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  • Writer's pictureMike Vachow

Is Your Head in the Game?

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

I'm always shocked to discover organizational structures at some independent schools in which the Director of Admission (increasingly now, and wisely, Director of Enrollment Management) is not a direct report to the Head of School. If your school is like most, your DEM is the person on your team who bears the greatest responsibility in generating 75 - 80% of your school's total revenue. School heads are wise to take a firsthand role in enrollment strategy.

I am a strong proponent of Advancement teams, as the synergy of regular teamwork addresses the radically different and quickly evolving way that we must market our schools to new parents AND to our current parents. That said, I am not a proponent of the DEM serving under a Director of Advancement in such a way that the DEM no long reports directly to the HOS.

Likewise, my experience as a head and consultant has shown that Millennial parents expect to meet the HOS, not briefly after the welcoming speech at the Open House (potentially an obsolete event--more on that in another post) but in the Admission Office. And, many expect to have a continuing personal relationship with the school's leader throughout their time at the school. At schools with enrollments over 500, having the HOS meet every prospective parent who comes in for an individual meeting and tour moves up the scale from difficult to impossible, but for smaller schools and very much for elementary schools or divisions, the HOS should organize time to be part of the getting-to-know-you conversation as often as possible.

It's time to get your Head in the game.

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