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The Learning Curve Ep 1

The Learning Curve: Mastering the Business of Trade Schools

Ena Hull's Recipe for Success in Vocational Education


As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, vocational education is becoming more and more relevant. Ena Hull, COO at Legacy Education, has seen firsthand the benefits of vocational education and what it takes to build a successful vocational school. In a recent podcast interview, Ena shared her insights on the key requirements for running a successful vocational school, how to utilize technology for day-to-day operations, trends in higher ed technology development and adoption, as well as tips for growing a vocational school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2020, there were approximately 5.4 million students enrolled in career and technical education programs in public secondary schools across the United States. With a growing demand for vocational education, it's important to understand what it takes to build a successful vocational school to serve hundreds of thousands of students enrolling every year. In this article we will do our best to dissect the interview we had with Ena Hull to help you better understand how to reach success in the field of post-secondary education that is right behind the curve.

🧱The Foundation

Ena Hull believes that a strong core team is essential to building a successful vocational school. This includes a great CEO, strong campus directors, and amazing teachers. It's also important to have strong communication across your campuses or departments: weekly meetings to go over key metrics for your school, such as enrollment, graduation rates, and employment rates, can help ensure everyone is on the same page. If you don’t have KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) developed for your school, we highly recommend looking into this.

Ena stresses that high post-graduation employment rates is one of the key indicators of a successful vocational school. Building relationships with employers in your area is crucial because they are the ones who will hire graduates of your school so make sure to invest time into those relationships.

When it comes to utilizing technology for schools, Ena Hull uses a variety of tools, including Corski and Connext. However, Ena notes that there is no “Silver Bullet” when it comes to technologies - each school has its own unique needs so do your own research to find the one that works for you. Later in this article you can find Ena’s advice on how to run a good due-diligence process on any technology you consider adopting. 

She also believes that VR technology is a big part of the technological future of vocational schools, especially in the medical field. Side note of a discovery that we have made while writing this article - according to a report by, the global virtual and augmented reality market in healthcare is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.2% from 2021 to 2028.

People learn the most from their mistake so not asking a question about the biggest regret in one’s career would be a huge missed opportunity which we simply couldn’t afford. So we asked and Ena shared that one the biggest regrets in her career was not talking to the end-user of technology that she was adopting for her school. She stresses the importance of bringing at least one final user to the discussion table to ensure they will also be happy using the technology. You can bring a teacher, a registrar or whoever will use the technology the most. They can help you spot out any problems with the solution proposed by the technology and eventually help you find the most optimal solution. This will help you avoid spending money on a technology that no one will utilize and most importantly - it will make the final users feel heard. Any organization that gives voice to their employees is far more likely to see less employee turnover, higher productivity and overall greater success for the school.

🤖Adopting new technologies

As an Angel Investor in the Ed Tech space, Ena Hull looks at a variety of factors when deciding if she wants to adopt a certain technology for her school or invest in an ed-tech startup. These are the key factors that determine Ena’s decision that you should consider:

1. Does this technology meet security protocol and meet the compliance requirements? 2. What are the maintenance costs, does this technology require additional personnel to maintain it, does it require certain hardware to operate on? Simply understand what might be some additional costs of using a technology besides the official price that you will pay on your invoice. 3. Is it user friendly - how easy is it to learn the technology for the final user?

According to a report by EdTech Magazine, the global EdTech market is expected to reach $252 billion by 2020. With such growth, it's important for vocational schools to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in higher ed technology development and adoption. Ena Hull believes that vocational schools should stay informed on developments such as AI-driven learning and online learning platforms.

📈Final tips on growth

In conclusion, vocational education is a growing and essential part of the education sector. Building a successful vocational school requires a strong core team, utilizing technology effectively, staying up-to-date on trends, and conducting thorough research when expanding. Here are the top 3 things you should look at while preparing to expand your school:

1. Research the market that you want to enter. If it's a new area, understand the regulations in it, reach out to employers in the area, start building relationships and learn what they are looking for in their new employees.

2. Look at your competitors in that area. Find out what are they doing, what is working for them and what isn't and how can you do better. Even private institutions like Kaiser Permanente are getting into the educational sector so keep an eye on them.

3. Consider acquiring a school. It will greatly expedite your expansion and save you a lot of headache. We won't go into the details of how exactly to approach acquisition of a vocational school but this is a big subject that you should consider if you plan to expand.

This article was brought to you by the team of - Student Information System built specifically for Vocational Schools. If you want to be featured in any of the future episodes of The Learning Curve Podcast or have your story covered through this publication, please reach out to us via email:

Lastly, your feedback is extremely important to us so if you want to share your thoughts on this article, please do so in the comment section or by emailing us using the email above.

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