Kyle Graham, Bridging the Asymmetric Information Gap With Family Engagement

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

Today, we’re speaking with Kyle Graham, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment Management and Student Outcomes at the Poly Prep Country Day School. His work focuses on targeting the 9th to 12th grade population as they prepare for college. He also has an extensive background in higher education, and is deeply committed to developing college readiness mindsets and plans for his high school students. The focus of our conversation with Kyle revolves around asymmetrical information problems, family engagement and building trust with students.

About Kyle Graham

With an Economics degree from Hamilton College and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from NYU, Kyle is able to apply his knowledge of market principles to better understanding the motivations that underlie college recruitment efforts. He applies this knowledge toward family support systems building. Through his efforts, he has restructured the college readiness program at Poly Prep to better emphasize collaboration and open communication amongst all relevant stakeholders — students, parents and schools.

Prior to his position with Poly Prep, Kyle served as Assistant Director of Admissions for NYU and Upper School Dean at the Harvard-Westlake School. His insights into the lack of transparency of college admissions officers, as well as their underlying motives, highlights the critical importance of students and parents having access to accurate, timely, and informative information. As a result, his team has taken it upon themselves to partner with families in order to serve as mentors through the whirlwind process of college admissions.

Specifically, he is able to help students and parents better understand the process, as well as consider other universities that may be a better fit. His team is only able to complete this work through a process he calls “trusted curation.”

About Poly Prep Country Day School

At Poly Prep, faculty, students, staff, parents, and alumni work together as a community of learners. Poly Prep’s unique status as a country day school in New York City defines and empowers this learning community.

As educators, Poly Prep’s faculty considers it a privilege to teach children from across New York City and from many backgrounds and cultures. The country day school experience enables students to form relationships with peers and faculty they might otherwise never meet or befriend. Students also develop the self-respect that comes only after contributing meaningfully to their own learning and the learning of others.

Poly Prep’s country day school model demands the entire community understand what Poly Prep both offers and expects. Communal benefits and mutual obligations go hand in hand.

From Poly Prep, students receive:

  • clear expectations for accomplishment and behavior, especially important in a school with such a geographically and demographically diverse student body

  • accessible, skilled, nurturing teachers and coaches whose expertise and commitment lead to the close personal relationships that are essential to academic and personal development

From students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni, Poly Prep expects and requires:

  • respect for each individual — as we are all participants in a voluntary community devoted to learning and personal growth

  • active participation in the life of the school

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