For my competitive analysis for Cherokee Central Schools, I have decided to go with a differential strategy. When working in education at any level, how you stand out to your potential students makes them choose to attend your school. Everyone wants to go to what they believe to be the best. At Cherokee Central Schools, we are good at appealing to many different types of people. We do not lean on our athletics like many in our area to appeal to customers/students.

At Cherokee Central Schools, our most substantial differentiation is the number of resources we have at our disposal. Unlike state schools, we have funding sources from all over: tribal gaming revenue, BIE funding, state, and grants. With that said, we can afford resources that other schools are not. Let us take the 2021-2022 school year, for example. Not a single student had to purchase any school supplies. With funding, we provided every student with everything needed for the school year. With the Covid-19 protocols required for this year, we secured funding and applied it to the classrooms to keep our staff and students safe. Every single grade has a disinfected gun that sprays surfaces to disinfect quickly to keep everyone safe. We provided ample amounts of PPE to staff and students and countless other luxuries that made the impact of Covid-19 less to everyone in our district.

Over the past few years, we have been collecting data on whether our actions impact our graduates. Data collection of this type takes time, but we see that students who are leaving WNC to attend college are becoming more and more successful. What outsiders do not see is how hard culturally it is for our students to leave the area. The cultural shock is incredibility hard, but since we have flagged that as one of the significant issues with our graduates, we have been working on addressing the problem. As the years go on, we will better understand what actions we need to take to help, but we feel like we are heading in the right direction.

Although I am not selling your traditional product, I am providing a product that is essential to the workforce today. Cherokee Central Schools is outstanding at staying ahead of the game when it comes to our competitors. Our student population has grown dramatically in the past five years, proving we are gaining appeal to new families. We are continually working on providing the best we can in education to become the top choice in our area. Being the best means we also attract the top students, which puts us a leg up from others.

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