Musings After Visiting 20 Schools in the Great State of Texas
"Someone (among the teaching staff) needs to understand things like artificial intelligence because these are skills that kids are going to need in the world that they are going to be living in."
In our podcast today, Andrew shares a delightful summary of the recent road trip across Texas, where he and Alexis visited 20 schools in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin to get a closer look at what schools are doing “on the ground.” He provides a richly detailed analysis of the trends they observed in the marketplace and connects them directly to marketing for school growth. Andrew offers specific strategies that schools are using to enrich their value proposition in an increasingly competitive and crowded education market.
Listen and take note of the many ways that schools are re-thinking their identity, their product, and their outcomes.
In our discussion, we cover:
1:17 Andrew shares that whereas in the past, some schools might have been complacent about their position in the market, now, no school is immune to the sense of urgency to retain and increase enrollment.
2:38 Andrew talks about some of the shared issues that many schools are facing: skill shortages, teacher recruitment concerns, and the role of and place for artificial intelligence in curriculum considerations.
4:11 Andrew observes that whereas “sales and marketing” might have been “bad” words in the past, schools today recognize that promoting themselves is now a positive part of attracting parents and retaining students.
7:00 Andrew talks about the effectiveness of geo-fencing, classroom observation, thought-leadership positioning, and teacher-to-parent phone calls as some of the marketing strategies being used by schools.
10:15 Andrew discusses the increasing need for schools to respond to and manage different stakeholders, such as the Board of Directors, and the State, and how schools are broadening the conversation beyond the emphasis on test scores as a measure of outcome.
17:15 Andrew details the ways that schools can refresh their brand in response to nearly identical value propositions by competing schools.
20:37 Andrew walks through specific innovations being used by schools to attract and retain students: project-based learning, 4-day work week, a focus on trade/technical education rather than college prep, personalized and blended-learning, and value-stacking.
25:00 Andrew talks about the ways that schools are sharing infrastructure and services in order to “work leaner” and concentrate their available funds on things that directly profit their constituents.
27:00 Andrew shares the changing trend of school involvement in the community, and how schools have moved from a single event-based involvement towards engaging in joint, complex projects to improve communities.
28:28 Andrew shares a few additional concerns that are shaping the way that schools think about their offer, such as safety considerations, and the apprenticeship model - or “place-based learning.”
30:00 In summary, Andrew considers the changing landscape of education, marketing, and the ways that schools are responding positively to the competition that drives change and innovation.
3:33 “Someone (among the teaching staff) needs to understand things like artificial intelligence because these are skills that kids are going to need in the world that they are going to be living in.”
4:48 “‘Selling’ and ‘marketing’ are not ‘bad’ words - if it’s done right.”
10:00 “Selling is not shouting; you don’t need to shout to get the word out.”
16:50 “Schools have to come to stakeholders with a plan that creates their own value proposition.”
20:00 “What is certain is that you need to design your value proposition through competition; you can’t just sit on your laurels.”
25:20 “You have to find ways to be embedded in the community - to be a pillar that goes beyond being considered an education factory.”
28:50 “If the community is safer, the school is safer.”
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/