Jacob Yale appointed Director of Admissions
ALFRED, NY — Family. Togetherness. Community. These are words generations of alumni have used to describe what impressed them most about Alfred University. Jacob Yale, the University’s new director of admissions, believes its reputation as a close-knit institution, where students are treated as individuals and given the opportunity to grow, will be key to efforts to stabilize enrollment.
“Students receive a personalized feel here that supports their passions,” said Yale, whose first day on the job was Monday. “We want to capture (prospective students’) attention on a larger scale, and then get right into those personal connections. Alfred does a great job with that.”
That sense of community, which creates an environment where any student can thrive, academically and personally, is something that attracted Yale to Alfred after his first year in Buffalo as director of admissions at Hilbert College.
“The entire AU community is engrained in the history of student success here,” Yale said. “The academic programs are unique and career-ready and there is a supportive network of alumni. Alfred is a college town that is accessible to the students, and there is plenty to do just a block away.”
Yale didn’t take what most would consider a traditional educational path to becoming an admissions professional. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic arts and design from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and a master’s degree in mass media marketing and journalism, also from Clarion, in 2008.
While an undergrad at Clarion, he worked as an admissions tour guide while also a student-athlete. Naturally creative, his studies led to a focus on marketing and branding, which have translated well in efforts to attract new students. Hired as an assistant director of admissions at Clarion right after graduation in 2004, Yale had a knack for utilizing technology – the internet, creative emails, social media – as a way to reach potential students.
Yale was part of successful efforts to increase enrollment at Clarion, as evidenced by the school seeing its highest-ever incoming classes from 2006-2008. He left Clarion in 2014 to become Associate Director of Admissions at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, NV, and quickly became interim Director of Admissions in 2015. He returned home to serve in a leadership role at Hilbert for the 2016-17 academic year. Both Sierra Nevada and Hilbert saw significant first-year enrollment increases during his time there.
His goals for Alfred University include increasing new student enrollment and expanding the University’s recruiting market. “All our enrollment goals are in support of the mission of the University and its strategic plan,” Yale noted.
“Our challenge is to be positive, in an ever-changing climate of higher education, knowing that the product we have here is very strong. We have a very talented enrollment team and we know (Alfred University) can hold up and be attractive on a national scale,” he said. “We’re trying to tell the story of Alfred, and it is a very exciting one. We want to build a brand that positions us not just in New York State, but nationally and internationally.”
Yale, a native of Elk County, PA, and Brockway Area High School graduate, was familiar with Alfred University during his time in the Clarion admissions office. He said he is excited about the opportunity to help AU in its effort to grow enrollment, and to be back closer to his family and friends in the region.
“This is my 14th year (in admissions) and they’ve all been enjoyable because of the people,” he said. “I think you’ll see enrollment turn around here in a very natural way. There is a lot of vision and established leadership here, and President Mark Zupan’s message is well-communicated and truly present. The team we have in admissions really cares about the future and we are building a culture of togetherness right away. There are a lot of fresh ideas and good momentum here.”
“I’m thrilled that Jake has joined our team!” said Brian Dalton, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Alfred University. “He brings with him a vast array of talents and experiences and his record of accomplishments, leadership, creative thinking and effective relationship building made him an easy choice. He will do great things for Alfred University.”