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Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Through Admissions Technology

May 2, 2024 | read
April 30th Ravenna Diversity

Your school is part of a larger community and impacts families throughout your area. It helps to create connections, provide opportunities, and equip children with an education so they can thrive in the future. There are always new ways for your school to improve in meeting these goals.

One way to invest in your community is by reassessing your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. At their core, these policies are meant to better support your community—by giving more children opportunities, regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, or other differentiating factors.

The Role of Admissions Technology in Promoting Student Diversity and Inclusion

Because each community is unique, it can be challenging to accurately assess and make positive changes to your school’s diversity policies. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule, and it’s the outcome of your changes that show whether your policies are working.

School management technology can help you better meet your community’s needs and improve your DEI policies. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage admissions software to improve diversity and inclusion for your educational services and school culture.

How to Leverage Admissions Software for Diversity 

With so many important tasks to complete, administrators benefit from tools that help them analyze and understand diversity at their school. Admissions software is a valuable tool to gather data and learn where you are and create a plan to get where you’d like to be. Here are some ways your private K-12 school can use to increase diversity.

1. Analyze Your School’s Existing Demographics

Before you can improve diversity and inclusion policies, you need data to show how your school is currently reflecting the demographics of your local community. Here are just a few kinds of student demographic data that admissions software can help you gather:

  • Student age
  • Student ethnicity
  • Student faith
  • Payment preferences
  • Geographical data

Next, go through this data and look for trends. What stands out to you at first glance? Why do you think these types of students are attracted to your school, and why might other students not be attending?

Here are a few trends you might notice from assessing the data:

  • Your demographic data is all very similar, with few variations.
  • Your demographic data has a wide range, including many kinds of students.
  • Your student demographics represent a small percentage of the community.
  • The data shows your school demographics are very similar to your community.

Once you know more about your private school student body demographics, you can evaluate what changes will positively benefit your school and local community.

For example, consider a school where the student population has a very different demographic mix from the local community. This school could benefit from expanding their reach and welcoming new kinds of students into their educational programs.

Assessing your current resources and support system is an essential step toward expanding the diversity at your school.

2. Assess Demographics in Your Community

Before you start really digging into the data, it’s important to understand your specific community’s needs. With a realistic understanding of your area, you can set goals that will enrich both your school and the families in your community.

Here are a few questions you can ask to gain a better understanding of your local area:

  • Is there a sharp contrast in socioeconomic status?
  • What different groups of people are local to your community?
  • What groups are you already reaching?
  • Which additional groups might be interested in your school?

By comparing school demographic data with the larger community, you can identify diversity and inclusion gaps. Then, you can start brainstorming ways to reach a wider group of families so that more students can benefit from your educational facility.

3. Use Data to Increase Diversity at Your School

Here are a few types of diversity to consider when you’re analyzing admissions data:

One area where many schools can improve their diversity is in offering a variety of payment plans. Although your typical demographic may be able to cover costs in a certain way, other demographics may be missing your educational opportunities because of their finances.

It’s possible that you’re missing entire sectors of the community in your outreach and marketing efforts. Depending on the resources you have available, it might be challenging or impossible to serve all communities in your area. However, you can expand your reach even if you start in a small way.

Another area to reconsider for diversity is your financial aid and scholarship opportunities. What kinds of students do you offer these partnerships to, and how do you connect with them? Consider branching out and connecting with other sectors of your community to increase diversity in your student body.

4. Ensure Students Can Access Technology

No discussion about technology and diversity is complete without acknowledging that not every family or student has access to the same kinds of technology at home. Another way to foster inclusivity at your school is by ensuring all students have the access they need to learn and thrive.

When researching your area, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What percentage of potential students have Wi-Fi at home?
  • What devices do students need to thrive at your school?
  • How could you make learning more accessible to those without tech?

The same questions should be asked about parents. If you use an online admissions software, what percentage of parents can access it? What options do you have available for families that may be without reliable access to technology?

Improve Your School’s Diversity with Admissions Software

Once you’ve analyzed existing data and built a plan to increase diversity, you can use admission software to put that plan into action. A robust admission system allows customization, so you can communicate with families of many different backgrounds, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses.

Your admissions process can be designed to welcome and support many different sectors of families in your community. At the same time, the right software will also empower your admissions committee or school board to make diverse decisions about which students to accept for the year.

Broaden Your Horizons with Ravenna’s Admissions Software

 

At Ravenna, we want to help administrators at private schools experience a better daily work experience. Our software is designed to support administrative staff so they can spend their time and energy on the tasks that matter most. The Ravenna software suite includes support for:

  • Student admissions
  • Student management
  • Financial aid

Our admissions software can help support DEI at your school,  your community, and broaden your educational programs. Perspectives matter—and with access to the right data, you can learn which perspectives your school might be missing.

Contact Ravenna today to request a demo!

Nettie Reynolds

Nettie Reynolds

Sr. Content Strategist

Nettie Reynolds serves as Sr. Content Strategist for Education Solutions by Community Brands. Prior to joining Community Brands, Nettie was the Director of Development for Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in New Braunfels, TX. She is a committed parent and supporter of private schools.

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