The post-secondary education market is an increasingly crowded and competitive space. With prospective students having more options now than ever before to consider, what can colleges do to standout? Here are three simple tactics that career colleges can use to not only increase the number of inquiries and enrollments, but to attract students who will persist and thrive at their institution, and beyond.
Engage Grassroots Organizations
Getting involved in grassroots activity is an excellent way to raise local awareness of your career college. Many grassroots organizations work directly to support education and pursue education-related goals such as fighting illiteracy and promoting job-readiness. Others serve causes that indirectly touch on education, helping populations that are affected by high dropout rates such as minorities, the poor and prisoners. Grassroots groups also host events that educational institutions participate in, such as community environmental clean-up programs.
Grassroots activity boosts your college’s publicity efforts in several ways:
- You get an opportunity to interact face-to-face with prospective students, parents, educators, counselors and community leaders.
- You get a chance to distribute your fliers and brochures to local community centers and other key venues where prospective students and their parents are likely to see them.
- You can form partnerships with organizations that are in contact with local youth and are in a position to inform them about career college’s programs.
Celebrate Student Success
Hosting events that celebrate student success is one of the best ways to encourage word of mouth promotion and attract prospective students. Graduation ceremonies, awards ceremonies, open houses and career fairs are all occasions that call for publicizing student success. When your college hosts events celebrating student success, you benefit your public outreach efforts in a couple ways:
- If your event is hosted on-campus, the public and prospective students and their parents get an opportunity to see not only your college, but the pride and passion your students & graduations have for your institution.
- Local press and officials may also attend your event, helping forge key community contacts and partnerships and sowing the seeds for follow-up publicity.
Such events can be promoted through press releases, on social media, and through other marketing methods. For instance, you can distribute fliers and posters on campuses and at local community events and hand out brochures in response to inquiries from prospective attendees.
Establish a High School Completion Program
With more 20% of American high school students not graduating on time1, there are a significant number of people looking for a second chance at not only earning their high school diploma, but are looking to further their education with post-secondary education. A high school completion program offered on career college campuses provides these students with that bridge to higher education. By attracting students who otherwise would not be able to enroll in your college, this program unlocks a potentially massive new enrollment source , while also filling a gap for local citizens to rise above the challenges of their past, and get on a path to a steady career.
Resources: (1) America's Promise