CAB Spotlights help you get to know the current Client Advisory Board members. The CAB serves as a liaison between CollegeSource and the community of professionals using CollegeSource software to maximize the higher education experience. Each spotlight is presented in a “Q&A” interview style and provides insights into CAB members’ institutions, what they are passionate about, and their perspective on issues within the higher education community. Additionally, CAB members may share anecdotes, advice, and what they have learned from being on the CAB.
We hope that these articles give you a new way to connect with the CAB and appreciate why each member was selected to represent our user community. In this portion of the series, we are excited to highlight two members.
Meet Wil Perkins. And, if you have some time, check out the CAB panel session featuring Wil from the 2021 CollegeSource Virtual Conference:
▶️ Ask the CAB: Degree Achievement
Panelists Include: Chris Akers, Virginia Tech, Kariann Hibbard, University of Utah, Drew Lurker, Ivy Tech Community College, Wil Perkins, Harding University, & Christina Shell, Eastern Michigan University
In the Spotlight: Wil Perkins
Wil Perkins, Ed.D. is the Associate Registrar in the Registrar’s Office at Harding University. He is currently the graduation coordinator and manages the uAchieve degree audit as well as program codes in the Banner student information system. Wil has been with the university for over eight years and previously worked as an Institutional Research Analyst at Illinois College. Harding University uses TES, Transferology, uAchieve Degree Audit, and uAchieve Planner from CollegeSource.
Do you participate in any associations, industry conferences, or online groups? How does interacting with your peers from other institutions help you perform your job more effectively?
I currently participate in AACRAO, SACRAO, and ArkACRAO. Interacting with peers from other institutions helps you explore how others handle situations and invites you to re-think how you can accomplish your processes.
What have you learned about being on the CAB? Why might you encourage others to apply?
Being on the CAB has helped me understand how CollegeSource operates and given me greater confidence to share how my institution uses its products.
Reflecting back over your years in higher education, what do you see as having changed in Higher Ed that may not be understood or apparent to someone from the outside or who has just joined the community?
“Why can’t you…” is a refrain often used by those on the outside looking in at higher education. It is not that we are unwilling to change or do things differently, but what happens in higher education is influenced by many different factors, and all those need to be satisfied in order to make progress.
What do you see as a recent trend or on the horizon for Higher Ed? What problems do you think it will have to solve?
The trend for online courses is growing. The issue online courses solve is the accessibility of higher education to a wider world audience. The problem is the struggle to create an online community where the students feel they belong and receive the support to do their best.
What is the best thing about your job? The most challenging thing? What strategies do you use to provide better service?
The best thing about my job is the ability to influence policies and procedures. Since I deal with graduation, I see the last hurdles that students struggle to overcome. It is disheartening to see students fail, but it is such a joy to see students succeed. Being able to provide real-life examples of how policies help or hinder students allows me to advocate on their behalf.
Do you have any sayings—personal mottos your colleagues would know by heart because you frequently apply them at work?
It is what it is. You cannot change everything, and even if you could, another issue would arise. You just need to do the best you are capable of today.
Why CollegeSource? What do our products do for you that is critical to your and your student’s success?
Since I encode the degree audit, I am most familiar with uAchieve. Since we have instituted the degree audit, we have seen a rise in our graduation rates. We are also hopeful of integrating Planner with advising very soon, which will help students reduce time and save money.
What is something fun that the community might want to know about you?
I am an introvert who likes being around people and having new adventures.