At a Glance
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center developed a coordinated and comprehensive recruitment plan to increase student enrollment school-wide in all career and technology education (CTE) programs and to assist the sending school districts in the implementation of their guidance plans.
The school recruitment plan includes six strategies.
- Middle School Career Fair — Representatives of Forbes Road CTC attend the middle career fairs at each of the participating districts. A team of three adults supervises two students from each CTE program, who set up a table display with a sample of work, tools and equipment, and a tri-fold table top advertisement for the program. The students answer questions and engage middle school students in discussions about why they should consider enrolling in the programs at Forbes Road CTC.
- Middle school visits — The Forbes Road CTC student services coordinator visits middle schools and presents career guidance information to eighth and ninth grade students. The sessions are scheduled through the sending district school counselors and presentations are made to the grade levels selected by each district.
- Hands-on tour — Eighth and ninth grade students are invited to spend 45 minutes in each of three pre-selected CTE programs. Within each program area, Forbes Road CTC students demonstrate safe and appropriate use of the program tools and equipment to create a product representative of the CTE program. This event takes place during a CTC instructor professional development day.
- Two open house sessions– Forbes Road CTC offers fall and spring open house sessions for prospective students. The fall open house includes a one hour orientation for parents of newly enrolled students with the opportunity for other students to enroll if they have not already done so. The spring open house focuses on recruiting parents of students in grades 8 or 9 who are considering Forbes Road CTC as an educational option for their children.
- Student shadowing day– Students with individualized education plans (IEPs) are given the opportunity to spend a full day at Forbes Road CTC observing and shadowing in one or more CTC programs of their choice. (While this activity is designed primarily for students with IEPs, other students are also eligible to participate as the schedule permits). The special education supervisor works with sending school districts to schedule the special education students who have applied for enrollment to a CTC program. This full day experience allows them to see first-hand the expectations and the learning environment in which they will be participating the following year. Any student may change their enrollment application if they do not perceive a match between their career interests and the CTC program to which they have applied.
- Dissemination of enrollment information to all relevant school district personnel– Forbes Road CTC meets six times each year with sending school leaders. They meet twice with sending school superintendents and hold four meetings per year with sending school superintendents, principals, counselors, special education and transition coordinators. During the January meeting all sending districts are supplied with a recruitment packet. This packet includes an updated Pennsylvania Department of Education Program of Study (POS) book, application, student tour invitations, open house flyers, a one page program description sheet, and a jump drive with all information above. Districts have been using this information for their course catalogs.
Origin / Implementation
Staff members at Forbes Road CTC have been involved in student recruitment for many years, such as the counselor visiting the sending districts to talk about the programs offered at the CTC. In 2011, recruitment efforts expanded to include the middle school career fairs and CTC tours. The current plan has evolved over the years to meet the needs for additional recruiting and awareness.
This formal plan was developed to address student enrollment that was increasingly stagnant or on a steady decline. Prior to the implementation of the plan, CTE programs were below capacity and CTC, school district personnel, and members of the school’s Joint Operating Committee (JOC) wanted to address the perception that students were unaware or uninterested in CTE program opportunities.
The Student Services Coordinator is responsible for overseeing all recruitment events.
Results / Impact
Administrators are observing a promising trend of increasing enrollment since the plan was implemented.
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center
Megan Tomley, Student Services Coordinator