Creating Opportunities for Niche Organizations in a High Choice Landscape
The Sphinx Academy was founded to create educational opportunities for gifted and talented students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), often referred to as “twice-exceptional”, who struggled in traditional and other specialized programs. After five years of increased enrollment and a string of successful graduates, Sphinx Academy is facing enrollment slump amidst an increase of choices and innovation within public and private secondary education in Fayette County. This quality improvement project sought to understand why enrollment at Sphinx Academy had stagnated by conducting interviews with key stakeholders (i.e., members of the board, the director, staff, and current and former parents) and reviewing organization’s presence on digital platforms to identify capabilities and resources for analysis in the VRIO framework. Three key findings emerged: Parents discovered Sphinx Academy through their personal networks; Parents chose Sphinx Academy for the small classrooms, safe learning environment, and the flexible and innovative curriculum; and Sphinx Academy's valued resources and capabilities are underutilized and are not being communicated to their target market.