Workshop presentations are available for download below in their corresponding session. If there is no presentation available for download, we have not yet received the presentation from the speaker or they have chosen not to share it. For featured speaker presentations, visit the corresponding session on the Featured Speakers page. You can also download sessions from the special tracks on those respective pages.

Session A: Thursday, September 13, 10:00 - 11:00 am

Changes Are A-Comin’: Recruiting in China (International Track)

Hamilton Gregg, Educational Consultant, Partner & Senior Admission Advisor, IECA & Shang Learning Group (China)

The vast empire of China is currently making some significant changes to its education system. Geared to opening up education in some ways, it is also closing some doors. Any school looking to recruit in China should be aware of these changes and how they will affect recruiting and retaining students and families. More choice, less choice: it is a matter of perspective, but being informed is imperative. Learn about the changes and how they may impact your targets.

Doing More with Less: Time-Stretching Strategies for Small Admission Offices

Nastaran Hakimi, Director of Admission, Boston University Academy (MA)
Paige Brewster, Director of Operations and Special Projects, Boston University Academy (MA)

The plight of the small school admission office is real : attract more families and enroll more students, all while staying on budget and wearing one or two other hats. Hear how Boston University Academy built a high-touch, personalized admission experience with only two full-time admission officers. Get practical tips for utilizing technology, collaborating with other departments, and leveraging parent, alumni, and student volunteers. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences. All are welcome, but this conversation is geared to admission teams of 1 to 4 people.

Download the Presentation

Heads Panel: The Future of Independent School Enrollment (Senior Track)

Bud Patel, Head of School, Brentwood College School (BC)
Mark McKee, Head of School, Viewpoint School (CA)
Christina K. Mazzola, Head of School, Branson School (CA)

Join the discussion about the future of independent schools—from pedagogy to enrollment management strategy. Hear from heads with unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

How To Create An Incoming Class (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Track)

Sam Washington, Associate Dean of Admissions, Lawrenceville School (NJ)

With shifting U.S. demographics and demands from various constituencies (athletics, legacy, diversity, full pay, financial aid), building an incoming class that addresses all of an institution’s needs has never been more complex. Discover tips and strategies for building a talent pool from which the varied and competing interests of a school can be adequately met.

Identifying Quality International Candidates Using the Chinese Market as an Example (Sponsored Session)

Minmin Zeng, CEO, Sino Elite Education (China)
Sheldon Zhao, Associate Director, Sino Elite Education (China)

As the pool of international applicants declines in traditional markets and grows in other areas, schools are seeing a more diverse pool of applicants that from a wider range of countries. The methods that have conventionally be used to evaluate international candidates are quickly becoming outdated. As a result, you may be seeking a new way understand this new pool of international students, to increase diversity and construct a solid community.

After working with families from 12 countries and regions over the past nine years, Sino Elite Education would like to share what we have learned in our experience. Using the Chinese market as an example, we will share our insights into the current situation of international recruitment, what we have experienced when connecting international families to U.S. institutions, and provide advice on working with an increasingly diverse pool of applicants.

Download the Presentation

No One Comes to Play JV: Exploring and Discussing the Best Practices and Plays Working with Coaches on Campus

Chip Davis, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Deerfield Academy (MA)
Peter Gilbert, Director of Admissions, Salisbury School (CT)
Naomi Levine, Director of Admissions, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
Grace Rehnquist, Assistant Director of Admission, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

Are you getting the most out of your coaches in the recruitment process? Convincing students interested in athletics that you can help them find or expand their passion can determine whether they choose your school, but without engaged coaches, you are unlikely to enroll them. How should you work with your coaches to yield qualified student athletes? How can you educate coaches to spread the word of your school while traveling, to ensure message consistency and transparency? Learn how to work with faculty to engage with students in their other areas of interest to make them not only excited by the sport, but also the entirety of the educational experience.

Download the Handout

Pedagogy and Pragmatism: Are you Creating a Balance to Attract Full-Pay Families?

Claude Anderson, Dean of Enrollment, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

Can the pedagogy and pragmatism that govern your school attract full-pay families? Who drives the design of your educational experience: the customer, the faculty, the facilities, or the administration? Not having the correct mix of pedagogy and pragmatism will cause schools to lose full-pay families as they overlook the right type of marketing required for them -- the customer’s needs may be somewhat different than what the faculty feels is important. If you are working hard to fill those full-pay spaces, this session presents some data that may surprise you, and may create an “aha moment” that helps you advance your marketing approach. Consider your school's situation and share ways to create balance.

