Director of Enrollment Management

The Chicago Academy for the Arts, an independent, college-preparatory high school for young artists, seeks an experienced admissions professional for the position of Director of Enrollment Management (DEM).

The Academy is a unique institution. Combing a co-curricular arts and academic education with an unparalleled school culture, The Academy is an incredible place to work and study.

Students must pass an arts audition in one of six disciplines (Dance, Media Arts, Music, Musical Theatre, Theatre, or Visual Arts) as well as a thorough academic review. Roughly half of our applicants are offered admission; more than two-thirds of our 140+ students pursue the arts in the college and beyond. Alums include principal dancers, Grammy Award winners, hit songwriters, television and Broadway stars, and successful professionals in every arts discipline. Many alums pursue careers outside of the arts, and are active in science, finance, business, education, law, and more.

The Director of Enrollment Management is responsible for the design and execution of a comprehensive enrollment management program—from inquiry and recruitment to enrollment and retention. Reporting to the Head of School, the DEM is a member of the five-person senior administrative team.

Responsibilities include:

·      Overseeing all phases of the school’s admissions process, including the accurate and efficient handling of applications, communications with candidates and their parents, visits to the school by prospective students and families, securing of all necessary supplemental materials for admission, and communicating final decisions to the applicant families.

·      Supervising the review of all applicant files, including arts auditions and financial aid, by the Arts Department Chairs, the Academic Review Committee, and the Tuition Assistance Committee.

·      Coordinating and supervising all admissions events and activities (e.g. open houses)

·      Collaborating with the Director of Finance and Operations and all financial matters, from the admission office’s budget, to tuition and revenue projections, to financial aid strategies and awards.

·      Collaborating with the Director of Communications on all matters related to the production of admissions materials, school visibility, and marketing

·      Overseeing all aspects of the school’s marketing and recruitment of international students, including the interview/audition and enrollment.

·      Monitoring and analyzing local and national demographic trends that affect independent school enrollment, and staying informed of independent school trends (through NAIS, ISACS and other outside sources) that affect admissions and financial aid.

·      Establishing, developing, and growing relationships with feeder schools, arts organizations, educational consultants and other potential partners in the greater Chicago area.

·      Managing re-enrollment of returning students and overall retention efforts for the school.

·      Compiling, analyzing, and reporting admission data trends and projections to various constituent groups.

·      Work with the Dean to track performance of admitted students.

·      Serving on strategic planning committees and be responsible for various special projects as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

·      World-class communication (oral, written, presentation) skills

·      A prodigious ability to quickly form close, effective relationships with a wide variety of school constituencies

·      Experience with database management and comfortable working with data and statistics

·      First-rate management skills

·      An ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment with multiple priorities and frequent deadlines

The ideal applicant will have three or more years of experience in an independent school admissions environment, a bachelor’s degree, and a background in—or thorough knowledge of—the arts. The DEM is a 12-month full-time salaried position.

Interested applicants are invited to send a resume and thoughtful cover letter to Jason Patera, Head of School, at (Please reference Director of Enrollment Management in the subject line.)

The Chicago Academy for the Arts does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.