HFC welcomes Director of Admissions and Recruiting Tracy Perry
When she worked for Madonna University from 2015-18 and was stationed at HFC as the on-site coordinator for three years, Tracy Perry spent more time on HFC’s campus than she did on Madonna’s Livonia campus.
During the time she worked in HFC’s University Center in the Welcome Center, Perry fell in love with HFC and knew she wanted to work at the College eventually.
That day has arrived. Perry joined HFC as its new Director of Admissions and Recruiting on January 9. In this position, she reports to HFC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Rhonda DeLong.
“I’m very excited to take on the role of director,” said Perry. “I really like the students, faculty, staff, and community here at HFC. The campus’ diversity is also very attractive.”
Past success working with HFC students
DeLong is excited to have Perry on the team and looks forward to working with her.
“Tracy brings expertise from leadership roles in a variety of higher education settings. She is serious about student success. As a Detroit native (she is a graduate of King High School) and first-gen college graduate, she brings a valuable dimension of sharing the experiences of many of our students,” said DeLong. "She is also excited about leading our Admissions and Recruiting team, to make sure we are collaborating across the College to meet the needs of our region and achieve the objectives of our strategic plan. Some exciting ideas are already under way.”
Perry spoke about her time as Madonna’s on-site coordinator at HFC.
“Even though I recruited students from other community colleges in the Metro Detroit area when I worked for Madonna, I was the most successful at HFC. I was a one-stop shop: I helped students with financial aid, advising, and articulation agreements. I really enjoyed working with HFC students; they were such a joy. Some of them even brought me food!” recalled Perry, laughing.
She continued: “One of my favorite stories about HFC is one I’ve told many times: There were two dual enrolled students – twins – I worked with who earned their associate degrees in criminal justice through HFC’s 3+1 agreement with Madonna. By the time they finished their program, they had almost 90 credits completed. The next year, I saw them earn their bachelor's degrees and graduate from Madonna. It was phenomenal to witness that.”
First-generation college student who appreciates the value of education
Born in Detroit, Perry recently moved to Dearborn after living in Dundee briefly. An only child, she has two adult children. Perry is a graduate of Detroit's Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School. A first-generation college student, Perry earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Wayne State University. She later earned her MBA in marketing from Davenport University and her master’s degree in communications leadership from Spring Arbor University. She is pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at Central Michigan University.
Perry began her career as a public relations intern for AAA Michigan in Dearborn and what is now Hermanoff Public Relations in Farmington Hills, as well as an assistant account executive for Marx Layne & Company in Farmington Hills. Switching gears, she went into sales for several years, working for Michigan National Corporation, Westtext Home Security, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in customer service.
19 years in higher ed
After completing her MBA, Perry began working for the University of Phoenix in admissions and development.
“At the time, I was able to help several ex-colleagues from BCBSM obtain their bachelor’s degrees or their master’s degrees. I was going to various businesses and recruiting adult learners, talking about their interests and talking about continuing their education. I’ve always liked fields where I can help people achieve their goals. Educational attainment gives them mobility,” she explained.
Not only did Perry help some of her former colleagues earn an education, she inspired her own mother earn to an associate degree in accounting.
Perry has been in higher education for 19 years. She taught professional communications at Phoenix's Axia College and Rasmussen University. She has been a part-time instructor, teaching principles of marketing at Macomb Community College and business communications at Monroe County Community College.
After Madonna, she worked at CMU’s global satellite campuses in Warren and in Dearborn for three years. Prior to coming to HFC, she was the director of enrollment management at MCCC for a year.
Education opens doors for a different kind of opportunity
Perry’s duties in her new position at HFC are focused on advancing the College's strategic plan goals, including:
- Increasing enrollment of Black students by 25 percent
- Doubling the enrollment of Hispanic students in the next two years
- Increasing enrollment of underrepresented student populations in health careers, STEAM, and skilled trades
“A lot of people don’t know what their possibilities are and don’t know where to begin, which means we have to look for them and use out-of-the-box thinking to reach those underrepresented populations,” she said. “With my background at Phoenix and the Michigan Reconnect program at MCCC, I see opportunities to increase enrollment of the number of adult learners at HFC.”
Perry feels that HFC is “home” in many ways. She spent a lot of time on campus when she was working for Madonna, and that familiarity gives her an advantage.
“Earning an education allows people the opportunity to achieve a different lifestyle, especially first-generation college students. Many people expect to graduate from high school and go directly to work and take care of their family,” she said. “Earning an education opens doors for different opportunities. The simple fact of earning a degree has given people more opportunities than they had previously. I enjoy helping people achieve their dreams through education.”