Tiffany Tong wanted to go back to school. She had her sights set on the UW Certificate in Photography, which she’d been eyeing off and on since she graduated from the UW with a bachelor’s in communication in 2011. Tiffany hoped to turn her side business in photography into a larger operation, and she relished the idea of doing that at her alma mater.
“I absolutely loved my undergrad time at UW,” she said, “and I wanted an opportunity to come back.”
But before she could continue her education, Tiffany — who was working as medical receptionist along with her part-time photography business — had some questions. That’s where Colette Jolicoeur stepped in.
Colette, a senior enrollment coach and training specialist on the Enrollment Services team for UW Professional & Continuing Education, connected with Tiffany after Tiffany couldn’t attend an information session. Colette sent Tiffany the PowerPoint presentation from the session, and the two ended up corresponding for the months running up to the certificate’s start date.
“We probably sent 20 emails to each other, and it was helpful because Colette was always able to answer my questions and help provide me with options and ideas for solutions,” Tiffany said. “She also asked that I let her know when I applied for the program, which I appreciated. It made me feel like she really cared about where I was in the process and that she wanted me to succeed.”
Enrollment Services Empowers You to Keep Learning
Connect with Enrollment Services
If you have questions about a certificate program, the application process or the enrollment process, fill out this form to connect with an enrollment coach like Colette.
Or, call 800-506-1325 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday to speak directly with a coach.
The Enrollment Services team works with students to assess their readiness and fit for a certificate program, prepare to apply, successfully enroll and get off to a strong start. Coaches do this by establishing a connection with students to help them make an informed decision about their own education.
“Knowing a student’s background really enables us to coach them,” Colette said. “Once we’ve established contact, we get to know their goals, and we support the student in completing the steps of the enrollment process so they can meet those goals.”
Understanding students’ motivations helps Enrollment Services coaches provide personally tailored guidance to students. Additionally, Colette believes that the coaches share one trait that helps them serve students: curiosity.
“We’re all very curious about what the students’ experiences are and where they’re at,” Colette said. “To be effective, we have to be proactive, not reactive: we need to understand your personal goals so we can see how the program you’re considering fits in.”
Once a student has begun their certificate program, the coach’s job winds down and the student support specialist’s begins. Student support specialists provide continuing advice and support to students who are currently enrolled so students are never on their own — like Tiffany, who began not only the Certificate in Photography but also the Certificate in Writing in the fall of 2019.
Tiffany wasn’t aware of the writing certificate until she asked for information on other arts-related certificates.
“I want to write a book, and the series of classes for memoir writing is perfect for me,” Tiffany said. “I’m really excited about both of the programs, and it was all thanks to Colette’s help that I even found the writing certificate. I really appreciated working with her because of the personal touch. Colette was so supportive, and it really felt like we were working together toward the best possible outcome.”