High School Recruitment Step 2: Partnerships

Follow Our 5-Step High School Recruitment Strategy

If your ultimate goal is to get in touch with high school students about your programs, you’ll need to build relationships to reach them.

Today’s high school juniors and seniors have a lot to think about when it comes to their educational futures, and they often enlist help from their teachers and counselors while they’re making decisions. While the internet offers many different tools for students deciding on their postsecondary plans, there’s no denying the input of a trusted adviser.

So, when it comes to sharing information about your school, one of the best places to start is the high school itself.

Get into the Classroom

When partnering with a high school in your area, the fastest way to speak to students is to get right into the classroom. High schools often partner with postsecondary institutions and programs that might be a good fit for their students, inviting schools like yours to present information, perform demonstrations, answer questions, and talk to interested individuals.

This is a great way to connect with small groups and individual students, often while they’re in class for a related topic. Many schools arrange to talk with students in specific elective courses—so if you offer quite a few automotive programs, looking for a high school auto repair or metalworking class could be a good idea, while schools offering a lot of computer science programs might have better luck connecting with students in a programming, graphic design, or robotics class.

Get into School Events

But the classroom itself isn’t the only opportunity for you to meet prospective students. Consider all the other events related to college or career prep that students, counselors, or teachers (or even all of the above) attend!

From college and job fairs to industry-specific showcases, conferences, and demonstrations, find out where counselors and students are going to get insights into career and technical education—and then make sure you’re there too! This is a great chance to share your expertise, whether that’s giving a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) workshop for first-time applicants or presenting a webinar on a specific field and the education and employment opportunities that may be available.

Get into a Database

One key component of establishing partnerships in your community is to keep the momentum going. Make sure that the counselors and educators you meet from local high schools are added into your own database or directory. This helps ensure they’re staying in the loop when it comes to your own programming and outreach initiatives—and it ensures they’re keeping your school at the front of their minds when talking with students.

On the flipside, making sure you’re in their database is just as important. Keep those communication channels open to prevent your first meeting or collaboration from being your last. That goes for industry organizations too, including the Imagine America Foundation! Becoming a member school means you’ll be included in our own database, connecting you with our robust network of counselors, workforce boards, and VA offices nationwide—and connecting your students with our scholarship and award programs and other resources.

About the 5-Step Recruitment Strategy

For more than twenty years, the Imagine America Foundation has been helping students get the hands-on training they need to start a new career. Now, that includes sharing valuable advice for schools who want to improve their high school recruitment strategy—and to reach the prospective students in their area who will most benefit from their programs.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Step 2: Establish Partnerships

Step 3: Maintain Relationships

Step 4: Differentiate Your School

Step 5: Sponsor Events

Ready to learn more about how the Imagine America Foundation can help your school start or enhance its high school recruitment efforts? Get in touch with me today!

Lee Doubleday

Phone: 571.267.3015

Email: leed@imagine-america.org