Career schools and colleges face a competitive recruitment landscape in 2017. While traditional and nontraditional student enrollment are on <span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">an upward trend</span>, the sheer amount of available education choices makes it difficult for schools to stand out. You need a strong recruiting strategy in place before the new year rolls around to catch the attention of people making resolutions to change their lives by going back to school.

Topical Marketing Campaigns

A New Year's themed marketing campaign provides the topical hook you need to start this process. For example, a step-by-step process showing exactly how prospective students can achieve their educational goals in 2017 ties in nicely with their resolutions. Your career school marketing campaign can also include the unique benefits of attending your school, easy access to program summaries and calls to action referencing a new start in the New Year. If you use direct mail as part of your student outreach tactics, you can create a custom calendar marked with important deadlines for enrollment.

Leverage Community Relationships

Are you getting the most out of your community relationships, including local high schools? You can reach high school students at the right decision-making time fairly easily since they have a predictable window for considering post-secondary education. By recruiting these students now, you can not only build a pipeline of inquiries for later in the year, but also immediately attract any students who have graduated early.

Nontraditional learners are harder to reach because they look into their studies at various life stages. Career changes, empty nest syndrome and many other situations motivate their drive to learn and cause them to seek out self-improvement avenues. Get your career school in front of these people by sponsoring local events, partnering with employers and contributing to community projects will ensure potential students remember your name when they're ready to enroll.

Prepare Students for Life After Career School

Prospective students want more than just an education. They want to be able to find jobs in their chosen careers after they graduate. Show off the resources you have available to help with job searches, place graduates in relevant companies, and provide mentorship and other ways to support their futures. You could even consider providing your students with additional soft skills training.

Many students biggest concern about enrolling in post-secondary education is that their investment in money and time towards their education won't result in meaningful employment. When they see that you go above and beyond to support their efforts on this front, they will gain confidence in making their decision.

Offer a High School Completion Program

Approximately 22 percent of people aged 25 and over lack a high school diploma and face many difficulties finding fulfilling careers. The reasons behind their completion challenges range from a toxic school environment caused by bullying to an unstable living situation.

A high school completion program offered in a blended environment can help prospects earn their diploma and create an on-ramp to higher education. Though this program, they develop the necessary skills and credential required to attend your career school, in turn increasing their chances of finding a career they love and getting on a path to an upwardly mobile career. Likewise, your school is able to expand your pool of prospective students with this new source of motivated, dedicated inquiries.

By starting your 2017 recruitment strategy off strong, you can boost your enrollment and improve the overall quality of your incoming students.

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