TxGAP - Keynote Speaker and Sessions

                        The Texas Leader in Graduate Enrollment Management


Keynote Speaker

Reginald C. Toussant Jr., M.Ed.

Originally from Galveston, Texas, Reginald has over 10 years of experience in the field of higher education, specifically having worked with First Year Experience programs, transition programs for first-generation college students, career development, academic success and student wellness.  Reginald holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Relations and a Master’s of Education in Counseling and Guidance with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Texas State University- San Marcos and is currently the Assistant Director of Student Services at Baylor College of Medicine where he provides one-on-one academic advising/coaching to students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Health Professions and the School of Medicine.  In addition, in his role, Reginald also oversees various institution-wide committees and serves as the Student Wellness Coordinator for the college.  Prior to joining Baylor College of Medicine in 2016, Reginald held various roles at the University of Houston and Texas State University- San Marcos. Reginald is also a professional member of the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American College Health Association.


The Graduate/Professional Student Experience From A to G

This talk will discuss various aspects of the graduate and professional student experience from prospective student to graduation.  Adversity, Burnout, Culture Shock, Direction, Exploration, Failure and Grit are all prevalent issues among current and potential graduate/professional students.  This talk will specifically delve into those topics as they pertain to the work carried out by graduate admissions and enrollment professionals.  Admissions and enrollment professionals are often the initial touch point for prospective student and this talk aims to equip such professionals with insights into what students are facing before, during and after deciding where to complete their training.


Holistic Admissions Practices

In fall 2017, the Graduate School at UT Austin brought together graduate programs across campus to discuss how they conduct their admissions review. The goal was to collect information on what practices our programs are using, what is working well, what isn't working, and see if there was a place for GIAC/the Grad School to help programs improve the holistic review process at UT overall. We used the feedback we received to put together a holistic admissions roadshow, which we have been giving to graduate programs for the last year. In this session, I will share the process we went through, what we learned, how we marketed the roadshow, as well as give a glimpse into the presentation that we give, and how that has been received by faculty and graduate programs.

Advisor Slow Jams: Pathway to a Smooth & Efficient Process

Professional advising requires the abilities to handle multiple processes; from admissions to retention to graduation, with great efficiency. The impact of advising can make the difference in the success of our students. Would it be nice to streamline your processes, effectively advise students, and kick back and listen to slow jams? Join this session, where I discuss how I was able to transform my department’s internal processes, and established a smoother advising model.

Recruiting Students of Color, and Their Impact in Graduate Programs

The purpose of this session is to focus on why it is important to recruit students of color, and provide time to discuss some of the best recruiting practices for the different institutions we all serve (Predominantly White, Hispanic Serving, Minority Serving, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, etc.). Having the discussion on recruiting students of color will not only bring ideas for the best practices, but we also discuss how this connects to student development theory for each demographic, an the impact the students have in their graduate programs.

Using GRE Scores in a Holistic Admissions Process

This presentation will focus on the value of holistic admissions and some findings from extensive research that ETS has done at graduate institutions around admissions practices. Much of the presentation will highlight promising practices that aim to address the hurdles that prevent institutions from implementing a truly holistic application process. Resources for learning more will also be shared.

Preparing for Success: A Complete Overhaul of New Student Orientation

Following successful recruitment and enrollment in a graduate program, we all hope that students will thrive both academically and socially. But hope isn't a plan. How are you equipping your graduate students to get off to a strong start in your programs? In 2015 the McCoy College of Business completely overhauled the new student orientation program. Rather than a barrage of information on the first night of class, a mandatory "Bootcamp" event was instituted the Saturday before classes start. This event covers not only the logistical and technical components of graduate programs, but also includes faculty and alumni panels, team-building exercises, and an interactive personality assessment. And it has been an overwhelming success. In this session we'll contrast the "Bootcamp" structure to the previous in-class model, discuss best-practices related to implementing a full-day event, and go through the planning timeline and the resources needed for successful implementation.

Double the fun: Gaining New Team Members Through Reorganization can Make Events Better

With many institutions reorganizing their enrollment areas, we are often seeing the combination of undergraduate and graduate admissions offices. Included in these areas are visitor experience teams that produce on campus events for prospective students – both undergraduate and graduate. Hear from one team that is now on the same side, and brought together their events with record attendance on both sides! Learn about ways that you leverage other campus resources even if you don’t work on the same team.

