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Monique L. Snowden, PhD - Fielding Graduate University. Santa Barbara, CA, US

Monique L. Snowden, PhD Monique L. Snowden, PhD

Provost and Senior Vice President | Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, CA, UNITED STATES

Thought and transformational leader of learner-centered strategic, enrollment and academic planning.



Monique L. Snowden, PhD Publication Monique L. Snowden, PhD Publication Monique L. Snowden, PhD Publication



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Monique L. Snowden, PhD., is provost and senior vice president at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. She holds a faculty appointment in the School of Leadership Studies. Dr. Snowden began her professional career as a business analyst and consultant for a global technology solutions and services firm, during which time she honed her skills at leading global and cross-functional matrix teams. In the course of her 25+ year career in higher education, she has led innovative change initiatives for public and private universities—with particular expertise in leveraging technology, data and analytics for organizational success. Dr. Snowden is the former assistant dean of enrollment management at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and the founding director of enrollment research and technology at Texas A&M University. She has authored articles and book chapters on learner-centered enrollment planning and management, enrollment logics and discourse, and recruiting and retaining diverse student populations. Her current work and research is focused on learner-centered academic and curricular planning for adult student populations. Dr. Snowden is a Commissioner on the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 2015-2016 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, and teaching faculty for the USC Equity Institutes. She earned a doctorate of philosophy in (organizational) communication, masters of science in management information systems, and bachelors of business administration in business analysis from Texas A&M University—College Station.

Industry Expertise (4)


Consumer Services

Management Consulting

Information Technology and Services

Areas of Expertise (3)

Higher Education Leadership

Enrollment & Learning Analytics

Organizational Communication

Accomplishments (8)

WSCUC Commissioner, 2017 - 2023 (professional)

The WASC Senior College and University (WSCUC) Commission is a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S.

ACE Council of Fellows Board (2020 - 2023) (professional)

​This ACE Council of Fellows coordinates the activities of the ACE Fellows Program alumni. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Since 1965, nearly 2,000 vice presidents, deans, department chairs, faculty, and other emerging leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program. The program has helped ensure that higher education’s future leaders are ready to take on real-world challenges and serve the capacity-building needs of their institutions.

Editorial Review Board, College & University Journal (2020 - 2023) (professional)

AACRAO's quarterly educational policy and research journal focusing on emerging concerns, new techniques, and technology in higher education.

Board of Trustees, Santa Barbara & Ventura (SBV) Colleges of Law (2014 – 2019) (professional)

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (SBVCL) was founded more than four decades ago with a unique approach to law education: Encourage students to build a community that fosters growth and understanding of modern law concepts and problems through discussion and active engagement. SBVCL is part of the TCS Education System, a community solution to creating educational experiences that change the way students learn, educating them to apply their skills to bring about lasting social change.

Board of Directors; Vice President for Access & Equity, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), 2014-2017 (professional)

Provided leadership and support to the following association professional activity committees and caucuses: • Community College Issues Committee • Graduate and Professional School Issues Committee • Professional Access and Equity Committee • Small College Issues Committee • Student Access and Equity Committee • Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus • Black Caucus • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Ally Caucus • Latino Latina Caucus • Native American Caucus

American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, 2015-2016 (professional)

Dr. Snowden was hosted for her ACE Fellowship at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) and by EDUCAUSE.

WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Interim Report Committee (2014 – 2017) (professional)

The Interim Report Committee (IRC) reviews Interim Reports and supporting documents that have been requested by the Commission or WSCUC staff.

Editorial Review Board, Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly (SEMQ) Journal (2013-2017) (professional)

Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) is a comprehensive process designed to help an colleges and universities achieve and maintain optimum enrollment, where optimum is defined within the academic context of the institution. It’s a concept and process that enables the fulfillment of institutional mission and students’ educational goals.

