From International Visits to Info Sessions, Admission Improves Outreach

Photo provided by Jeff Beaton

Mr. Jeff Beaton presents to students in Los Angeles with the Ten Schools Admissions Organization.

As the admission season progresses at Choate, students from all over the world and from many different backgrounds regularly fill our campus. However, there is a long process that goes on behind the scenes in Archbold to make sure everything fits into place. Some of the biggest projects are the trips Choate admissions officers make to spread information about Choate. Mr. Jeff Beaton, Associate Director of Admissions, said, “We are traveling to different places both domestically and internationally to attract kids to our community.”

The Choate admissions team travels all over the country. They make trips to the West Coast, visiting California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona. Popular Midwest states include Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. They also visit most Southern states like Florida, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, along with every state in New England. When traveling internationally, the admissions team does work in Asia, some European countries, Canada, and countries in Africa and South America.

While the admissions team journeys across the globe, they visit all types of schools. When they go, they first present the idea of a boarding school because not every kid is familiar with that type of school. Then, they introduce Choate. Mr. Beaton said, “First we have to talk about why a boarding school. Now, once you are now convinced on the idea of a boarding school, here is why Choate is the best boarding school that you should go to.” This is critical when visiting schools because, unlike colleges, not everyone is familiar with the structure and benefits of a boarding school.

Though the admissions teams travels around the world, they mainly speak at middle schools rather than at other high schools. Mr. Beaton said, “For example, I cannot go to a local high school in Los Angeles and take kids away from their school. The school won’t let me through the door. So we are forced to visit the lower grades.” To attract new sophomores, juniors, and post-graduates, Choate spreads its name through word of mouth or other forms of advertisements.

One of the main goals of admissions is to diversify the student body. Mr. Beaton said, “One of our biggest selling points is that we have kids from all over the world, so that when you’re in classes, in the dorm, or in the dining hall, you’re able to sit down with kids with different perspectives, different values, and different ideas.”

This year, Choate has hosted a new type of event for prospective students, known simply as an information session, to give families basic knowledge about Choate. Delivered by admissions officers, information sessions summarize Choate’s most important offerings and synthesize them under common themes. Each of the tour guides and interviewers have their own stories and interests to share with prospective students. However, by presenting uniform information directly from admissions officers, the information sessions are meant to bring all of these attributes of Choate together in order to provide families with the most comprehensive details possible.

“The information session is really to have a level playing field so that people leave Choate knowing every single aspect of this school,” said Mr. Beaton. What is also important about the information sessions is the way Choate’s unique signature programs can be uniformly introduced, reducing the variation of information that may be conveyed among different tour guides.

Students apply to Choate with a variety of interests, and information sessions are also a time when students can learn more of what Choate has to offer regarding these specific interests. Mr. Beaton said, “We want everyone that comes to our campus from all over the world to know who we are and what we do.”

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