High schools work hard at making sure students know their options after high school and preparing them to take that next step. Career colleges also play an influential role in providing these students with the tools and resources they need to continue their education. When career colleges and high schools work together for this common purpose, the chances for successful student outcomes is even greater.

Your career school can develop strong, positive relationships with local high schools and help tighten the gap between graduating high school and entering college. Without ongoing support, students may delay postsecondary education due to financial concerns, insecurities or outside pressures. This threatens their chances of reaching their potential and creating a better quality of life in the long term. Here are three ways your career college can strengthen relationships with area high schools and make the process of moving onto college more efficient and successful for local students.

1. Host Open House Events

Invite students to open house events where they can learn more about your academic programs, faculty members, financial aid opportunities, career advising and in-demand career opportunities. Include a campus tour, class visits, and informational sessions. For high impact, include a student panel and speaker presentations as part of the schedule. Leave time at the end of each activity for students to socialize or ask questions and meet current students. An open house introduces students to the opportunities of college, establishes a motivated mindset to pursue higher education, and shows them to pathways to future careers.

2. Speak in Their Classrooms

College counselors and faculty members can help break down the college experience by going to the high school and sharing information face to face. Discuss the enrollment process, academic programs, available resources and opportunities to get involved. Alumni and current college students can share their experience at your career college and discuss their achievements. By finding common ground with these speakers and relating to similar struggles or backgrounds, high school students may find the inspiration to go after their dreams.

3. Communicate & Collaborate

Make sure you're communicating and exchanging feedback with area high schools on a regular basis. Reach out to them and ask to learn more about the needs, concerns and barriers of today's students, and then use this information to formulate solutions. Work with counselors and staff to ensure students know that these opportunities and resources are available to them. High schools can be your biggest allies and most effective source of information in attracting quality college applicants.

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