Vice President of Inclusive EnrollmentAdmissions
The Vice President of Inclusive Enrollment is responsible for providing leadership and administrative oversight in support of the college strategic plan and priorities, especially for the Admissions and Financial Aid departments. Candidates should be proven leaders, strategic thinkers, and seek pragmatic, creative solutions to challenges. Candidates should be collaborative leaders that are serious about their role as mentors and are deeply committed to Blackburn’s mission and vision. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a sincere interest in and understanding of higher education, have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, although a Master’s is preferred, and have a minimum of 5 years of admissions and financial aid experience; preferably in higher education.
THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
The Vice President reports directly to the President and provides vision, leadership and administrative oversight for the admissions and financial aid staff and operations. The Vice President provides key support, in consultation with the Marketing Department, in the development and implementation of the College’s strategic admissions recruitment and marketing plans for all prospective and admitted students. The Vice President is also responsible for overseeing the development of the annual financial aid packaging plans and ensuring that it is accurately applied throughout each cycle. This position also supports the College’s retention and student success efforts on campus.
Taking Enrollment to the Next Level
In the past few years, Blackburn has laid significant groundwork for such an advance by strategically making capital improvements, adding new academic programs, and launching scholarship and recruitment initiatives. Blackburn is a rarity in American higher education – a model that combines long-term financial strength, affordability, high academic quality; and focus on serving first generation and low-income students. The Blackburn campus community is also quickly growing in diversity and we are actively seeking candidates who can reflect and relate to our student body.
Retention and Persistence
Freshman retention over the past decade has fluctuated, but has generally trended upward. Likewise, six-year graduation rates in recent years have been inconsistent, though in line with other schools serving low income and first¬ generation students. In 2022-2023, 400 students were enrolled. Given the high cost of attrition to Blackburn and its students, improving retention has been and will be a significant focus for leaders of the College. The Gardner Institute was retained in 2016 to provide expert guidance as Blackburn developed its retention initiatives, and the President led a wide-ranging spectrum of the Blackburn community to implement recommended retention initiatives. Since Gardner, Blackburn has joined the ILEA Consortium of Colleges focusing on creating equitable experiences for all students. Retention and enrollment growth are important components of the new strategic plan that members of the College have been updating over the last year.
Meeting Institutional Needs
During the past several years, the College has focused resources on projects that will attract and retain students and bring alumni donors back to campus. Particular attention has been paid to campus facilities and to maintaining affordability.
As a college serving student from both rural and urban Midwest, many students arrive at Blackburn having little experience with racial, gender, or socioeconomic diversity. Blackburn’s students have helped lead the institution forward in this area, for instance identifying inequities within the Work Program. Students worked with faculty, staff, and administration to develop policies and procedures which have dramatically improved equity within the Work Program and its student leadership over the past three years. Blackburn is a member of the Illinois Equity and Attainment consortium, a partnership of25 public mid private colleges working together to eliminate racial mid socioeconomic graduation disparities and increase graduation rates for African-American, Latino, and low-income students.
REQUIRED EDUCATION, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- A bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred
- A minimum of 5 years of admissions and financial aid experience, preferably in higher education
- Previous experience with managing professional and student staff is preferred
- Ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing
- Should possess high energy, attention to detail, and the ability to organize effectively
- Requires regular evening and occasional weekend work
- Computer literacy including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Knowledge of CAMS, Slate, or similar student database software is strongly preferred
- Demonstrated leadership and motivational ability
- Practical knowledge of student financial aid programs and strategies
- Possession of a reliable means of transportation, valid driver’s license and state’s mandatory insurance coverage to travel and work nights and weekends as necessary
- Energetic and self-motivated
Interested candidates should send a resume, cover letter (including a diversity statement describing their experience recruiting and retaining a diverse student body), and the names/addresses/phone numbers of three current, and professional references to: Human Resources, Blackburn College, 700 College Ave., Ludlum 209, Carlinville, IL 62626 or email email@example.com. Employment-based immigration sponsorship is not offered for this position. Phone calls or walk-ins are not accepted. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled.