TO: ATI LEADERSHIP
Re: ATI STUDENT RETENTION
A ten-year membership study has revealed that ATI graduates typically choose not to enroll in the ATI program when they begin their own families.
Our program growth should be exponential. Since our inception, our families have an average of ten children. If each graduating student had re-joined upon reaching adulthood, our enrollment could be in the hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, only 1 in every 10 ATI students actually re-joins the program upon reaching adulthood.
When asked why they left the program, the most common answers from former ATI students were:
- "I'm tired of giving the Institute my time and money through 'apprenticeship opportunities.'"
- "The program is too legalistic."
- "I have all this character and no education. How am I supposed to get a job?"
- "ATI families are proud and cannot get along other Christians."
- "I hated the Faith Journal."
This growth crisis must be halted. Our recommendation is a two-part strategy: first, make immediate revisions to attract these former students. This involves abandoning what are viewed as "restrictive requirements" such as the prohibitions on beards, music, television and other damaging sensual influences. The second part of our growth strategy is long-term: foundational, structural changes to the ATI program, such as elimination of the promise of success and the use of rules and formulas, development of a real curriculum, and other changes.
Our growth strategy may be criticized by our core families as abandoning principle due to financial pressure. We can spin these changes in a positive light by saying: "We are not abandoning principle due to financial pressure. We want these backsliders in the program so we can reform them." Perhaps this evangelism campaign will pay off.