How to Create Student and Parent Ambassador Programs
Vol. 16 No. 1
Parent and student ambassador programs are a great way to expand your reach and share authentic success stories with prospective families. Penny Rogers, IAP-L, ISM Consultant and Advancement Academy Leader, shares how ambassador programs can benefit your broader school community in this Quick-Tip Podcast.
Every ambassador program should align with the school’s unique mission. Here are some suggestions that will enable your parents and students to be both efficient and effective.
Creating a Student Program
Many students love to share their enthusiasm for their school with others, so invite interested students to become student ambassadors. Student ambassadors can assist Admission Office staff members during tours or act as one-on-one hosts for new applicants. They can also be greeters, program attendants, ushers, or panelists during open houses and other admission events.
When applying to become an ambassador, ask students to rank the jobs they’d want to do in order of preference. However, let them know that they might not get their first choice. That way, your staff can assign students to the positions that best fit their skills and meet your needs.
Once you’ve enrolled your new student ambassadors, share the program rules, roles, and responsibilities with them. Hold a lunch or after-school event to review the guidelines and clearly define expectations. Once the program is underway, check in with them often to make sure they know how to answer prospective students’ and parents’ questions.
Creating a Parent Program
Your parent ambassadors should be a hand-selected group of enthusiastic supporters who want to see your school succeed. Educate your parent ambassadors on some key talking points—your mission, future plans, and how you help children succeed.
There may be aspects of your program with which some parent ambassadors disagree. But as long as they are passionate about the school’s overall mission, they can often have candid conversations that go a long way toward building trust with new families.
These parents can be on hand during open houses, involved in prospective student visits, and even assigned to new families to help welcome them into your community.
Students and parents who believe in your school and your mission provide one of the best ways to generate excitement and illustrate your values at work. Implement ambassador programs to harness that power and use it to drive your school’s mission forward.
Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for Advancement Vol. 13 No. 4 Current Families Welcome, Retain New Students
The Source for Advancement Vol. 14 No. 7 11 Pearls of Wisdom From ISM’s Development E-List
Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 39 No. 12 The Admission Office in the Fall: Time to Reassess
I&P Vol. 38 No. 2 Who Is Responsible for Enrollment Management?