Perfect Placement: The Snapshot and Admission (Character Track)

Kate Auger-Campbell, Director of Product Strategy, The Enrollment Management Association
Christina Dotchin, Director of Business Development, The Enrollment Management Association

Enhance your students' applications with a valid measure of their character skills development. The Character Skills Snapshot completed its inaugural year and results were impressive. Placement professionals who have questions about The Snapshot or simply want to learn more about this new tool and its first-year validity analysis will find answers and information in this comprehensive session. What happens if results don't match what you see in a child? What if parents disagree? Does a student's self-esteem affect the results? How are admission offices using The Snapshot? Get answers to these questions and more.

Download the Presentation

Reimagining the Future of Admission: Four Ideas That will Change Your School Forever

Dr. David Willows, Director of Advancement, International School of Brussels (Belgium)

Two years ago, we had an idea: admission should be a learning moment for prospective families. This led to other ideas, which in turn led to a revolution in the way we do admission. In this highly interactive workshop, you will encounter these ideas for yourself, reflect with colleagues on their relevance for your own school, and take a look at the transformative impact they had on a school in a small corner of Europe.

Download the Presentation

Upgrading Your Interviews: The Art and Science of Structured Interviews (Character Track)

Nathan Kuncel, Marvin D. Dunnette Distinguished Professor, University of Minnesota (MN)
Booth Kyle, Associate Head of School and Admissions & Financial Aid Director, Lakeside School (WA)

Traditional student interviews play a central role in admission, addressing multiple goals including creating a welcoming and exciting experience for prospective students. Unfortunately, a century of research indicates that they don’t give us as much information as we would like and are prone to numerous biases. New interview design, process, and rating methods increase interview validity and reduce bias. Learn how to merge the science and practice of implementing structured interviews.

Download the Handout


Session B: Thursday, September 13, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Advancing Enrollment: Creating a Meaningful Partnership with Your Advancement Office

Peter Curran, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment and Communications, Blair Academy (NJ)
Quentin McDowell, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment, Mercersburg Academy (PA)

The traditional model at most schools is for enrollment and advancement teams to operate independently, but as schools seek to maximize resources and extend their reach, they must be willing to examine more efficient ways to meet external goals. Join a collective conversation and hear how the admission and advancement offices at two institutions collaborated to create a meaningful partnership. Their joint efforts have not only yielded strong enrollment outcomes but also allowed for a more united faculty environment. We will explore everything from what to consider before engagement to how to sustain the work you start. You’ll leave with an actionable roadmap to begin this collaboration.

Common Ground: About English Proficiency Tests (International Track)

Kate McKeen, Recognition Manager, IELTS USA
Marian N. Crandall, Associate Director, Global Client Relations, Global Education Division, ETS

When English is not an applicant's first language, fair and accurate assessment can be challenging. Hear from experts from the two most popular English proficiency tests (IELTS and TOEFL/TOEFL Jr.) about the differences between admission tests and English proficiency tests, and how to interpret results so that admission committees can use them to help frame their decisions.

Download the Presentation

Getting the Most out of Your Campus Visit Program: Recruiting and Utilizing Student and Parent Tour Guides

Marie Myers, Director of Admission, Concord Academy (MA)
Erin Bouton, Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Concord Academy (MA)

Learn how to design a successful volunteer parent and student tour guiding program. Concord Academy’s volunteer parent and student tour guides receive multiple training sessions and updates on life at the school throughout the touring season. Prepare to build a strong and dependable network of parent and student guides, discover ways to manage the day-to-day visit experience for prospective students and their families, get tips on incentivizing parent and student guides to achieve high levels of engagement, and learn ways to manage volunteers should they fail to live up to the program’s standards.

Download the Presentation

How To Strengthen Enrollment With Stronger Messaging

Jennie Winton, Founding Partner, Mission Minded (CA)

While many schools know what makes them special, they may struggle to communicate in a way that prospective families can really understand. Many use their mission statements or a list of jargon-laden program descriptions in an attempt to describe themselves, when what’s really needed is a clear brand strategy and simple messages that would-be families can understand and get excited about. Gain a deeper understanding of the often confounding subject of brand and why it matters to your school’s success. In a fun, interactive way, we’ll cover the basics of branding that will even get skeptics excited about what’s possible. Hear examples of successful school brands that drive results in fundraising and admission, and consider your school’s brand and how to strengthen it.

