UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For Penn State World Campus, providing online students with a seamless educational experience is among the highest priorities. To help with that goal, World Campus announced Dec. 10 the appointment of Clayton Steen as its executive director of enrollment management services.
In this newly created role, Steen will provide strategic direction and leadership for all World Campus enrollment services, including admissions, student financial aid, registrar, bursar and transfer credit services.
Steen, who since 2015 has served as the vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing at SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York, is eager to assume his role, effective Jan. 2.
“Penn State has been a leader in this space for many years,” said Steen. “My primary objective is to infuse enrollment management services into the overall Penn State experience so it becomes a seamless educational experience for students studying at World Campus.”
Steen hopes to continue to offer World Campus students more opportunities to engage in university life and help them take advantage of services offered. His goal is for World Campus students to feel as connected to Penn State as their on-campus counterparts.
“I do think that a student that is 5,000 miles away from Penn State should be as encouraged and have as much of a Penn State experience as a student that is five miles away,” he said.
Steen will report to Renata Engel, Penn State’s vice provost for online education.
“Clayton’s knowledge of adult learners and online learners, coupled with his experience in creating a one-stop, integrated enrollment management approach that offers support to students, is going to be incredibly valuable to World Campus,” said Engel.
By bringing this holistic view to enrollment management, Engel said World Campus will expand its capabilities and align with the ‘seamless student experience’ guiding principle outlined in President Barron’s “One Penn State 2025” vision. Announced in 2018, “One Penn State 2025” reimagines student learning and support services across all Penn State’s campuses to boost student success, engagement with Penn State and the efficient use of University resources.
Steen brings more than two decades of experience in higher education enrollment management. Prior to his time at SUNY Empire State College, Steen held positions at D’Youville College, Stevenson University, Laureate Education Inc., and Bowie State University.
Those experiences have taught him that a quality online education offers a balanced approach to the needs of students.
“Though it is about convenience, it’s not just about convenience. It is also about experience,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for students to engage at times that are convenient for them, but also produces the most opportunity for them to experience a sense of college community.”
Steen holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from SUNY at Buffalo, a master’s degree in education, curriculum and instruction from Medaille College and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from SUNY at Buffalo.