Many colleges are consistently turning away students who want to attend their school but lack the credentials and already have a steady stream of candidates. Position your school as an on-ramp to higher education. As your admissions or enrollment teams discover a candidate does not meet your enrollment requirements (HS diploma or GED), offer them the chance to enroll in the high school diploma program and keep the conversation going. Students who are serious about getting started in a career program will be eager to get their high school diploma to start their journey towards the career of their dreams.
"It became a really good solution to have a program like Penn Foster right on campus and say ‘you might not have your high school diploma, but we can still work with you."
Todd Breadon – Managing Director, Dorsey Schools
Once your program is established, with little initial time and financial investment, here are some options for scaling the program, and reaching additional prospects for the high school completion program:
Establish community partnerships
The challenge is to help non-completers believe that their career goals are within reach despite not having a high school diploma. To get in front of prospective students, reach out through community organizations. Establish alliances with career and guidance counselors on a personal level. Don’t just send brochures and catalogs; schedule in-person meetings and informal lunches. Students who are struggling in a traditional classroom, might be more suited for a blended learning experience through your campus, with an easy on-ramp into a career program at your school. The more school officials understand your programs, courses and curriculums, the more likely they are to keep your college top of mind when talking to students about their options.
High school non-completers think they can’t go back to school due to demanding work schedules, family obligations and other time constraints. Offering a high school completion program with flexible hours increases the appeal of the program and your institution. Let your social media followers know via Facebook and Twitter that you are offering a high school completion program. Generate buzz with Twitter by sharing news on the hottest careers and workforce trends. You can also establish a hashtag to encourage students to join the conversation.
Offer a referral program to your current students
Students already enrolled in your institution serve as a powerful of example to their peers and often, their family members. Those peers and family members may be inspired by the progress your student is making in your career college, but may be lacking a high school diploma and think the career college path is not an option for them. Offer your students tuition discounts, or bookstore credits in exchange for referring their family and friends to the high school completion program.
A strong high school completion program partner, like Penn Foster, will provide you with a dedicated Client Service Manager to work with your Career College to find the promotion channels that suit the needs and resources of your school. Once you have potential students engaged, how do you reassure them about their decision to return to school?
Generate good student outcomes
Working closely with your adult diploma partner, the high school completion program is designed to meet the unique needs of this cohort of students. Promote your improved student outcomes. Talk to potential students about the success of their peers who have gone through the program before them. Let them talk to students who have matriculated. By making sure your students are successful, they can serve as mentors for potential or new enrollees in the high school program. By enrolling these former high school dropouts, turning them into high school graduates, and then college students, and finally college graduates, your school will be helping to improve the local community. Word often spreads organically about the success your students are experiencing.
Continue reading the Career College Guide to Transforming High School Non-Completers Into Your Best Students now: