TFS® is proud to present a case study on the recent outstanding success of our client, Metro Technology Centers located in Oklahoma City, OK.

  • High school enrollment increased by 207 students from 1,293 students in 2015 to 1,504 students in 2016
  • Classroom capacity is now 91% over 84% in 2015
  • In past years, the first 10 days of school has been an area of concern, but in 2016 the retention rate increased by 84% over 2015 with only 34 drops
  • Faculty reports that the quality of students in 2016 is outstanding, with a high number of students who are motivated, driven, and focused on a bright future

We talked with the Metro Tech team about the amazing transformation they have experienced as a result of implementing the TFS strategic plan, marketing materials, best practices, and drip sequence. To understand these results, we will look at the foundational perspectives and practices they’ve adopted across the organization.

Total Commitment
From administration to faculty to support staff, Metro Tech wholeheartedly accepted the challenge of change from day one. The team says, “When we decided to implement TFS, we assembled a team of creative people from all across the district and gave it 100% effort. When prospective or returning students walk into Metro Tech, they feel the positive energy and excitement we have towards them!”

Without total commitment from every department and individual, even the best strategic plans and events will produce lackluster results. “Working as a team is crucial, as I think we would all agree our success could not have happened without involvement at every level.”

No Accidental Events
“Spending time getting to know students during recruitment events, asking lots of good questions about their career interests and making sure they are aware of all their options has been instrumental in the noticeable difference in our student body,” Metro Tech says. Intentional events are a crucial part of any communications timeline, “dripping” messages of value to prospective students and their parents.

“We have put a significant amount of time, effort and energy into planning each recruitment event with student satisfaction in mind.”

Sometimes the most impactful events are born of less-than-ideal circumstances. This happened at Metro Tech when their teachers had to attend a mandatory off-campus conference the first two days that their partner schools resumed classes. “What we initially saw as a possible downfall to our recruitment process turned into a WIN as we assembled our TFS team and planned a two-day Back to School Bash packed with fun and interesting activities for students. By the time teachers returned on day three, the students felt connected and excited!”

Radical Retention
With just 34 programs drops among 1,504 students, Metro Tech’s retention numbers are outstanding. The team has discovered that retention starts with finding and cultivating the right students, in the right programs, for the right reasons. Metro Tech has found a way to do this through one-on-one student interviews during the application process. “It’s allowed us to get to know students on a deeper level and gauge their interests. We’ve had students show up to their interview with portfolios of experience to increase their chance of acceptance, and we’ve also had students who initially indicated interest in one CTE program, but after discussion, realized they were better suited in a different program.” Metro Tech has embraced the TFS philosophy that effective retention is not reactive, but proactive.

Overcoming the Stigmas
Creating and delivering a powerful narrative on the value of CTE has been critical to Metro Tech’s success in overcoming the false stigmas of CTE. The team shares, “There are still people out there who believe CTE exists for students ‘not smart enough for college,’ and by sharing success stories with students and parents, they quickly realize CTE creates options for the future.”

The TFS Career Tree® is a big part of this strategy, showing students and parents how CTE programs deliver a competitive advantage in today’s new economy. For both college- and careerbound students, CTE provides an edge to define and achieve their career aspirations at all levels of education. This narrative is changing the game at Metro Tech — producing tangible results and positively influencing the community Metro Tech serves.

We want to thank the Metro Tech team for taking the time to share these strategies and results with our readers. It is our hope that the success at Metro Tech can be replicated at many other career and technical centers across the country, as we work together to make a bigger difference.


About Mark C. Perna and TFS
TFS, whose mission is to share and support its clients’ desire to make a difference, is a full-service strategic consulting firm founded by national workforce development expert Mark C. Perna. Mark, a noted voice on Generations Y and Z, has many years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and has devoted his career to education and workforce training. At TFS, Mark heads an energetic team of talented professionals who share his vision of making a bigger difference, working with educators and employers of all sizes nationwide to deliver significant gains in recruitment, retention, and performance rates.

About Metro Technology Centers
Metro Technology Centers is a career and technology center with four campuses. The school was established in 1979 by a vote of the people to serve Oklahoma City in providing career and technology education (CTE). As one of 29 technology centers in the state of Oklahoma, Metro Tech provides full-time career majors for high school and adult students to earn trade certifications and/or licenses. The organization’s mission is to prepare people for successful employment and life in a global society.