Symposium Reveals Surprising Opportunities For High School Recruitment Among Career Colleges

Washington, D.C. (March 24, 2008) – The path to a successful career for high school students, according to popular opinion, involves the pursuit of a degree from a traditional four-year college or university. Surprisingly, some career-training-oriented institutions have also embraced that philosophy and have consequently focused recruiting measures almost solely on non-traditional students.

But that approach might be changing quickly if career colleges embrace new data provided at a symposium led by Imagine America Foundation (IAF) and the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA), a non-profit educational research organization based in Lee’s Summit, Mo. On Feb. 22 at the Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., IAF and NRCCUA presented staggering numbers about the interest and awareness today’s high school students have for career training. Some of the most elite career colleges in the nation were on hand to learn about the broadening prospects for attracting high school students.

Survey data provided by NRCCUA shows that high school students have a significant interest in attending schools that offer career-specific training. In fact, nearly one million students surveyed each year would be interested in the programs offered by career colleges versus an estimated 200,000 who actually enroll.

“Career colleges have a larger presence among this demographic than they originally thought,” said Don Munce, president of NRCCUA. “Administrators of these schools simply aren’t reaching out to as many high school students as they should be. There’s an opportunity there to expand even further.”

NRCCUA’s surveys are distributed annually by teachers and counselors to more than 20,000 high schools nationwide. The survey questions ask students directly about general interests, career possibilities and post-secondary school options.

IAF’s symposium offered a complete view of high school recruitment, primarily to 16- to 18-year-old students, and presented ways for career colleges to review their present recruitment measures and to find more effective ways to reach these students. Representatives from over 30 career schools heard about what new technologies are the best for reaching students, including methods such as text messaging and social networking media, like Facebook and MySpace.

“Many schools don’t recruit high schoolers because it takes longer to nurture that relationship with a high school student,” said Robert L. Martin, president of the Imagine America Foundation. “However, the research shows that there has been a change in the dynamic that is going to lead career colleges back to high schools. Their perceptions and awareness have never been better in terms of their readiness to be interested in career colleges.”

###


The Imagine America Foundation (IAF), established in 1982, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarship, research and training support for the career college sector. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $35 million in scholarship and award support for graduating high school seniors, adult learners and U.S. military veterans attending career colleges nationwide through its award-winning Imagine America® programs. The Foundation also publishes vital research publications for the higher education sector, honors achievement in career education and offers faculty development training. For more information about the Imagine America Foundation’s scholarship and award programs, please visit www.imagine-america.org.