As a long time Admissions Manager, I know first hand what it means, and what it takes to meet or exceed an enrollment goal, or meet budget. I can remember in the good old days, like the early 2000’s, and in 2007 through 2010, the excitement and fun we were having meeting our goals and kicking butt. I was also in my late twenties, and early thirties, as well, so I am sure that was part of the fun.
But today it is different. Everything is different. The competition is different. The way you enroll a student is different. The way a student decides to go to school is different. The staff you are hiring is different.
I honestly, can’t think of one thing that is the same, other than some of the major reasons why a person decides to go back to school or not. And the process on how and why a person chooses one college over another is still the same.
I don’t think the industry will ever go back to where it was. It is just too different in all the ways I stated above. However, I do know a school can increase their chances of meeting and exceeding their budgets by implementing a few of the suggestions or processes I describe here.
You don’t have a process: I have gone into school after school, after school. And I have spoken to leader after leader, and owner after owner of schools for years. And they all say the same thing. “Our Admissions teams know how to enroll students.” And what I inevitably find, is that if they have ten Admissions Advisors, they will have two that do know how, five that are winging it, and two that are about to be fired, and one that should be fired.
Just because a person delivers results, it doesn’t mean they know how they are doing it. If they don’t know how to do it, then they definitely can’t train others how to do it. This is what I find in school after school. The leaders are leaving the training up to other Admissions Advisors who may or may not, even know what they are doing.
Secondly, the process is not a process on how to appeal to motives of prospective students and help the student understand themselves better and why they want to go back to school. Nope. The process is an application, a financial aid appointment, maybe an assessment, and if the student does these things, then the institution will allow them to start school. And maybe the student will start school. If they do, they may actually attend a few semesters or quarters. But when the going gets hard, the student usually gets going. Right to the withdrawal process and out the colleges doors.
The solution is to work with a reputable company that has a history of creating an effective Admissions process that helps Admissions teams get results, while keeping the students best interest in mind. I know most institutions these days, always have what is best for the student in mind. But it is important to also have a standard process that not only helps the Admissions advisors, but also helps the student.
Old school leadership: I have found myself using the term old school leadership more often this past week than I ever have before. I guess, because I keep seeing it so much.
What is old school leadership?
Here are a few examples:
My people don’t need any training.
I do the training myself.
People will just show up and do a good job.
We are just fine right now.
When I hear any of the above things, I just roll my eyes and laugh. Because this is closed-minded thinking and this is obviously not what is best for your school.
First of all, there is never a good time to conduct training. There is always another start. I get it. But, everyone needs training. Ask the greats. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and you name it athlete. They train three times more than they ever play their actual sport. I am sure you have heard this comparison before, so if it wasnt convincing then, I am not sure it will be now.
Most people will show up and want to do a great job, but they might not know how. Or they might mostly know how, but there could be one or two things that they could learn that could change the game.
Secondly, training is not only about the actual material that is covered, it is about the camaraderie that is created amongst the team. And when in the right kind of training environment, where people are stretched and pulled out of their comfort zones, this could be huge confidence boosters that can significantly impact the results of your team.
You don’t even know what they are saying: Here it is. Yes. I am pitching my product to you. Under the Trump Administration every one has gotten really excited and are optimistic about the future. By the way. I am as well. However, let’s be honest here.
This train is way on down the tracks here. We had eight years of increased scrutiny and more and more regulations. All of that is not going to be overturned in a year or even four years. And this is really not the reason, you would even consider buying my product anyway. My product is for helping your team, your people, and your processes to get better.
Sure you can use it for compliance and verification as well. But, our product is for developing people. When you run a secret shopping campaign at your school, it is to find and eliminate things such as inefficient processes, bad language from your Admissions teams, and then lastly even validation and proof of what you do well. Contact me at the info below if you want to schedule a free complimentary shop.
When we run a secret shopping camping with one of customers, it is first and foremost and opportunity to use it to coach and train employees to get better.
Let me ask you. Do you have a process that helps students discover their own desires for going back to school? Do you have “old school leadership” in place that is preventing you from reaching goals and budgets because of their mindset? And lastly, do you even know what your staff is saying to your customers? I mean prospective students?
As the owner of MPACT Group Inc. and a long time Higher Ed executive, I know the challenges your Admissions teams faces and I take a new approach to training and developing todays current admissions workforce to get the most out of them.
If you are interested in learning more. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success and your future.