Download the Handout

Improving Socioeconomic Diversity (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Track)

Shaun Turner, Director of Admissions, Milton Hershey School (PA)

Independent schools are known as institutions that value diversity, seeking representation and engagement from their local communities. At the same time, many struggle to successfully recruit and retain students from a diversity of backgrounds, especially those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Learn how to better understand the challenges faced by underprivileged families and the obstacles preventing them from considering an independent school. Identify values-based recruitment strategies that resonate with low income families and explore the creation of mutually beneficial relationships between independent schools, local public schools, and nonprofits that work with this underserved market.

K-8 Recruitment to Yield: Staying Innovative

Yocelin Gonzalez, Director of Community Partnerships, The Meadowbrook School of Weston (MA)
Kristin Eisenhardt, Director of Enrollment Management, The Meadowbrook School of Weston (MA)

Learn how to create a structure that will allow all of your school’s prospective families to have an inclusive and diverse experience, from phone call to revisit day. Explore non-traditional recruitment strategies (partnerships, on-campus programming, etc.), important factors and people you should include in open houses and campus visits, key interview questions to ask, and inclusive admission committee practices and yield strategies. This workshop is designed with professionals in K-8 schools in mind.

Download the Presentation

The North American Boarding Initiative: A Program Update

Megan Cartier, Managing Director of the North American Boarding Initiative (NABI) and Market Growth, TABS - The Association of Boarding Schools (NC)
Peter Mason, Ph.D., Field Marketing Consultant, TABS - The Association of Boarding Schools (NC)
Shiela Miklos, Deputy Managing Director of NABI and Vice President of Market Growth, TABS - The Association of Boarding Schools (NC)

At a time of significant change and expanding educational choice, challenges for boarding schools have grown much more complex. The North American Boarding Initiative (NABI) was created to respond to those challenges with an aggressive multimillion-dollar, five-year initiative funded by 214 member schools to grow demand for and enrollment in college-prep boarding schools among families in the U.S. and Canada and to raise awareness of the profound, transformational, and lifelong difference a 24/7 educational experience offers young people. Join us for a real-time update of the campaign, including: what we are learning about parents and students in our target audience; what messages are resonating most with these consumers; and the performance of various digital channels as a means to reach a very niche audience. There will be ample time for Q&A.

The Power of Customer Experience Design: One School’s Journey to Full Enrollment (Senior Track)

Greg Bamford, Associate Head of School for Strategy and Innovation, Charles Wright Academy (WA)

Like many small young schools, Watershed School in Colorado once struggled to achieve full enrollment, but over the last three years, they’ve grown by 82%. This journey to full enrollment wasn’t easy or pain free. A new head of school and his admission director had to hear tough feedback, learn about their market, and grow as marketers and leaders. Using a design thinking process, they generated new customer insights and began to understand which touchpoints were pulling families in -- or pushing them away. Greg will share concrete strategies and help you understand how design thinking can strengthen your approach to enrollment management.

Download the Presentation

Show Me the Money: The Art of Pricing in Admission and Financial Aid (Financial Aid Track)

Chad Tew, Founding Principal, Tew & Associates (CA)

The four key elements of marketing (product, price, promotion, and place) are the keys to attracting and retaining families at your school. Examine the role of pricing in admission and retention and ways various financial assistance strategies can positively affect access for families with modest incomes and affordability for families in the middle. Learn to look at pricing as more than sticker price minus tuition aid, and review a compressive cost of attendance model. Case studies and examples provide ideas for building strong, diverse enrollment based on core marketing principles.

Download the Presentation

Test Innovators’ SSAT Practice Platform (Sponsored Session)

Ben Hoglund, Director of Sales, Test Innovators
Brenna O'Neill, Director of Education, Test Innovators

The best way students can prepare to take the SSAT is to learn more about the test and practice in those areas in which they need extra help. Learn how schools are helping their students put their best foot forward and demonstrate their knowledge on standardized tests.

