Lander University’s enrollment is at an all-time high, with more than 4,300 students, and the work put in by Senior Admissions Counselor Taylor Haigler is one of the reasons why.
Until recently, Haigler worked as a freshman admissions counselor, recruiting, promoting Lander, and providing guidance and support to prospective students. Last year, she reviewed almost a thousand applications.
Now she’s working with transfer students. She focuses primarily on students enrolled in South Carolina’s 16 technical schools, but she works with other kinds of students, too.
“I work with any student who comes from another institution to Lander,” she said. Working as an admissions counselor involves a lot of travel. She calls it “really fun and exciting. You get to meet a lot of people, and you get to see a lot of institutions.”
Haigler, from Florence, came to Lander as a freshman in 2017. She chose Lander “because I felt valued here. I felt like the people here wanted me to be a part of the student body, and I saw a lot of opportunity here, so that’s why I initially came. I ended up staying for my graduate degree because I had such a good experience in the College of Business.”
The many visits that she has made to other schools have allowed her to “see what’s good about our education system and what could use improvement.” Her interest in education policy led her to enroll in an Ed.D program offered by Rockhurst University, in Kansas City, Missouri. The degree will qualify her either to teach at the collegiate level or work in some form of education advocacy, as she chooses.
Haigler is involved in a variety of campus, community and professional organizations.
She’s secretary of Lander’s Staff Senate, a member of Lander’s Committee on Student Needsand advisor of the Lander chapter of Phi Mu Fraternity.
She’s finishing a year-long program with Leadership Greenwood.
“It’s an exciting program that lets me explore our community, learn how I can serve it, and love where I live,” she said.
She’s a steering committee member of Connect Young Professionals (CYP), sponsored by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, and recently joined the Emerald City Rotary Club.
She holds board positions with two professional organizations: the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC) and the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO).
Haigler sees “a lot of opportunity for young people” in Greenwood, “and that’s what I try to get across when I’m speaking with students.”
But her best selling point, she said, is that “I get to promote a school that I love.”
Photo by Laura Wood