Education (3)

Texas A&M University: Doctor of Philosophy, Organizational Communication 2010

Dissertation—Enrollment Logics and Discourse: Toward Professionalizing Higher Education Enrollment Management

Texas A&M University, Mays Business School: Master of Science, Management Information Systems 1998

Texas A&M University: Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Analysis 1990

Affiliations (7)

  • Board Member: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  • Member: Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
  • Member: National Communication Association
  • Primary Representative: EDUCAUSE
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): ISACA
  • Certified Project Management Professional: Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Consultant: SEM Works

Languages (1)

  • English

Testimonials (7)

Gloria Willingham, PhD, Former Provost | Fielding Graduate University

Dr. Snowden has demonstrated her ability to be the catalyst to move higher education organizational structures and processes forward in a time of budget adjustments and redefinitions of growth opportunities and challenges. She is knowledgeable about higher education enrollment strategies, and management systems that inform those strategies resulting in measurable increases in student success ratios. She is able to create the environment in which an entire campus will mobilize and redirect resources to focus on student success. She is a master at leading the structuring and systematizing of statistical information and reporting arenas critical to operational success. Her in-depth understanding of the critical elements of legal, regulatory, and accreditation standards in higher education links everyday practice to required standards. She is a sought after public speaker, an author, and an internal consultant. In addition to her acquired and sustained senior management skills, she stays in touch with her faculty in her role as a Professor in Human and Organizational Development. Given those accomplishments, her career progression and goals, and her educational background, I recommend Dr. Snowden for senior leadership positions in higher education and/or organizational development. If she is not on your list of prospects... she should be!

Mohammed Yousif, Advisor, Student Affairs & Enrollment | United Arab Emirates University

Dr. Monique L. Snowden, has generously accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at the 34th ARAB ACRAO conference 2015 held at UAEU. She has demonstrated outstanding knowledge in higher education enrollment strategies, and enhancement of student success. She has provided a variety of road maps for the conference attendees through which they can organize and transmit resources to focus on student success. Her comprehensive and profound proficiency in the higher education, information management, and accreditation standards were reflected through out the conference. We were proud to have her with us, and will highly recommend her for future conferences and consultation in her education.

James Kyriaco, MPA, Executive Assistant | County of Santa Barbara

Monique is that rare leader that exhibits both intuitive and scholarly leadership. Her interpersonal skills and organizational savvy allow her to determine when an employee needs to be challenged or reassured; coached or counseled. As a former direct report I experienced Monique as an inspiring and visionary leader who is fearless, loyal, reflective and constantly challenging others to become better versions of themselves. I highly recommend Monique as a leader who can provide mentorship and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Margaret M. McCarthy, Associate Dean of Student and Alumni Services | Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Monique is an outstanding senior leader with deep skills in organizational structure, employee management, data structure and analysis, as well as specific expertise in running registration, admissions, marketing and information technology areas. She has a track record of taking institutions to the next level of success and is a valued colleague.

Kim Kieras, MSLOC, Director of Undergraduate Admission | Roosevelt University

I worked with Monique at Northwestern University while serving her post as Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management at the School of Continuing Studies (SCS). Monique, a strong and analytical thinker, continually kept her staff on their toes by empowering us to think outside the box to come up with actionable, innovative decisions. Monique is an extremely bright individual and skilled in areas of managing big data; organizational leadership; project management; staff development; change management; strategic planning; and technological advancement. It was a treat to work with Monique while at SCS as she brought many new insights into the world of admissions and recruitment for adult learners. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is dedicated to not just getting the job done, but performing beyond expectations. I respect her immensely and hope to have the opportunity to work with her again in the future.

Cheryl Rich, MBA, Retired Senior Associate Director of Admissions | Texas A&M University

I was privileged to work for and with Monique from 2004 to 2007 when she served as Managing Director of Admissions Processing, Interim Director of Admissions, and Director of Enrollment Research and Technology at Texas A&M University. Monique is an extremely talented professional with a knack for engaging others in recognizing the need and benefits of data analysis, which is particularly critical in the admissions arena. She is well able to see the big picture while playing close attention to the minute details that will eventually influence that big picture. In addition, her experience and expertise in organizational leadership allowed me and my staff to embrace several key organizational changes and face them as opportunities instead of simply accepting them with dread. Monique has a sharp, quick sense of humor, and while she does not suffer fools lightly, she does find ways to bring out the best in those who work for and with her. I found Monique to be stimulating and challenging, traits I appreciate in both a supervisor and a colleague. Her top notch skills in project management, strategic and organizational communications and all aspects of data analysis and management were essential in her leadership roles at Texas A&M University.