Download the Presentation


Session C: Thursday, September 13, 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Beyond Grades: Evaluating the Whole Applicant (Character Track)

Nathan Kuncel, Marvin D. Dunnette Distinguished Professor, University of Minnesota (MN)

We've always used grades as reliable predictors of student ability and promise, but their dimensional range can be limited. Hear how new validation results from eight independent schools demonstrate that The Character Skills Snapshot accurately predicts multiple dimensions of student success. Learn how utilizing a complete admission system (including The Snapshot, letters of recommendation, and interviews) enhances your decision making, improves the student's educational experience, and makes the value case for independent schools.  

Leading the Enrollment Management Office in Times of Stability and Crisis

Leo Marshall, Senior Advisor/Consultant, Beijing Kentrexs; Marshall Education Group LLC (FL)

A successful enrollment management effort centers on leadership skills not only at the top, but throughout the entire organization. A retired director of admission (now a consultant) with 40 years’ experience at independent schools reflects on leadership that works and leadership that does not work, both when times are good and when the inevitable happens. This is about transformational - not transactional - leadership that embraces those qualities that inspire the entire enrollment management team and, as an extension, ensures the future of its school. This session is for all levels of experience and heads, in particular, are encouraged to join the discussion.

Download the Presentation

Managing Student and Family Privacy Issues in a Shifting Legal Landscape

Marc J. Weinstein, Marc J. Weinstein PLLC (PA)

Receive an introduction to the laws and policies that govern the privacy of student and family data inherent in the enrollment process, plus effective strategies for mitigating school risks while protecting student and family privacy. Privacy laws are in a state of constant evolution, and parents are increasingly raising legal objections to privacy practices in education settings. Some have resorted to filing lawsuits against organizations for alleged violations of privacy laws and policies. Discover the latest changes in international and U.S. laws that may impact the way schools collect and use student data, with recent case examples.

Download the Presentation

Meeting Mission & Keeping Friends: Leading the Selection Process Wisely, Fairly and Diplomatically

Peter Anderson, Director of Admission & Enrollment Management, The Episcopal Academy (PA)
Carolyne Totherow, Associate Director of Admission & Coordinator of Athletic Recruitment, The Episcopal Academy (PA)

Making fair, smart, mission-driven decisions that keep internal and external constituencies on board is challenging. Faculty, coaches, alumni, parents, and senior administrators judge and define us by our success or failure in this crucial area. Armed with grounded, anecdote-rich illustrations and smart takeaways, this session provides you with sample rubrics for rating wisely, easy electronic worksheet options for insuring reader discipline, tactics for leading committee discussion, and systems for inoculating admission from "vocal constituencies."

Download the Presentation

Moving Beyond GPA: What You Need to Know About the Mastery Transcript

Mike Flanagan, Chief Product Officer, Mastery Transcript Consortium (OH)

The Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC), a group of high schools developing a new model of crediting and transcript generation, believes all students should have an opportunity for engaging school experiences that provide deep learning. Hear about the building of MTC’s digital transcript, which will help unlock and showcase the transformational work that so many schools have already undertaken and will pave the way for many more who are beginning that journey. Learn about the Mastery Transcript and the way it could impact your enrollment strategies in the near future, regardless of whether your school belongs to the consortium.

The New Landscape: International Student Recruitment Outlook (International Track)

Aimee Gruber, Senior Director of Global Outreach, The Enrollment Management Association
Ioana Wheeler, Director of Global Initiatives, NAIS (DC)

We’ve all seen the headlines: International students are coming to study in the U.S. in smaller numbers, but more and more K-12 schools are hoping to attract them in larger numbers. Competition is increasing, both from schools in the U.S. and in other English-speaking countries.Competition has also been compounded by the growth of international schools in China and other countries from which schools recruit. Learn about new trends in international student recruitment and see the latest data from SEVP, EMA, and NAIS.

Download the Presentation

The Reading Passage Interview: Our 10-Year Experience

David Baker, Director of Admission & Financial Aid, St. Mark's School of Texas (TX)
Kerry Schneidewind, Assistant Director of Admission & Financial Aid, St. Mark's School of Texas (TX)
Korey Mack, Admission Officer, St. Mark's School of Texas (TX)

Ten years ago, the admission team at St. Mark’s School of Texas adopted a reading passage interview process for middle and upper school applicants. Candidates read a brief passage, complete a short writing prompt, then participate in a small group (3-4 candidates) discussion. We have found small group discussions more efficient and effective than traditional one-on-one interviews. Get a detailed look at this process and obtain everything you need to adopt and adapt it. Over the years, we have collected hundreds of passages and as many hard-learned lessons to share with you.

