Paxton/Patterson Blog

Helpful information about STEM education and CTE programs

A Success Essential: Student Enrollment

by MAlutto 8. January 2014 10:27
Educators spend countless hours developing new programs to better engage students and prepare them for college and career. We consider options for new curriculum, attend endless professional development sessions and work with our colleagues as we appropriately implement. In the midst of all of that work, it's easy to forget about STUDENT RECRUITMENT! How will our programs ever be successful if students do not enroll?

Here are five quick tips to get you started with your student recruitment efforts:

1. Engage your entire faculty, the district, and the community at large –
All too often, information about new programs isn't shared across a given school, let alone throughout the district and the community. Engage your audience! This is the first step to launching any successful program. Get out there and talk to the people...

2. Educate your school counselors –
Educational programming is determined predominantly in your school's guidance office. Engage your school counselors in the development of your program when possible– don't just inform them after the fact. This will improve buy-in and long-term program sustainability. When they speak with students about course options, they will feel authentically connected to your program. This will ensure their ability to talk to students and parents about your program accurately. Make sure that they are personally invested in your success...

3. Develop 21st Century Marketing Materials –
Rather than just creating the standard tri-fold brochure, perhaps consider engaging students in the development of a short video highlighting their own work. Then encourage them to upload it to YouTube! Students can even create a Pod Cast about the school or update the school's website to include different social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Engage students where they play...

4. Recruitment Events –
When attending recruitment events bring current students and alumni along. Letting kids speak to their peers is the most effective way to recruit new students. Hearing the exciting success stories will make both students and parents alike very interested in your program. Let the students do the selling for you...

5. Don't reinvent the wheel –
You are not the first person to struggle with recruiting students. The College & Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) and the National Academy Foundation (NAF) have tons of resources available to support your efforts. Check out what they have to say about student recruitment: CCASN Student Recruitment Resources & NAF Student Recruitment Guide – both sites are an excellent place to get you started!

I would be happy to answer your individual questions directly. Email:

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