Alison Pickrell is a skilled and energetic senior student affairs professional with 30 years of experience in the postsecondary sector. A Saskatchewan-born professional, Alison was raised in the USA, Europe and Canada completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Masters of Post-Secondary Education at Memorial University. Her graduate work focused on student retention, with a specific emphasis on barriers to Aboriginal student success at Canadian postsecondary institutions.
Alison began her postsecondary career at the University of Saskatchewan, working in various administrative and leadership roles within the former Office of the Registrar and within the Student and Enrolment Services Division. In 2003 Alison became Provincial Registrar for the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science & Technology (SIAST), and in 2006 the Associate Vice President, Student Affairs at SIAST. Alison co-chaired SIAST's Aboriginal Student Success Strategy project and was instrumental in co-authoring and launching their 5-year Aboriginal Student Achievement Plan. She returned to the University of Saskatchewan in 2011 as the Director of Enrolment, excited by the opportunity to participate in the university's strategic enrolment management planning process, and the opportunity to more actively engage with initiatives related to Aboriginal and international student populations.
Alison is recognized provincially and nationally as an expert in student mobility, education credential portability, and learner pathway creation. She has been involved with the Canadian Information Centre for International Credential Evaluation's Pan-Canadian Quality Assessment Framework Steering Committee, she sits on the Pan-Canadian Council on Admissions & Transfer Credit Board of Directors and the Saskatchewan Credit Transfer and Learner Pathways Council. She has significant experience in both university and technical college systems leading strategic enrolment management projects, developing institution-wide enrolment plans, undertaking education program assessments and support service reviews, developing and implementing institutional policy within postsecondary governance frameworks, and leading large-scale technology implementation projects and initiatives.
Alison has worked internationally as a recruitment professional, developing recruitment strategy for various markets, initiating strategic partnerships, and participating in international development projects. She was a member of the Executive of the Western Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada, and is an active member and frequent conference presenter for a number of professional organizations in North America such as the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, the Canadian Bureau of International Education, and the NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Alison is also a Senior Consultant for Academica Group, Canada's largest research-based marketing consultancy focused exclusively on the higher education sector.
As a member of SESD’s senior leadership team, Alison provides overall leadership to four units within SESD – Aboriginal Student Centre, Admissions and Transfer Credit, International Student and Study Abroad Centre and Student Recruitment.