Education is transforming. Technology is evolving. Meanwhile, a pandemic is still disrupting everything from class schedules to the way we think about learning. In this environment, offering enrichment classes might not feel like a top priority, but it should be. Whether you’re running an adult ed program, an afterschool program, or the education department of a theater or museum, enrichment classes can help you fulfill your mission.
If your program is like most enrichment programs, the majority of your learners come from the local community. Giving back to that community isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s also good for business. You can use these six benefits of enrichment classes as the basis for marketing campaigns, to encourage donations, or to inspire your team during difficult times.
Benefits of Enrichment Programs for Your Community
Your organization can’t succeed alone. It’s part of a local community and draws its learners from the area. Directly or indirectly, helping members of your community succeed, thrive, and learn is part of your mission. Enrichment classes are particularly well-suited to that task. They fill needs that for-credit courses and other programming just can’t.
Are you wondering why is enrichment important for students? In short, enrichment classes strengthen your community and your organization’s place within it. Here are six ways enrichment classes benefit learners and communities.
1 – Connect people who might not meet otherwise
Enrichment classes have an amazing way of bringing people together. They might be students with different majors who would never cross paths otherwise, or they could be members of your wider community who work in different areas. Bringing these people together enriches everyone. It leads to lateral thinking, unconventional partnerships, and a sense of community connection.
2 – Claim your place within a wider community
Enrichment classes also help your program build relationships with the wider community. When people in the community depend on your program as a source of enrichment, they have tangible examples of the value you offer to the community. This makes them more likely to support, donate, and lobby on your behalf.
3 – Improve soft skills and confidence
Many learners are focused on how education can help them find a new job or earn a raise in their current one. But technical classes aren’t the only way to do that. Enrichment courses help learners improve soft skills. From creativity to communication, problem-solving to public speaking, enrichment classes present fun challenges that help learners improve their skills. Learners don’t leave these skills in the classroom. They bring them out into the community.
Plus, lifelong learning has been shown to boost confidence and self-esteem. It also gives people hope and purpose, which can help them face the stressors of life. That’s something we could all use right now.
4 – Prevent the dreaded brain drain
Enrichment classes can keep kids from backsliding during summer breaks. Research has shown that kids can lose an average of 20-27% of their school-year gains during summer vacation. Keeping them engaged and learning can help prevent some of these losses.
The same principle can help seniors in retirement. Research has shown that seniors can improve their cognitive health by learning something new. It’s more effective than just socializing.
So your enrichment program can benefit both the oldest and youngest members of your community.
5 – Give every learner the chance to shine
Traditional academic subjects may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. Students who struggle with math or reading may excel in classes focused on arts or performance. Those who hate sitting through a whole class period may blossom in a dance or gymnastics class. Offering these types of classes invites more people into your learning community. Encouraging a more diverse community benefits everyone.
6 – Bring in new students and keep existing students engaged
If your organization offers for-credit courses or diplomas, enrichment classes can serve as a lead magnet for these higher-investment programs. They give students a fun and accessible way to experience your program.
Engagement leads to enrollment. If your organization offers semester-based learning or seasonal programs, you probably experience some enrollment melt between sessions. Offering enrichment classes can keep students engaged during the off-season so they’re more likely to re-enroll during the regular term.
Use these Benefits of Enrichment Classes in Marketing
Knowing the benefits of enrichment classes is one thing. Spreading the word about them is another. Help learners and community members see the value of your program by talking about these benefits. Not only could it help you sell more classes, it can also show your commitment to the community.
Of course, none of the benefits of enrichment classes can be realized until students enroll. Make registering for your enrichment classes easy with our impossibly simple registration software. We offer everything you need to register students, manage class rosters, and keep students engaged with your program. Start your free trial or contact us today.