High School Recruitment Step 4: Differentiate Your School

Follow Our 5-Step High School Recruitment Strategy

One of the best ways to increase high school recruitment and get others excited about your school is to talk about it! You know your school better than anyone, which means that you are the best person to get prospective students interested in your school.

For step four of our 5-step high school recruitment strategy, we’re taking a look at four ways to differentiate your school in the eyes of teachers, counselors, and—most importantly—students.

1. Share Information About Your Programs

Your programs are at the heart of what you have to offer students. And it’s the topic that prospective students want to know about the most! Be prepared to quickly and clearly share the most important details of your programs, how long they take to complete, and what graduates are doing now with their education.

Don’t forget to share both the day-to-day nuts and bolts about what it’s like to be a student in your programs—for instance, how many hours a day or week they can expect to spend on their program, both in and out of the classroom or lab—and also about what they can expect after graduation, including what jobs they could be prepared for and what the career outlook is like for the role or the field.

2. Talk About Career Services

At the end of the day, students are pursuing a career and technical education in order to invest in their futures and pursue a new career path. Part of maintaining relationships is to get to know the people within your own school so you can brag about how much they all care about the students. This also gives you the opportunity to learn about all the special ways they can help them find future positions.

Also make sure that you are always expanding your knowledge about employer relationships with the school, as well as trying to make your own connections with future employers, and how many students go on to work for an employer with a relationship to your school. Sometimes this rate is more important to prospective students than the graduation rate!

3. Emphasize What Makes You Unique

Never underestimate the value in standing out! Always be on the lookout for more selling points to help future students see what your school can offer that other schools may not. You and your team know your school well, but also make it a point to talk to current students, graduates, and staff about what made them choose your school over any other. You might be surprised what you learn!

And whether it’s the flexible scheduling your hybrid programs afford, your on-campus lunch and learn programming, your exciting partnerships with industry brands or employers, your outstanding job application prep support, or something else entirely, emphasize it!

4. Don’t Forget Your Scholarships

Your scholarship programs are part of what differentiates your school from the rest, and it’s often a huge selling point for prospective students, so go ahead and talk about them all you want! Many students will be interested in trying to save money any way they can, so knowing about your school’s scholarship programs could put you on their shortlist. Don’t currently offer any scholarships? Become a member institution with the Imagine America Foundation! We offer our $1,000 scholarship and award programs exclusively for our partners’ students.

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