Only the very largest schools can be many things for many people. Smaller schools face constant strategic choices about what they are not going to do.
The smart objective for a smaller school isn’t just to find a way to do more; rather, it is to make it very hard for students and parents to leave. In other words, leverage the emotional bond that attaches students to the school—a bond that exists outside purely rational thought.
Unless you are the biggest with the most, there will always be someone else that will win the rational competition game. But, that is a transactional win—literally what-have-you-done-for-me-lately—while winning the emotional game laminates students to you for decades.
Once laminated, the trick is to avoid the propellants and solvents that de-laminate students and their families from schools. We will write more about these in a future post.