Shervonne Davis Smithey, Assistant to Director at Enterprise Information Systems | Texas A&M University, Enterprise Information Systems

Monique is one of the smartest people I have ever worked with. She is excellent at motivating her staff. One of her strengths is finding the right hires and providing them with robust training to make them the most efficient employees possible. Monique is also loyal and protective of her staff, not allowing outside contacts to abuse them. Monique has a knack of getting things done. She develops a vision and is able to identify what needs to happen to achieve the vision and assign the right people, giving them the tools and authority to make it happen.

Media Appearances (3)

How To Align Enrollment Management with the Expectations of Adult Learners

EvoLLLution  online


Enrollment management practices are constantly changing to accommodate the evolving expectations of non-traditional students. This demographic is generally older than the 18- to 22-year-old learners most colleges and universities—and their associated management practices—were designed to serve. They have heightened expectations, less free time and, in many cases, very different needs. In this interview, Monique Snowden sheds a light on some institutional practices that help enhance student engagement and satisfaction through effective program launching and delivery.

Enrollment Strategies

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Scholar to Study Operations and Leadership at Cal Poly Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona—PolyCentric  online


PolyCentric is Cal Poly Pomona’s official news source, bringing together news, digital communication and multimedia to help tell the university’s story. It is produced by Office of Public Affairs, Cal Poly Pomona’s central communications office.

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Meet the AACRAO Board: Monique L. Snowden

American Association of Collegiate Registrars  online


As members vote for AACRAO leadership, Connect is helping familiarize readers with our currently serving officers. This month, we interview Monique Snowden, Ph.D., Vice President for Institutional Planning & Effectiveness at Fielding Graduate University. She has been an AACRAO member since 2005, and is currently serving as the Vice President for Access and Equity. We were privileged to find out about her career advancement, both within our association and in the higher education sphere.

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Event Appearances (6)

"Oh the Places You'll Go!": The Big Data Waiting Place

WSCUC Academic Resource Conference  Burlingame, CA


Communicative Fluency: An Essential Learning Outcome

WSCUC Academic Resource Conference  San Diego, CA


Mentor Mapping: Enhancing and Advancing Your Career and IT Organizations

EDUCAUSE Connect  Chicago, IL (April) | Portland, OR (March)


Analytics Panel Discussion | Bridget Burns, Mark David Milliron, Monique L. Snowden

2016 AACRAO SEM Conference, Closing Plenary Panelist | Los Angeles, CA  San Antonio, TX


Innovations and Adopters: Toward innovative thought and action in higher education

34th Arab Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (ARAB-ACRAO) Annual Meeting, Opening Featured Speaker  United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain UAE


Current Realities and Future Possibilities for SEM Practice

2014 AACRAO SEM Conference, Closing Plenary Panelist |  Los Angeles, CA


Sample Talks (1)

Competing on Analytics in Higher Education: A Scholar-Practitioner Approach

This workshop focuses on strategic and competitive applications of analytics in higher education. Dr. Snowden gets to the heart of many daily challenges in colleges and universities by asking thought-provoking questions and unpacking critical issues. Higher education leaders and professionals cultivate essential relationships with their institutions’ prospective, current and former students; faculty; staff; donors; and constituents. At the foundation, apex, center and borders of these relationships and associated relational processes are an amalgamation of data that informs strategy, impacts services, promotes student success, and facilitates personal and organizational co-development. This workshop stimulates and provides participants insight on their respective institution’s analytic environment and potential, in addition to highlighting individual and collective professional contributions to build greater organizational capacity for higher education analytics. Dr. Snowden inspires and empowers workshop participants, who will walk away with a pragmatic and coherent understanding of “competing on analytics” in increasingly competitive higher education market spaces.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist

Research Focus (1)

Enrollment logics and discourse

Toward professionalizing higher education enrollment management


Enrollment management is an organizational phenomenon that emerged in the mid-1970s and has since developed into a pervasive structure and practice at colleges and universities. The purpose of this study is to identify and trace the development of the underlying organizing principles (enrollment logics) that institutionalize enrollment management practices and professionalize the chief enrollment manager position. This study focuses on how discourses among members of a prominent professional association establish, diffuse, and sustain knowledge that promotes certain expertise, assumptions, beliefs, and shared understandings of enrollment management. This is qualitative study that uses first-person accounts of 18 chief enrollment managers, authoethnographic reflections, and historical texts to reveal the regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive elements (symbols, relations, routines, and artifacts) that signify enrollment management as an institutionalized and professionalized phenomenon. Crystallization is used as the analytical approach for discourse analysis. Institutional Theory and Structuration Theory form the theoretical and analytical frameworks for this study.

