety measures necessary at the time of the event, including but not limited to, requiring face masks regardless of vaccination status, social distancing and any other guidelines set forth by the hotel and/or local and state governments. We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh!
We have extended the rates below through December 4, 2021. Day-of registrations at the conference will include a $50 increase.
CACRAO Member Institution: $250.00
CACRAO Non-Member Institution: $300.00
CACRAO Honorary Member: $100.00
Monday Only: $100.00
Guest (Evening events only): $65.00
Blowing Rock/Chimney Rock (Semi-formal attire)
KEYNOTE SPEAKER - AKIL BELLO
Akil Bello is an educator, speaker, entrepreneur, and nationally renowned expert at teaching people how to distinguish between A, B, C and D. Going on his third decade in the shadow education industry, he has developed dozens of admissions and test preparation programs, trained hundreds of teachers, presented at dozens of conferences and colleges, and helped thousands of students prepare for standardized tests from the APGAR to the LSAT.
Described as a refreshing mix of brilliance and foolishness, Akil is a public intellectual who combines deep research with a sardonic wit to inform the public about issues of testing, equity, and educational access. He’s been featured in adult films, national newspapers, at conference keynotes, on the computer screen, and even on your mobile phone, where his legendary Twitter pseudonyms and hatereads have earned him millions of likes and retweets.
Akil is also an edtech bro who once sold his startup, Bell Curves, for negative 3 times revenue. After leaving the socially responsible test preparation company he founded with his favorite brother, Akil served as the Director of Equity and Access for one of the oldest test prep companies, where he continued to work to increase access to education for disadvantaged communities. In his current full-time job as Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at Fairtest, Akil works to end his more lucrative part-time job as a highly paid test prep tutor. Akil lives in the birthplace of hip-hop with his wife, two sons, and internet daughter, Enid-Michelle. Akil is untainted by Ivy League credentials and graduated with his bachelors from THE illustrious Atlanta A&T University.
PLENARY SPEAKERS - JAIRO McMICAN & ABRAHAM "ABE" DONES
Jairo (Hi-rrow) we/he/him/his has spent the last 15+ years working in higher education split between academic and student services at two different universities, University of North Carolina-Asheville and North Carolina Central University; and two community colleges, Durham Technical Community College and Central Carolina Community College. Mr. McMican currently has a split role serving as the Dean of Student Learning at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) and The Director of Equity and Pathways for the North Student Success Center. Jairo is currently working on his Ed.D. in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University with a focus on Organizational and Cultural Change. He earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Jairo is a 2016 graduate of the North Carolina Community College Leadership Program. Mr. McMican was also a 2019 Achieving the Dream Fellow, 2020 Belk Center Fellow, and a 2021-2022 Education Design Lab Designer in Residence and currently serves on the editorial board for AACRAO's Strategic Enrollment Management. Mr. McMican has facilitated numerous well received state and regional presentations on various topics in leadership, equity, enrollment management, advising, and education.
Abraham Dones is a highly experienced practitioner who seeks opportunities for organizational change to improve student services and supports. An equity champion who implements strategies addressing access, success and completion with a focus on social capital and upward mobility of marginalized students. A creative thinker, problem solver, decision maker, and motivator with extensive enrollment management experience, employee development, and promoter for outstanding customer service. Abe is the Assistant Dean and Registrar at Durham Technical Community College with oversight of the Admissions, Registration, and Records office and the Testing Center. He has worked at several higher education institutions culminating over 20 years of experience. Throughout his professional experiences he has lived by a “Student’s First” Philosophy. Abe is the first male in his family to graduate from college, and utilizes his lived experiences to inform policies and practices that are equitable, supportive and student focused. Abe views life from an equity perspective and infuses creativity and thinking in order to address challenges and barriers facing students and institutions. He earned a bachelor of science in Industrial Engineering, a master of science in Higher Education Administration, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Adult and Community College Leadership at NC State University. His dissertation focuses on competencies of advisors of institutions who have adopted the Guided Career Pathways framework.
Presenters: Joseph Mews, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management & Student Success, University of South Carolina - Palmetto College.
This session will detail several CRM-related initiatives that have been incorporated over the last year to enhance enrollment and student success across the University of South Carolina Palmetto College. Special focus will be placed on process and communication automation.
Presenters: Zachary George, Senior Director of College and Fair Relations, StriveScan and Isabella Williams, Associate Director of College and Fair Relations, StriveScan
Save time, get more accurate data, and speed up your communications by eliminating paper inquiry cards. Learn how to optimize college fairs and high school visits with StriveScan.
Presenter: Ben Shirley, Ed.D, ACA Department Head and University Transfer Coordinator, Alamance Community College, Courtney Sola, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, NC State University and Jon Westover, Associate Vice Provost and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, NC State University
Collaboration amongst high school counselors, transfer advisors and higher education professionals is instrumental in supporting students through the admissions process. Learn how NC State University and Alamance Community College have leveraged their partnerships to create three unique advisory boards that have been pivotal to their commitment to student success. During this session you will learn how you can manage and foster an effective advisory board, successes of each board and lessons learned. You will also learn how each advisory board has contributed to the success of NC State and Alamance Community College and how you can get started with your advisory board!
Presenter: Briana Wrensford, Sales and Onboarding Specialist, Paradigm, Inc.