First Year in Recruitment

Will discuss topics of 1st year experiences as a recruiter. What have I learned as a recruiter without any prior experience since starting in this profession? After working the 1st year as a recruiter, what are my thoughts and how to stay motivated in this profession? This session will have a presentation and interactive component.

Moving from Surviving to Thriving: A Discussion for Small, Private, or Independent Universities

In this round table discussion intended for any small, private, or independent university, we will discuss the challenges facing institutions like ours and how we may thrive in this challenging higher education climate. Discussion topics will include best practices for admissions, lead generation, departmental/university structure, tuition/funding, and how to have your message heard in a saturated market. There will also be opportunity for open discussion as the conversation progresses.

Don’t be fooled…Graduate Students want (NEED) a personalized campus tour!

Are you including your prospective graduate students in the same tour as your prospective UNDERgraduate students? If so, find out how much of an impact the creation of a “personalized” graduate student campus tour has had at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Are you highlighting areas of campus that may be exclusive to graduate students? Do you include an appointment with a faculty member? Graduate Students have different needs and you should be including these amenities in their tour to provide them with a VIP experience. Graduate students have questions that are different and more unique; they want information about the city they will soon be residing in and they won’t say it (out loud), but they also don’t want to be clumped with high school students who may or may not even want to be on the tour. As university representatives, we don’t like to admit it, but graduate students bring in more $ and we NEED to make them feel extra special. An A&M-CC representative shares what steps are taken to customize a tour for graduate students-who are expecting more than a tour of the University Center and Dining Hall. Come learn new ideas, and share any ideas you may have about making your prospective graduate students feel extra special when they are touring your campus.

Building a Strong Recruitment Strategy During Uncertain Times

Over the past two years the Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has undergone a program transformation consolidating its 12 (8 departmental & 4 interdepartmental) Ph.D. programs to 7 interdepartmental, interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs, while undergoing a restructuring of admissions and recruitment functions. In addition, a majority of the Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences have removed the GRE, while BCM has kept it. This session will focus on how the Graduate School overcame those challenges and increased their overall and diversity applicant pool by 30%. Tips will be given on how to effectively leverage messaging and communication with prospective students while building strong relationships with undergraduate institutions.

International Graduate Emerging Markets Overview

Changing international student demographics and the current immigration climate mean that US higher education institutions can no longer rely solely on international students from China, India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.This session will look briefly at the educational systems of five countries whose international student enrollments have been growing at the graduate level: Iran, Taiwan, Turkey, Brazil, and Vietnam. We will provide a high level overview of education structures, sample credentials, and grading practices in each country. We will focus on university education with an eye towards making graduate admissions decisions.

Using the Virtual Grad Fair to Reach Students

This presentation will demonstrate the unique method of connecting virtually that allows students and universities to save time and eliminate the many burdens and costs associated with travel. The virtual fair is a personalized approach to recruiting and retaining students using a method that aligns with their preferences. Attendees will learn how to easily incorporate faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and current students into the recruiting process by utilizing the virtual platform. Attendees will see just how easy it is to build an organization profile, schedule chat hours, conduct a live broadcast, share live presentations, and video chat with prospective students.

Retention Strategies throughout the Student Life-Cycle

Whether you are involved with recruitment and admissions, student affairs/advising, or alumni relations, you know the importance of retention. In this session we will explore the retention strategies and activities our Office of Admissions and Student Affairs has found most effective in reaching our retention goals for applicants and current students. We will also highlight the benefits we have experienced by merging the offices of Admissions with Student Affairs in addressing student needs throughout the life-cycle, from prospect to graduate.

Hot Topics: International Recruitment

Ever wondered about how to get started in international recruitment? Are you a professional and interested in helping newcomers? This session will include an on going dialogue about best practices and challenges in the ever changing world of international recruitment. Come armed with questions, topics, and business cards for this open discussion. 

Digital Ads the Inbound Way: How to Get Better ROI from Media Buys

Traditional digital advertising across Google Ads, paid social media, display ads, retargeting campaigns, and other online influencers can get expensive quickly, let alone the technical skills needed to manage the various types of media. This workshop will teach you practical tactics you can implement immediately to get more results from your limited media budget. Using case-study data, we will do a side-by-side comparison of traditional ads vs. content-based ads that use the inbound methodology.

TxGAP is the official Texas chapter of NAGAP, the National Association for Graduate Enrollment Management.

More information about NAGAP
c/o Matthew Painter
Texas State University
601 University Drive,
McCoy Hall 322D
San Marcos, TX 78666
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