Trade and vocational schools play a vital role in shaping the future workforce by providing specialized education and training in an array of fields and industries. To attract prospective students, trade schools often organize admissions open houses, which serve as a perfect platform for showcasing their programs, facilities, staff, and the unique opportunities they offer.
As a school administrator, planning a successful open house requires creativity, organization, and a clear understanding of the target audience. We will explore six innovative ideas to make your trade school's admissions open house an unforgettable experience for prospective students and their families.
Interactive Demonstrations and Workshops
Trade and vocational schools are known for their hands-on learning experiences, and what better way to demonstrate this than through interactive demonstrations and workshops? Set up designated areas where visitors can try their hand at various trades, such as automotive repair, culinary arts, construction, or cosmetology.
By creating engaging and informative workshops led by some of the school’s instructors, this allows attendees to participate actively and get a feel for how instructors teach. This approach can not only provide valuable insights into the practical aspects of different trades but also showcases the quality of education a student can expect to receive by attending your school.
Alumni Success Stories
One of the most effective ways to inspire potential students is by sharing success stories of your alumni. Invite former students who have excelled in their chosen trades and have established successful careers.
You can arrange panel discussions, presentations, or informal meet-and-greet sessions where these alumni can share their experiences, any challenges they overcame, and the impact the school has had on their professional journeys and success. Hearing firsthand from successful graduates will give prospective students a glimpse into the possibilities and potential for their own futures and career. If it’s difficult to get everyone to physically visit the school, you can also create a video that covers the same content that students can watch on their own.
Trade and vocational schools often boast state-of-the-art facilities that provide students with the best tools and resources needed for their chosen trade career. Conducting facility tours during the open house allows visitors to explore the campus and witness firsthand the quality of the infrastructure.
Start by arranging guided tours led by knowledgeable staff members who can highlight the key features of each department. This can include showcasing specialized equipment, laboratories, simulation rooms, or any unique resources that set your school apart from others. Remember, you want to educate potential students on why they should choose your school over another. By providing an immersive experience, the learning environment and facilities will leave a lasting impression on potential students when making their decision on schools.
Highlight the talents and skills of current students by organizing student demonstrations and exhibitions. Set up booths or designated areas where students can showcase their projects, artwork, or any other accomplishments related to their trade.
Be sure to encourage interactive displays that allow visitors to try out certain activities or ask questions about specific things. This not only demonstrates the practical skills students acquire but also fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among attendees. School visitors will be inspired by the creativity and passion of current students, further solidifying their interest in your trade school and encourage them to do what other students have demonstrated.
Information Sessions and Q&A Panels
While hands-on experiences are essential, it's equally important to provide comprehensive information about the programs, length of programs, admissions process, financial aid, and career prospects. Conduct information sessions where representatives from various departments can present an overview of the programs offered, highlighting the benefits and unique features of each.
This can look like a dedicated Q&A panel where attendees can ask questions and clarify any doubts they have about the school and its offerings. This interactive session allows prospective students and their families to gain a deeper understanding of the trade school and the opportunities it offers. This also introduces a feeling of trust and transparency by letting students get all of their questions answered in front of others and shows the school prioritizes its student body.
Organize networking sessions to facilitate connections between prospective students, current students, faculty, and industry professionals. Invite local employers, trade associations, and successful professionals in relevant industries to interact with attendees.
These types of networking opportunities provide a platform for potential students to learn about industry trends, job prospects, and make potential partnerships. It also showcases the trade school's commitment to bridging the gap between education and the real world, instilling confidence in prospective students that they will be well-prepared for their future careers. One of the most difficult things can be finding a position after finishing school, so this type of event can help assure students the school will support them as best they can after graduation.
Admissions open houses for trade schools serve as a crucial opportunity to make a lasting impression on prospective students. By incorporating interactive demonstrations, alumni success stories, facility tours, student exhibitions, information sessions, and networking opportunities, you can create a dynamic and engaging event that showcases the unique advantages of your trade or vocational school.
Don’t forget, this is just the starting point. Don’t neglect the importance of having a digital and streamlined admissions process for students. If you need any assistance optimizing or streamlining your school admissions process, click here to learn more about MyPath.
Remember, the goal is to inspire, educate, and foster connections that will resonate with attendees long after they leave. By implementing these exciting ideas, your trade school can set the stage for a bright and successful future for aspiring students in the trades.