Since NACAC’s founding in 1937, the number of men and women in the admission profession at colleges and universities has increased dramatically, particularly as evidenced by the increase in association membership.
Fifteen institutions were represented at the meeting that founded the association, and 47 individuals attended the first annual conference in 1947.
Today, NACAC has more than 13,000 members representing both secondary and postsecondary institutions, as well as independent counselors and community-based organizations.
As higher education has changed in scope, structure and mission, the admission profession has been called to perform new functions, take on new responsibilities, and, in some instances, bear the burden for the institution’s very survival. As the Chronicle of Higher Education noted, just a few decades ago, admission officers counseled students instead of crunching
numbers. The job was more academic than marketing-oriented, and enrollment management barely existed in anyone’s vocabulary. Today, the Chronicle observed, the admission (or enrollment management) office is a drastically different operation, and its success or failure “often determines a college’s financial health and prestige.”