Download the Presentation

Trickling Down: Lessons from Higher Ed

Jordan Pascucci, Director of Enrollment Management and Strategic Initiatives, George School (PA)
David Lazo, Director of Admission & Financial Aid, The College Preparatory School (CA)
Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez, Director of Admission, Choate Rosemary Hall (CT)
Dr. Jamila Everett, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, The Webb Schools (CA)

What can independent school enrollment professionals learn from their colleagues in higher education? What lessons do higher ed practitioners learn when they make a move to K-12? With more than a decade’s experience at some of the nation's most selective institutions of higher education before moving to the K-12 world, this session’s presenters bring a unique perspective to a lively discussion. Hear about the point of view this journey brings to organizing enrollment efforts - its lessons, mistakes, opportunities, and possibilities. How can K-12 admission adopt practices that influence the broader profession and beyond?

Using Inbound Marketing to Increase Inquiries

Stacy Jagodowski, Strategic Marketing Consultant

A strong inbound marketing strategy is crucial to maintaining a healthy inquiry pool. Admission and marketing teams must focus on coordinated inbound marketing and personalized outreach strategies to connect with intended audiences and carefully nurture them through the admission funnel. Learn how these two departments can team up to achieve admission goals by combining traditional recruiting efforts with strategic marketing campaigns. We’ll cover inbound marketing strategies for both offices, including targeted email, social media, blogs, SEO, and lead nurturing. From inquiry generation to getting families to sign on the dotted line, you’ll walk away with ideas and strategies you can start implementing right away. Some of them won’t even cost you a penny.

Download the Presentation

Women and Institutional Leadership (Senior Track)

Marcia Spiller, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Life, Woodward Academy (GA)
Claire Goldsmith, Executive Director, Malone Schools Online Network
Anne-Marie Kee, Head of School, Lakefield College School (ON)

While incredible professional women serve our institutions, a disproportionately small number serve in the highest leadership posts. We ask the question, "Why?" Join an open and candid conversation in which we examine perceived impediments toward advancement, strategies for growth, and empowerment of self and others.

Download the Presentation


Session D: Friday, September 14, 10:30 - 11:30 am

Advice from a Road Warrior: Ins and Outs of International Student Recruitment (International Track)

Joshua Clark, Director of External Relations, Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (HI)

It is possible to get international students without traveling. However, it is much more difficult to have a diverse international population or a consistent and steady pipeline of quality students without it. Building a robust international admission program that provides consistency in student quality and yield requires travel, which can be a valuable and productive component of your overall international recruitment strategy.  Learn from a veteran road warrior about the role of travel in your recruitment strategy, things you should consider when choosing where to travel, determining your ROI (knowing whether your travel is successful), and how to pack for international trips.

Beyond Baking Cookies: The Critical Role of Enrollment Managers in Academic Leadership

Laurel Baker Tew, Assistant Head for Enrollment, Viewpoint School (CA)
Mark McKee, Head of School, Viewpoint School (CA)

Mounting pressure on school heads requires them to establish strong competitive positions, operate their institutions like well-run businesses, conduct research and planning, differentiate their brands, and develop their competitive positioning strategies in addition to fulfilling a higher mission-oriented calling. Given that the enrollment manager may be functioning as chief revenue officer to the CEO (head), how do enrollment managers fit into this picture at the executive level, in order to align their priorities strategically with heads of school?

Download the Presentation

Business and Networking Etiquette (Senior Track)

Crystal Bailey, Director, The Etiquette Institute of Washington

An experienced consultant and public speaker, Crystal is dedicated to helping business professionals polish their executive presence and networking savvy. Whether you are a young or a seasoned professional, there is always an opportunity to learn new skills or discover new tricks of the trade, from making that killer first impression to networking effectively to making a graceful exit. Take part in what is sure to be a fun and lively session.

