One of the most important factors that contribute to your school's enrollment is the quality of your enrollment strategy. Below are some tips to help you build a solid enrollment strategy for your school.
Know the domains that impact enrollment.
All four domains of school design will impact your school's enrollment. These domains include governance, operations, administration and learning.
- Governance - The school's governance includes its trustees and chief administrator. These individuals are responsible for the school's mission, culture and goals.
- Operations - This component of the school includes staff members and non-academic administrators. Operations personnel are responsible for facilities, cash flow and budgeting.
- Administration - The administration includes academic administrators. These professionals are responsible for building trust and confidence, as well as ensuring students access to effective, talented teachers.
- Learning - The "learning" component of the school is managed by teachers and other academic support professionals. These individuals are responsible for the engagement and success of the students in the school.
Problems with any one of these components can have a dramatic impact on enrollment. For this reason, each of these components should be addressed in your school's enrollment strategy.
Understand the specific challenges facing your school's enrollment strategy.
Different challenges may cause problems with enrollment in your school. Some of the most common challenges to enrollment include a lack of respect for the school's teachers, perceptions of low academic quality, lack of trust in school leadership and economic downturn. Identifying the specific issues your school is facing will help you to adjust your enrollment strategy accordingly.
Include all enrollment process in your strategy.
Enrollment is multi-faceted, involving many different processes that can build or derail your school's success. In order to optimize enrollment, each of these processes must be supported and improved. The processes involved in enrollment include:
- Financial aid
- Family recruiting
- Faculty training
- Faculty engagement and culture
- Academic planning
- Academic products
- Family engagement
- Communication protocols
Identify and address areas of strength and weakness.
A weakness in any of the areas mentioned above can impact enrollment dramatically, whether it be a domain of school design or a specific enrollment process. When creating your school's enrollment strategy, assess your school's strength in each of these areas. When you identify weaknesses, structure your enrollment strategy to address these weaknesses.
Monitor your progress.
When circumstances change, your school's enrollment strategy may need to change as well. In order to identify and address these changes quickly, you need to be monitoring the success of your enrollment strategy at all times. Collect and analyze all relevant data throughout the year and react quickly when you notice important changes. For example, if the local economy experiences a significant downturn or setback, financial aid processes and tuition structures may need to be modified to address the issue and prevent problems with enrollment.
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