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Partnerships (1)

Strategic Enrollment Management Consulting | Enrollment Consultant

Jim Black, Principal SEM Works


Helping you to achieve success with sustainable enrollment management and marketing solutions is our passion. Founded by Dr. Jim Black, SEM Works is grounded in a long history of serving higher education clients through consulting, research, CRM services and professional development. Altogether, we've worked with more than 400 colleges and universities from five countries. No matter what your institution's culture or enrollment challenges may be, we're confident we can help you break through.

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Courses (6)

REC 709: Using Assessment and Evaluation to Improve Campus Racial Climates | USC Equity Institutes

Research has consistently shown that hostile racial campus climates hinder the academic performance and sense of belonging among racially minoritized students. This module will provide practical strategies (including assessment and evaluation) that can be utilized by various institutional leaders and engaged practitioners to improve the experiences of racially minoritized students across different sectors of the institution (e.g. classrooms, residence halls, and student organizations).

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REC 710: Assessing Racial Equity Through Disaggregating Data | USC Equity Institutes

Through this module, university and college administrators, faculty, and other campus leaders will learn how to articulate a compelling rationale for disaggregating campus data to identify racial and ethnic inequities, gain tools for how to identify and leverage existing campus data sources, and identify strategies to appropriately and effectively showcase disaggregated data. Black, Asian/Asian American, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander are not monolithic racial categories and need specific interventions and nuanced support.

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REC 711: Making Racial Equity Data Transparent | USC Equity Institutes

Transparency in sharing disaggregated data is an essential facet of racially equitable practices in the college or university environment. In this module, participants will explore examples of data dashboards, learn how to make their data understandable and accessible, and identify opportunity gaps in student success and engagement. Participants in this module will move beyond simply posting the data to concrete ways to use data as a catalyst for change and to construct racial equity goals that are context-specific.

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Discourse, Organizations, and Paradox | Fielding Graduate University

This seminar focuses on constructs and approaches associated with organizational discourse studies. Generally speaking, the study of language in use are interaction processes are the foci of organizational discourse analysts. The seminar is designed to expose its participants to “cross-theoretical thinking about the discourse-organization relationship, and how it could serve to extend the explanatory power of discourse analysis, inform dichotomous thinking, and develop complex theorizing about organizational concepts.”

Organizational Discourse Analysis | Fielding Graduate University

This seminar is an introduction to discourse analysis as a social constructivist method and methodology for exploring the relationships between organizational talk, texts/images, contexts, and meanings. Seminar participants examine and discuss how micro- and macro-level discourses frame, reify, and problematize organizational behaviors and meaning-making activities that give organizations substance and constitute everyday organizational life.

Crystallization in Qualitative Research |Fielding Graduate University

This seminar is an introduction to crystallization in qualitative research. As conceived by Laurel Richardson, crystallization is a “way of achieving depth, through compilation of not only many details but also different forms of representing, organizing, and analyzing those details” the “crystal, which combines symmetry and substance with an infinite variety of shapes, substances, transmutations, multidimensionalities, and angles of approaches,” is an alternative to triangulation and the central image of the “triangle—a rigid, fixed, two-dimensional object."

Articles (8)

Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Student Body | Chapter 2: Recruiting and Supporting Black Students

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers


Today's admissions officers need to have mastery over a wide variety of knowledge and techniques in order to help form the entering student populations at colleges and universities. Achieving an optimum enrollment mix that takes into consideration the diversity of students who apply to and enroll at a particular college is paramount to student and institutional success. Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body is an essential resource for expanding the readers' expertise in a range of strategic and operational matters that inform, influence, and yield the recruitment and retention of diverse student bodies. The chapters contain pinpointed and detailed advice for giving specific student populations the tools and resources they need to succeed. Also included is a holistic overview of the importance of non-cognitive variables in student admission as well as advice for connecting with parents and other individuals that surround and influence students. By exploring the challenges that particular populations face in the path to higher education and offering advice to administrators on how to navigate these spaces, this book can be used to create the roadmap to a learning environment richened through diversity and inclusion. When administrators proactively address concerns of specific populations they have a significant positive impact on the academic experience of all students.

