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.
For a full overview of what's covered, make sure to check out the episode notes below.
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- Tom recently published “Four Types of Workers Every 21st Century Admission Office Needs” for NAIS, which built on his initial post on SSATB. Before he dives into the ideal structure of the 21st-century office, Tom reflects on the makeup of the traditional admission staff.
- 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 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.
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