Download the Presentation

Inclusivity & Enrollment Management: What Three White Women Have Learned (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Track)

Zoe Edelen Hare, Assistant Director of Admission, Catlin Gabel School (OR)
Sara Nordhoff, Director of Enrollment Management, Catlin Gabel School (OR)
Mary Braun, Senior Associate Director of Admission, Catlin Gabel School (OR)

How can enrollment management practices help create an inclusive campus, beginning with every person who walks through the door? The intersection of enrollment management and inclusivity is an important one that needs to weave its way through all of our interactions with families, from new prospects to alums. Providing prospective families with access to information, opportunities to share who they are, and implementing language that reflects their unique identities are some of the first steps. This may seem like a huge endeavor, but small tweaks can be made -- even this fall! Learn how to help applicant families feel included from the moment they enter campus to their potential enrollment and matching with a host family. Learn about the changes Catlin Gabel School has made in the past few years as well as those being considered for the future. Join in the discussion and learn from your peers.

Download the Presentation

No Matter the Title, Our Work Must Have a Mindset

Janice Crampton, Executive Director/CEO, Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP)
Dr. Dayle Savage, Director of Learning and Development, Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP)

Join a discussion about the professional competencies and behaviors of the admission and enrollment management profession. AISAP’s Learning & Development Framework®, coupled with the 2017/2018 Pathways Benchmarking Survey®, serves to drive, impact and direct the necessary actions and activities of your work, the work of your office, and the work of your institution as not just a professional, but as a mindset and institutional practice. Leave with clarity about your professional pathway, acknowledge the skills and attributes you need to serve your team, and discover the necessary elements and attributes that will assist in the profession continuing to be educated, elevated, and empowered.

Placement Challenges and Tools to Address Them

Brenna O'Neill, Director of Education, Test Innovators (WA)
Page Vincent, Director of Secondary School Placement, Rippowam Cisqua School (NY)
Scott Duddy, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Dexter Southfield School (MA)
Neal Kamsler, Senior Director of Placement, Oliver Scholars (NY)
Greg Jones, Director of Admission, Epiphany School (WA)

A panel of placement professionals from day schools, junior boarding schools, and access organizations discuss the challenges they face in successfully guiding their students and families through the placement process, as well as the tools they have discovered or built to address them. Learn about managing student and parent expectations, building school lists based on fit, helping students through standardized testing, using data to inform family recommendations, how to approach difficult conversations after students receive admission letters, and best practices in building relationships with admission departments.

Plus One: Adding Character Assessment to Admission (Character Track)

Booth D. Kyle, Associate Head of School & Admissions and Financial Aid Director, Lakeside School (WA)

Learn about Lakeside School’s journey with the Character Skills Snapshot in its inaugural year, from the debate surrounding requiring it for admission to its value in the process. Discover how the Seattle-based school used The Snapshot to supplement their interview and reading processes, added score reports into their proprietary database, and is now implementing it as a baseline measure of self-awareness for incoming middle schoolers. Hear about The Snapshot's alignment with Lakeside's academic initiatives and how the first validity study will impact the committee process moving forward.

Download the Presentation

The Power of Auxiliary Programming: Growing Brand, Pipeline, and Revenue

Sarah Dalton Quinn, Director of Admission, Miss Porter's School (CT)
Kat Simison, Associate Director of Admission & Director of Summer Programs, Miss Porter's School (CT)

Reflect on what is unique about your school and consider ways to capitalize on it through specialized auxiliary programming. Obtain the tools you need to develop a mission-appropriate program that can help you reach your goals. Learn about Porter’s Leads, a 14-year program at Miss Porter’s School that has positively impacted the admission pipeline and proven to be a revenue generator for the school. Porter’s Leads is uniquely different from a traditional academic summer experience and is focused on girls younger than the academic year target market, extending Porter's brand and experience to a wider variety of students and exposing girls early on to Porter's values outside of the academic setting.

Download the Presentation

Shifting the Leadership Paradigm: The Case for an Enrollment Manager and Admission Director

Allison Letourneau, Associate Head of School for Enrollment Management, The White Mountain School (NH)
Peter Wickman, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, The White Mountain School (NH)

There’s been a recent shift in our job titles as admission professionals in independent schools; enrollment managers have, in many ways, replaced admission directors. What are the implications? How are the roles similar? Different? Hear the strong qualitative and quantitative case for schools having both an enrollment manager and an admission director in one office. Dive deep into the ways in which collaboration between these two roles can drive admission and enrollment work in ways that are profound for the institution -- especially in the current market and economic landscape.