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Refocusing | Losing | Finding: Beyond SEM Structures, Functions, and Administrative Contexts

Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly | AACRAO and Wiley Periodicals


Since the inception of (strategic) enrollment management in the 1970s, college and university leaders have perpetuated structuralist approaches to SEM, which are often reflected in persistent debates about the ideal collection and organizational placement of SEM functions under either an administrative or academic C-level executive. This article acknowledges the structural beginnings and inherent functional aspects of SEM, but also challenges SEM researchers and practitioners to expand their theoretical frames, analytical lenses, organizational conclusions, and individual actions toward more effectively realizing SEM practices and professions in the academic context. To that end, the author promotes an academic orientation to SEM and the strategic re-positioning of the 21st century collegiate registrar in a SEM context.

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Handbook of Strategic Enrollment Management | Chapter 26: Emerging SEM Organizations For Graduate And International Students



This volume combines relevant theories and research, with applied chapters on the management of offices such as admissions, financial aid, and the registrar to provide a comprehensive guide to the complex world of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM). SEM focuses on achieving enrollment goals, and sustaining institutional revenue and serving the needs of students. It provides insights into the ways SEM is practiced across four-year institutions, community colleges, and professional schools.

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Learner-Centered SEM and Competency-Based Education: Exploring the Learning Frontier of Graduate Enrollment Futures

Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly | AACRAO and Wiley Periodicals


In March 2013, the US Department of Education issued guidance to institutions on how to attain approval for competency-based programs under the current title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) regulations on direct assessment programs. This article considers the graduate enrollment futures of colleges and universities that have chosen and will elect to adopt and deliver competency-based programs, and the potential role that strategic enrollment management (SEM) will play in advancing program enrollment and enhancing learner success. This SEM exploration originates at the founding institution, and subsequently emerges in the “academic context” before coming to rest at a liminal zone in the competency-based learning frontier. Between the borders of student and academic SEM orientations, competency-based learning figures and grounds the development of a learner-centered SEM orientation and approach that is aligned with extant initiatives to advance graduate enrollments.

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The Great Sorting Process: Reflections on Meritocratic Admissions and the (Un)Common

College & University Journal | American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers


This commentary is in response to the use of non-cognitive variables in collegiate admissions to improve institutional diversity. The author touches on the meritocratic tradition in higher education, use of common applications vis-a-vis high denial rates, and the Fisher v. University Texas case that once again challenges the use affirmative action in collegiate admissions.

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Enrollment Logics and Discourses: Toward Developing an Enrollment Knowledge Framework

Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly | AACRAO and Wiley Periodicals


This article brings attention to a typology of enrollment knowledge possessed and enacted by contemporary chief enrollment officers. Interview narratives are used to reveal enrollment principles and associated actions—enrollment logics—that form enrollment discourses, which in turn shape the institutionalized presence of strategic enrollment management, particularly in North American higher education.

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Strategic Enrollment Management: Transforming Higher Education | Chapter 9: SEM in the Postbaccalaureate Context

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers


As external forces demand change in the delivery of postsecondary education and institutions seek to take advantage of new opportunities, the potential for achieving higher levels of student and institutional success is vast. New technologies, communication tools, data use, and organizational constructs present key factors in improving the delivery of higher education. Strategic Enrollment Management: Transforming Higher Education brings practitioners up to the present and into new territory by addressing the latest SEM emphases. This book provides a roadmap for the required paradigm shift, building on the solid foundation of prior SEM practice and offering insights to new approaches that will lead to sustainable SEM efforts into the future.

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"Bettering Her Education and Widening Her Sphere”: Betwixt and Between Coeducational Experiences

Qualitative Inquiry | Sage Journal Publications


This article is a focused response to the call for a “conscious use of crystallization,” in qualitative research. To this end, the author brings into play a full-bodied textual metaphor, the palimpsest, to stimulate the expansion of an integrated crystallization typology—comprised of woven and patched approaches. Appropriated as a textual artifact, the author uses the palimpsest to ground and figure the methodological development of palimpsestuous crystallization. The novel crystallization process places foci on the involved relationship between texts and discourses, that is, intertextuality and interdiscursivity. The author works at developing palimpsestuous crystallization by interleaving liminal coeducational experiences between interrelated texts signifying persistent and dominant discourses on postsecondary coeducation. Wholly, the article is constituent of a larger methodological undertaking in its early stages. The article emerges from a situated and personal narrative that is typified as “more than a back story.”

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