PAU Adds Admissions Pro Alaina Dunn to Team

Monday, September 16, 2019
Palo Alto University is pleased to introduce that Alaina Dunn assumed the position of assistant vice president of admissions in June. Dunn brings many years of professional experience, admissions best practices, and enthusiasm to the role.
“I am very excited about helping PAU continue to build its stellar reputation as an outstanding university with strong academics and passionate people,” said the self-professed admissions geek.  “PAU is a leader in the field of counseling and psychology higher education, not just in the U.S. but internationally as well. I am working closely with the marketing team to build name recognition and a profile that reflects this distinction.”
Dunn joins PAU from UC San Francisco, where she was the Director of Admissions for their School of Dentistry. Her career has included admissions work at the University of Redlands and Pomona College, and has included both undergraduate and graduate programs. Her professional interest include predictive modeling, public-private partnerships, and alternative forms of admissions evaluation. She live in San Jose, with her daughter, husband, and three neurotic cats. 
One of Dunn’s short-term goals is to add professionals to the admissions team who are passionate about higher education and will be evangelists for the school. 
A Focus on Meeting Students Needs
Given the increasing competition for students in higher education, particularly on the digital front, Dunn and PAU colleagues are focusing on the delivery of programs to meet the needs of students and faculty.  She also sees a big opportunity to serve additional nontraditional students in light of changing U.S. demographics.
“PAU is at the forefront of trends in delivering programs that are accessible to students that work, those with children at home, career-changers, as well as the LGBTQ population.”
There is growing interest in the Master’s in Counseling program in general, she said and PAU has room for more undergraduate students. Dunn and her team are working on making the admissions process more efficient in terms of collecting data and making it easier for prospective students to navigate the admissions process. “Having a high level of transparency across every aspect of admissions and having a consistent voice about who we are and what we expect, our policies and procedures is key, and will support our goals for increased enrollment.”
Building Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
Longer-term goals include expanding and formalizing partnerships with community organizations, and local government and businesses. Providing internships and practicums for PAU students is of great mutual benefit to PAU students and local organizations. “Developing these relationships will leverage our reputation as excellent trainers in mental health care and help students transition into meaningful employment.” 


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