Download the Presentation

Understanding China: A Perspective from the East (Sponsored Session)

Ruth Piao, President, Beijing Kentrexs (China)
Leo Marshall, Senior Advisor/Consultant, Beijing Kentrexs; Marshall Education Group LLC (FL)

While Chinese applications continue to outpace every other international demographic, IIE reports that trend is starting to soften. The smart admission office is aware of these trends and continues to seek qualified Chinese candidates. In doing so, however, how often does an admission office ask Chinese families what they are thinking, what are their motivations, and how they see an admission process that is often bewildering?  Two principals from one of China’s oldest educational consulting groups will offer advice based on their year-to-year experience with Chinese parents, students, and the schools to which they are applying.


Session E: Friday, September 14, 1:15 - 2:15 pm

Around the Financial Aid Water Cooler

Kristen Power, National Director of Business Development, The Enrollment Management Association
Christian Donovan, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Head-Royce School

Feel like you're in a starring role on "Let's Make A Deal"? Have 529 concerns? Notice an increase in appeals? Are high-income families applying for aid consistently? In this session, join your peers to discuss and share ideas on pressing topics on the minds of financial aid, admission, and business teams.

Enhancing Affordability and Access While Protecting Value and Quality: One School’s Comprehensive Approach to Addressing the Critical Objective of Financial Sustainability (Financial Aid Track)

Melissa Orth, President and CEO, The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. (TX)
Sarah Markhovsky, Director of Admission, Greenhill School (TX)

Participants will learn from a successful comprehensive financial planning process conducted by Greenhill School. Five project teams, comprised of school professionals and Board members, conducted an extensive assessment of every potential source of incremental revenue and expense reduction and defined a pathway to continued educational and programmatic excellence, while moderating tuition increases by $1,200-$1,500 per student over the planning period. Presenters will share the results of this initiative and lessons learned along the way.

Download the Presentation

From Admission on the East Coast to Consulting in the Far East: Lessons Learned (International Track)

Idris McClain, President, Blueprint Education (China)
Dr. Tony Alleyne, Senior Consultant, Blueprint Education (China)
Stephen Downes, Director, Center for International Students; Associate Director, International Recruitment, Tabor Academy (MA)

With growing numbers of applicants from China continuing to hit the independent school market, committees are struggling to determine fit in their communities without proper context. Former admission officers will teach you how to deconstruct the Chinese applicant. Discuss best practices and receive clear takeaways and immediate action items for enhancing your school’s message throughout mainland China. Learn how to understand students from China with different educational backgrounds and resources, get ideas to distinguish your community to attract the right students, and understand the cultural differences that make up a diverse Chinese applicant pool.

Honing our Value Proposition for a New Generation of Parents (Senior Track)

Donna Orem, President, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

What causes parents to make the choices they do for their children’s education? As an NAIS research study recently uncovered, those causes are as different as the parents and students themselves. Traditional survey research tends to identify the same broad wants and needs from parents—great teachers, small classes, and a high-quality curriculum. These findings are not incorrect, but, in today’s educational market parents want more. This study digs much deeper to identify the specific challenges parents are trying to address. This session will outline the research methodology and findings and suggest ways that schools can use the results to hone their value propositions.

Maximize Your Marketing Impact: Lessons from Corporate America

Nija Meyer, Vice President for Admissions and Communications, Woodward Academy (GA)

Independent schools once bridled at the mere mention of terms such as “marketing,” “advertising,” or “branding,” which were perceived to be the province of corporate America. Marketing now plays a crucial role in the success of independent schools, with heads of school increasingly reaching out to corporate leaders for their marketing departments. Learn how to apply corporate marketing and leadership principles to independent schools (including which lessons transfer well and those that don’t) with specific focus on the role and structure of marketing and communications, advertising strategy, stakeholder analysis, and the impact on school culture.

Download the Presentation

Seriously, What Makes You Different?

Alesi Enriquez, Co-Founder, The Film Guys, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Robert Bahou, Co-Founder, The Film Guys, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Historically, independent schools have used the same standard marketing techniques with little variation, ultimately making them look interchangeable. In this lively session, The Film Guys will take you through the history of the admission video to the present day. Join an interactive session illustrating The Film Guys’ brainstorming process and receive guidance on creating your own engaging and informative videos.

