Higher education as a whole faces major criticisms, and it's on the defense. With high tuition rates, skyrocketing student debt and bleak employment opportunities for college grads, the value of a college education has been up for debate. Not only do career schools fall under this heated umbrella question of "Is a college education worth it?", they are hit with two more major challenges: declining enrollment rates and government regulatory issues. The negative climate surrounding higher education, along with these specific challenges, place mounting pressure on career schools to implement solutions to break down these barriers.
The first step toward improving your school's performance is to boost enrollment. The following factors affect enrollment rates:
- Identifying and attracting prospective, qualified students to your school.
- Ensuring potential students have the proper credentials to be eligible to apply.
- Creating a connection with students that boosts enrollments and increases completion rates.
Every department plays an integral role in the success of your career school and student outcomes. Use the following steps as the foundation for increasing enrollment and positioning your career school as a high-value academic investment.
Step 1: Outreach & Recruitment: Community Partnerships
Strengthen your community ties and reach out to local schools for your recruitment efforts. Establishing an alliance with guidance and career counselors can connect your school to excellent students. Meet in person or host an open house to create a relationship, as opposed to just delivering brochures and catalogs. In a community partnership, school officials can learn more about your programs, courses and curriculum. As students discuss which steps to take after graduation with their counselor, your school will be top of mind.
Post-secondary institutions can also reach out to the local workforce to attract adult learners. Share with local companies how higher education can provide specialized training and expand the technical skill sets of employees.