In this fast-paced, constantly evolving, global job market, your graduates need to prove their achievements quicker than ever before. From the immediacy of a desired social post to Graduate School Applications, or the necessities of online job hunting, the expectations have changed. The need to be there first and in a differentiated manner is paramount to their success. Solution: Paradigm offers the most comprehensive credential platform for both its clients and their learners. Come and participate in this informative session as we reveal the details of PIE, the Paradigm Integrated Experience, featuring our exquisite printed diplomas, our leading digital CeDiploma®, CeCertificate®, and the ScholarRecord®(CLR), together with our optimized services DirectShip™ to students, MyHold™, and MyReorder™. All integrated with affordable presentation products for your ceremonies and the most efficient turnaround times, we make life easier for you and your staff while your learners experience exceptional results!
Presenter: Chantel Reynolds, Southern U.S. Regional Manager, Higher Education, Cambridge Assessment International Education
In the past year, both 2-year and 4-year public colleges and universities system have passed credit-by-exam policies for Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications. Now the focus is on implementation, with questions not only from faculty, but also from admissions and records staff unfamiliar with these credentials and documents. This session will provide an overview of these students and schools and these exams and how to receive and interpret the grade transcripts.
Presenter: Alexis Rudnik, Admissions Counselor, Columbia College
After the 2019 college admission scandal, students and their families may have some distrust on how admissions operates. The lecture would take some research components on how students and families view admissions and how we can improve processes to ensure students and their families trust the admission professionals.
Presenter: Justin Richardson, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, NC State University and Elijah Mebans, Admissions Counselor, UNC Pembroke
We all have wanted to do an event designed for a specific audience. While very beneficial; are you sure your event is catering to your audience? Join us to discuss examples on how to make sure your event is aligned to your target audience.
Presenters: Ben Chester, Regional Director of Partnerships, Coursedog
Admit and graduate more students by innovating your academic operations on campus. This session will detail how forward thinking institutions are partnering with Coursedog to provide a single source of truth of curricular data, leverage next generation reporting to make data accessible and actionable to all your stakeholders, and improve student performance metrics while saving time and money for your campus.
Presenters: Robin Bradley, Regional Sales Manager and Adam Hopkins, Strategic Consultant, Anthology
Throughout the student lifecycle, students must navigate a labyrinth of requirements beyond their academic coursework. Challenges, such as registering for courses, maintaining financial aid, and resolving administrative holds, can derail a student on their academic journey. How can your institution leverage Strategic Communication Planning to address these processes while also building the loyalty and motivation of the student?
An open discussion of admissions trends, North Carolina Educational Opportunity programs, School Counselor Conferences, dual-enrollment and transfer trends, college application week, etc. This sessions provides NC members the opportunity to provide feedback for future programs and the chance to discuss pressing issues in our field.
An open discussion of admissions trends, South Carolina Educational Opportunity programs, School Counselor Conferences, dual-enrollment and transfer trends, college application days, etc. This sessions provides SC members the opportunity to provide feedback for future programs and the chance to discuss pressing issues in our field.
This session provides registrar staffers the chance to discuss changes and trends in the field, challenges you are currently facing, and programming you hope to see CACRAO make available to you in the future.
Presenters: Joel Musika, Regional Sales Manager, Parchment, and Joseph Rowbottom, Assistant Registrar, Guilford Technical Community College
What efficiencies could you create in the Registrar’s office if there was one platform to manage all credentials including transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and badges? A comprehensive credential system is becoming essential to creating a simple, consistent learner experience across digital and print requests, all while freeing up time for more strategic projects. Hear how higher ed institutions save time and money by moving to a comprehensive platform and how they are better serving their students with a modern credential experience.
Presenters: Lyndenise Berdecia, Regional Director, Digital, and Wendy Vinson, Regional Director, Encoura
COVID-19 upended all conventional wisdom around the enrollment landscape we long knew. As a result, institutions and students alike require more support than ever before. At Encoura, we’ve made tremendous enhancements across all of our programs so that you can better utilize the Encoura platform–higher ed’s app-based technology for data science, analytics, and research–to find and engage your best fit students.
In this session, you will learn:
- New research from Eduventures, highlighting college-bound students' concerns and needs while applying to college in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
- How to best utilize Student Mindsets™—available in the Encoura and ACT Combined Data Set—to speak directly to your students’ motivations and lift overall engagement with recruiting efforts, both through traditional methods and new emerging digital solutions, including the top digital channels your institution should leverage to keep up with Gen-Z.
- Additions to the Encoura platform that can provide you with a stronger understanding of the current trends in your environment—both positive and negative—that allow you to create targeted interventions in your enrollment funnel throughout the year.
Presenter: Jeff Daye, Duke University Army ROTC Recruiting Officer
Army ROTC is a path to develop and train young, professional leaders through a military science curriculum while simultaneously pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree, regardless of major.
Presenter: Casey Wallen, NC and SC Regional Relationship Manager, National Student Clearinghouse
Whether you have partnered with us for years or are new to the Clearinghouse, this session is for You! See the newest COVID enrollment trends from the latest Research Center. Learn about our newest and upgraded services and how they can help you. See the exciting new developments with Post-Secondary Data Partnership (PDP), My Hub (replacing Student Self-Service), 3rd Party Transcript Ordering for Admissions and Registrar, ETX PLUS, and Electronic Diplomas. Join me and get the latest scoop on what’s going on and what’s new at the National Student Clearinghouse.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Durham Research Triangle
201 Harrison Oaks Blvd Cary, NC 27513
December 5-7, 2021
Room Rate: $149.00/night + taxes
Book by: November 12, 2021 for conference rate.
Make a reservation online or by phone at 1-800-Embassy. If you call, identify yourself as part of CACRAO using the code CAO to receive the conference room rate.
Registration for the 2021 Annual Meeting is now closed.
Our program for 2021 has been completed.