Grow Your Program

  1. Getting Started with SMS: Marketing Your Educational Program via Text Messages

    Educational programs used to using paper catalogs are experiencing extra challenges this year. Concerns over changing classes, postponements, cancellations, and the loss of public reading spaces like libraries and waiting rooms have presented a new marketing challenge. How can programs get their catalogs designed, printed, shipped, and in front of the learning community in a time like this?

    Now imagine sending your whole class catalog to someone for just five cents, and then knowing almost instantly if they’d looked at it. Seems almost impossible! Yet there’s a simple, accessible, and affordable way to get your community to your digital catalog — and you’ve probably already used it several times today: text messaging.

    Using text messages, your program can connect to students easily right where they are. And research indicates that it’s a preferred communication method for most mobile phone owners, who typically check their mobile phones 47 times a day! If you want to motivate an audience to check out your new class catalog or register for a new class, sending a text is a great way to elicit a response. 

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  2. Nine Types of Workforce Classes Trending Right Now

    We’re halfway through a transformational year — people from all walks of life have experienced radical changes in their lives, including their work lives. We’ve been following the trends and reading about the workforce’s changing needs as we start the curve into 2021.

    It makes sense that many people are looking to add skills that make them more valuable in the workforce. The Strada Center for Consumer Insights reports that 65% of surveyed workers expressed interest in education to provide them with more skills in their current career field, support a new career path, or pursue a personal interest. Based on our research (and in no particular order) here are nine in-demand workforce training topics that will be needed well into the future.

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  3. Three Ways to Use Your Recorded Classes to Increase Enrollment

    If your program has been holding classes online, chances are that you’ve recorded at least some of your class content. Most likely, you’ve provided it to students who missed a class or created the recorded sessions so some students can learn asynchronously.

    But did you know that your class videos may be able to do even more for you, providing you with content that you can use to increase engagement with your program and boost enrollments?

    We’ll cover three things that you can do to make the most of your recorded classes, including create an eLearning video course, edit into microlearning modules, and improve your program’s marketing.

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  4. Alternatives to the Traditional Classroom

    Educational programs have done an incredible job of finding new ways to connect with their learning communities, including accelerating online education. But what to do in cases when hands-on lessons are critical to what’s being learned? And what do you do when that’s what your students want? 

    “Our most popular classes are still what we’re going to offer face to face,” says Liesl Dees, Community Learning Center Director at San Juan College, “and that’s what our customers are wanting more of.”  

    One of the ways that programs have accomplished this is by using alternative spaces that meet health guidelines more effectively than traditional classroom spaces. 

    We’re sharing some four of the most interesting —and achievable— types of venues your program could use for in-person classes: outdoor areas, event locations, unused commercial properties, and municipal spaces.

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  5. Strengthening Your Fall Class Catalog

    New student needs are continually surfacing during these rapidly shifting times. Your program can rise to meet many of those needs with a little creativity and a fresh look at your class offerings. 

    You may discover that with a few small adjustments, you’ll be able to lead your students, communities, and organization into a strong fall. Here we offer some points to consider as you serve the ongoing and changing needs of learners.

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  6. Seven Tips for Teaching Tech to Older Learners

    It used to be that the biggest barrier for an adult learner was finding the class. As many programs move online, new challenges have arisen for some learners, including using new technology to access education and community. 

    We recently received the following question, “We cater to many senior citizens who have trouble with the whole concept of online classes. They can’t sign on…what can we do to enable them to partake in all that we are offering?”  Given the value in both the educational content and the ability to connect with other people, it’s worth going the distance to help less tech-savvy older learners have successful online experiences. 

    CourseStorm’s Chris Suggs, who taught basic computing to older adults as an AmeriCorps volunteer, helped identify seven things your program can do to get senior learners who aren’t comfortable with technology connected.

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  7.  Just Released: Our COVID-19 Recovery Guide

    Here at CourseStorm, we’ve been carefully watching how lifelong education programs are being affected by this unprecedented situation brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    We know it’s hard to find answers to the big question that nobody expected to ask, “How do I manage my educational program during a pandemic?” 

    We’ve been working hard to provide resources and materials to CourseStorm customers as they’ve responded to the needs of their students. We know that every lifelong learning program has been working to adapt to closures.

    We listened to our customers’ questions and we’ve done the research. We know that every lifelong learning program has been working to adapt to closures and social distancing during this unprecedented situation. It’s a challenge, and we’re meeting it together. 

    And so we’ve created a resource to help, the COVID-19 Recovery Guide: How to manage your educational program during a pandemic. This guide contains advice on how to manage your education program in this troubled time —from transitioning to online classes to finding financial assistance— so that you’re well-positioned to come out the other side stronger than ever.

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  8. Streamlining Access to Online Classes

    We are streamlining registration for online classes.

    From the beginning, our mission at CourseStorm has been to streamline access to education. It’s what drives our entire company every day. It’s built-in to our pay-as-you-go business model, the smooth design of our software, and the deliberate decision to focus on lifelong learning. In short, it’s in our DNA.

    And we’re confident that the customers we’ve served across the US would agree we’ve done an excellent job. On average, CourseStorm customers have seen a 12% increase in registrations year-over-year as we continually add new ways to help them reach more learners.

    In our continual effort to expand access to education, today we are announcing yet another way to help programs reach more learners: deeper integration with online classes.

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  9. Wait! Wait! The Incredible Value of a Waitlist Explained

    Imagine for a moment that you’ve found a great looking class —maybe it’s an essential piece of professional development training you’ve been waiting to take or perhaps it’s an improv class. You’ve seen it in the class catalog, and you’re about to register and just as you begin you discover —oh no! It’s already full. What now?

    What Does Happen Now? 

    What happens next is an integral part of your registration process, and it’s universal. No matter what kind of program you’re running, your customer’s experience when their chosen class is sold out shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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  10. Anatomy of a Great Online Catalog

    Think Like a Student

    Almost everyone has gotten, at some time, a class catalog in the mail and experienced it by flipping through, looking at photos, skimming titles, and speed-reading class descriptions until something interesting crosses our path. The tactile nature helps us remember, and we can often recall the organization of the content enough to flip back to something that grabbed our attention.

    But what do you do when your catalog is primarily online? How do you keep the same sense of discovery and catch someone’s interest while enabling a streamlined digital experience?

    Like a physical catalog, it’s about vision. When you look at a class catalog through the eyes of your students, what do you see?

    Do you see visions of your future? The refinished table in the middle of your kitchen? Presenting gourmet cupcakes at the next family event? Successfully reading an English language newspaper? Starting a new career thanks to a welding certification? Entertaining everyone you know with ukulele singalongs?

    Fortunately, it’s not difficult to create an online catalog that helps your students find what they want —and be inspired to find something new as well!

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