What’s the Makeup of the Perfect Private School Admission Team? #PODCAST

April 28, 2016 Peter Baron

A couple of episodes back, we talked about the evolution of communications & marketing office in private schools. Today, we focus the lens on the admission office.

Over the past 15 years, the expectation level for admission professionals has skyrocketed. No longer is it enough to be superior at the “classical” discipline of admissions.

Now an admission team needs to be staffed with a variety of talents — from data guru to digital marketer to an expert on generational differences and more.

In simple terms — admission teams have evolved from a team of interviewers to a complex series of roles that require true domain experts.  

Given the revenue goals assigned to their office, it only makes sense.

But how has the admission office staff evolved to meet these new expectations? What should the 21st Century admission office look like?

In episode 30 of Blackbaud K-12’s Get Connected Podcast, Tom Sheppard, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ joins me to talk about this and more.

Tom wrote an article on admission staffing for SSATB, which evolved into an infographic produced by NAIS, and he’s here today to break it down in more detail.

For a full overview of what's covered, make sure to check out the episode notes below.

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Episode Notes:

  • Why do schools need to re-think admission staffing? Are they facing new or more complex pressures that require a new way of thinking? Tom answers these questions along with how he arrived at his staffing model.
  • We broke down the four types of workers laid out in his post. Tom starts by defining the role of “The Collector and The Cruncher.” He shares how can schools can find people who are obsessed with data.
  • Learn about the role of“The Grinder.” It’s the one position that we’re most accustomed to seeing in a traditional admission office.
  • Hear about the “Generator” and why it’s important to have people on your team who dream big ideas. If you’re a baseball fan, there’s an excellent reference that Tom uses to help frame your expectations around the role of the Generator.
  • Lastly, Tom dives into the role of the “Strategist” and how schools can make sure that they fill this position with the most qualified individual.
  • We talk about smaller schools and a possible hybrid approach to staffing since they may not have the funding to hire people who fit into each role.
  • Finally, we close the conversation with some advice. Tom offers the initial step a school should take as they consider the organizational makeup of their admission office.

About the Author

Peter Baron

As senior product marketing manager, Peter Baron is focused on illustrating how Blackbaud K-12’s software builds deeper connections among key school community stakeholders, including parents, teachers and students. Peter regularly contributes to various online communities and education conferences like NAIS, CASE/NAIS & SSATB to explain the importance of providing modern, user-friendly experiences for school constituents. Peter hosts Blackbaud K-12's Get Connected Podcast and is the founder of edSocialMedia, a community-driven site dedicated to exploring the role of social media in education. Peter also serves as a trustee for Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School and is an Executive Committee member of TABS’ North American Boarding School Initiative.

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