Solving the Stealth Problem with the SAO

Kate Auger-Campbell, Director of Product Strategy, The Enrollment Management Association
Sunaina Khanna, Senior Product Manager, The Enrollment Management Association

We're solving the stealth applicant problem one family at a time by giving prospects the opportunity to identify their interest and open the lines of communication in the Standard Application Online - long before their application has been submitted. Learn more about the opt-in feature, the SAO's most exciting update this year.

Discover more about the other new features we rolled out this year, including easier application editing, SmartLinked web badges, and more robust event and multimedia sections.

Supporting Our Students - A Collaboration Between Schools, Consultants, and Students

Brendon Welker, Educational Consultant, McMillan Education (MA)
Quentin McDowell, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment, Mercersburg Academy (PA)
Alyson Walker, Director, Education/Marketing Consultant, Henning & Partners (CT)
Brian Beale, Director of Enrollment, Brimmer & May School (MA)
Dana Anselmi, Director of Admission, Berkshire School (MA)

Creating a proactive, ongoing line of communication between school officials and educational consultants is essential to achieving the goals of increased retention rates, enhanced student support services, and the building of loyal alumni/ae. An effective partnership between schools and consultants can help students navigate through the middle and secondary school years while helping schools protect their most valuable assets -- their students. See examples of successful partnerships between students, schools, and consultants, and learn how to build your own bridge with independent educational consultants. Join a small group discussion setting and hear case studies, general theory, and practice.

Targeting the Middle Class (Financial Aid Track)

Melanie Connors, Vice President of Admission, Pine Crest School (FL)
Steven Casey, Director of Financial Aid and Analytics, Pine Crest School (FL)

Socioeconomic diversity is key to healthy admission and enrollment, but the middle class is shrinking nationally. Schools must have a strategic plan to market to (and budget for) middle class families. Learn how to best identify, target, and package middle class families through a collaborative partnership between financial aid and admission that will ultimately build and sustain a healthy enrollment and financial future. Get examples of effective specific strategies and a sample strategic plan.

Download the Presentation

What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You: A China/U.S. Perspective (Sponsored Session)

Nini Suet, Founder & CEO, Shang Learning Group (China)
Hamilton Gregg, Partner & Senior Admission Advisor, Shang Learning Group (China)
Lloyd Paradiso, Senior Admission Advisor

Chinese families focus primarily on standardized testing as key to admission, which means that Chinese students are often challenged by a lack of core skills necessary for a successful transition into western education settings. A new call for soft-skills development from Xi Jinping has created a slow yet fundamental shift in public and private Chinese education, evident through the surge of Chinese athletic and art academies and the rapid development of bilingual schools. A growing upper middle class that aspires to and demands only the very best education for their children is fueling further changes. 

There are also new and evolving government regulation trends and the birth of a new category of Chinese “student” from a blended local and  international private education sector. With an intimate knowledge of this market, we present a close insider look into these new trends in China and explore topics related but not limited to: the risks and opportunities when dealing with the Chinese market; the differences between a student from a public school and one from an international as well as bilingual school; the best, most effective ways to recruit and engage target Chinese families for admission and for development; and what to expect in the near future.

Download the Presentation


Session F: Saturday, September 15, 9:15 - 10:15 am

Powerful Partners: Intentional Student Onboarding for Successful Transitions

Jason Giffen, Director of Admissions, North Shore Country Day School (IL)
Erik Cooper, Upper School Dean of Students, North Shore Country Day School (IL)

The transition period between admission and the first day of school presents a great opportunity for enrollment managers to ensure successful onboarding for new students and families. Hear about one school’s efforts to promote successful student transitions through intentional partnerships with numerous constituencies on campus, including advisors, deans, counselors, and learning specialists. Learn specific strategies, programs, and structures that will help your office build or refine its current onboarding efforts.

Download the Presentation

Using an Ambassador Program to Harness the Power of Word of Mouth

Cynthia Bertolini, Director of Admissions, Oakcrest School (VA)

As we all know, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool for independent schools. Learn how to do everything you can to equip your current students and parents with the skills and information that will help them best represent and promote your school. Hear the history of a school’s successful student and parent ambassador programs, learn about the specific training ambassadors get and work they do, the impact they have had, and new objectives for the 2018-2019 school year.

Download the Presentation