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Admissions names director

April 17, 2014

Sarah Egerstrom has been named interim director of Admissions and New Student Programs, a new department created by merging Admissions and New Student and Family Programs.

Sarah Egerstrom is the new interm Director of Admissions and New Student Programs.
Sarah Egerstrom is the new interm Director of Admissions and New Student Programs. (Desi Danforth/Student Voice)

The decision to merge the two departments and place Egerstrom in charge came after Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success and Enrollment Kris Anderson failed the director of Admissions search.

“When I looked at what are priorities for this position, she had a great combination,” Anderson said.

She said Egerstrom has experience because she worked for the Admissions department for five years and has director experience because of her most recent position as director of New Student and Family Programs.

After failing the director of Admissions search, Anderson said she asked herself “how can we do this differently?” She decided that a new model might accomplish enrollment and retention goals better.

“It’s becoming common to see admissions and orientation or admissions and first-year programs, because it makes the handoff for students smoother,” Anderson said.

Egerstrom agreed with Anderson and said that New Student and Family Programs had always worked in close proximity with the Admissions department.

Currently, the offices of New Student Programs are located in the Involvement Center in the University Center and the Admissions offices are located in South Hall. Anderson said that the ultimate goal is to get them in one central location.

“It would be ideal to have Admissions and New Student Programs co-located,” Egerstrom said.

International Student Services is currently located in the same location as New Student Programs, but it will be moving to Global Connections in Hagestad Hall in order to centralize international operations. Once International Student Services is moved, the relocation of New Student Programs will be that much closer to happening.

The new student programs, like Week of Welcome, will stay mostly the same, but there is already action on creating a new program for freshmen. Anderson submitted a proposal to the Strategic Plan Progress Committee for a first-year seminar class that passed the committee. There are many steps that will need to occur in order for the first-year seminar to actualize and faculty will need to be heavily consulted in the creation of the seminar, but Anderson said that such a class could only benefit UWRF.

“It’s a pretty standard high-impact practice that is used by campuses to enhance students’ success and thereby enhancing retention,” Anderson said.

Egerstrom said that the merging of the two departments would also allow greater opportunities for UWRF students who want to become involved. Tour guides for the Admissions department and Orientation and Transition Leaders (OTLs) for Week of Welcome, organized by New Student Programs, may have the ability to cross train in the other half of the department, increasing their knowledge and skill set.

Egerstrom said she is excited to be back in Admissions and continuing to work for her alma mater.

“Having the opportunity to come back here and continue to shape and influence how we introduce new students and families to the UWRF experience really excites me,” Egerstrom said.