Alexandra Borgia has helped thousands of students get started—and graduate—during her nearly 10-year career at Smart Horizons
The Student Services team is the frontline of Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE). A member of the team is often the first person a new student meets—and their point of contact after they graduate.
At the helm is Alexandra Borgia, Enrollment Manager and SHCOE employee of nearly a decade. As a long-time employee, Borgia has (gladly) worn a lot of hats.
“I can solve a laundry list of requests—from technology support to education verification to re-enrollment,” she said.
But it’s building relationships with students that gives her the greatest sense of purpose in her role.
“Many of our students have experienced educational trauma,” she explained. “So their first interaction with my team—and every interaction after that—has to be a positive experience. We must make students feel heard and supported. We’re part of their lifeline now; our support will help them take the next step in their educational journey.”
Providing student support—from day one to diploma
As Enrollment Manager, Borgia oversees SHCOE’s team of enrollment specialists.
“We support students at each step of their education journey,” she said. “We provide a variety of services from enrollment to transcript evaluation to to issuing transcripts and diplomas.”
Borgia explained that she and her team also provide students with tier 1 tech support—everything from helping them get their internet back up, to running Wi-Fi tests, and solving browser issues.
“We’re also often the last point of contact with students as, or after, they graduate. We help with education verification for new employers or government programs such as affordable housing. This type of stuff can make or break what comes next for some graduates.”
“It’s really important that everyone on my team is knowledgeable and can answer students’ questions, that they’re easy to talk to, and that they have good listening skills,” she added. “I’m fortunate to work with a group of people who are passionate about our mission.”
On planning, pivoting, and finding purpose
What attracted Borgia to SHCOE nearly 10 years ago? “I started as a part-time admissions representative while I was completing my associate’s degree. But never did I think I’d be working in the field of education.”
“I had a life-long goal of being a nurse,” she explained. “But by the time I finished my degree, my passion had shifted: I knew I wanted to continue supporting our students.”
Borgia shares this life lesson—that plans can change for the better—with students who reach out to her and are struggling.
“I remind students that your path can change, but the important thing is to keep moving forward. I encourage them to keep conquering their goals, no matter how small. Each accomplishment is a stepping stone; each step will change your situation. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.”
Borgia shared that she also relates to many students who are mothers. “It takes a lot of effort, flexibility, and courage to balance your education with your career and family,” she said. “My daughter is the love of my life. The sacrifices we make for our children are worth it.”
“I admire our students—and I am proud to help them on their journey,” she added. “For thousands of students, my team members are the first people they meet and we’re also the one printing out their diplomas. Seeing them reach that final milestone? It nevergets old.”