Enrollment Management Professionals are tasked with understanding and showcasing all of their school’s core identities and values in order to attract families who are excited to be a part of the community and students who will thrive within it. This process can encompass everything from alumni stories to soccer coach statistics, and of course, academics. Selecting the key components of your curriculum to feature, along with determining how to do so, can be more challenging.
Curriculum is key to school selection
In their search for the right school for their student, families are making a decision that will impact their child’s academic development and career far into the future. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) emphasizes curriculum as a key component of a comprehensive educational program, which means that curriculum is an important offering that families will consider about your school.
Presenting curriculum proactively during the admissions process allows your school to directly feature the best of your academic programs, methodologies, and assessment practices. Understanding these pieces can help families determine whether the school’s academic rigor aligns with their child’s interests, academic needs, and goals.
An engaging, vertically-aligned curriculum that promotes your school’s mission and values can set it apart. As the first point of contact with families, admissions officers can use your documented curriculum to feature the outcomes they can expect from it:
A love of learning
When students are excited about what they are learning, they are more successful. Schools with a curriculum that fosters a love for learning will ensure their students get the most out of their experiences.
Being able to cite and provide specifics about the standards and support in your curriculum can demonstrate to families that your school can provide the academic rigor most appropriate for their students’ academic needs and goals.
Opportunities to explore interests and passions
If your curriculum features specialized courses, programs, or pathways that prospective students will not find elsewhere, the admissions process is your opportunity to find students for whom these unique offerings make your school the best fit.
Essential life skills
A comprehensive and rigorous curriculum includes not only academic goals, but life skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. By highlighting these elements of your well-rounded curriculum, you reassure families that graduates of your school have the tools necessary to succeed not just in school, but in life as well.
Use your tools
Use the tools at your school’s disposal and the admissions and curriculum experts in your school community to meet your admissions goals. Document your curriculum and generate the reports or compile a complete Public Site to feature your curriculum. Add these snapshots and links to your comprehensive admissions program, so that prospective students and families can find the information they need at every key step of the way to determine whether your school is the best fit for them.
Below are a few resources regarding curriculum conversations in an admissions context:
- IB Admission Professionals Survey (Article) – an independent survey of admissions professionals at IB World Schools, in order to gain perspective on how admission professionals felt about communicating the IB curriculum.
- Curriculum Conversation (Roundtable) – a discussion around how experienced admissions officers might answer some of the tougher questions from parents on why they should choose a school with their curriculum.
- Curriculum Conversations with Chinese Families (Webinar Recording) – a discussion around best practices when introducing school curriculum to families in China.