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  1. Coming This Year: Text Message Reminders

    Everyone here at CourseStorm hopes you had a great October! The team here has been hard at work launching new features and updates and we plan to continue that habit with another feature launch before the end of the year.

    Text Message Reminders

    It’s no secret that for years now, folks have been relying more and more on their mobile phones as their primary means of communication. Email is great, but nothing beats a nice, short text message for a quick notification.

    So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that before the end of the year, we’ll be releasing automated, text message reminders for students!

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  2. How Creativity Rules The World: 6 Lessons for Community Ed

    Creativity is the secret to success in any industry, says Maria Brito. She explores this idea in How Creativity Rules the World: The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas Into Gold. As we read Brito’s insights, we couldn’t help but notice how many of them could apply to arts and community education programs. 

    You may think of creativity as an innate trait, or as something that happens in a flash of inspiration. Brito argues the opposite. She says, “creativity is a series of actions that bring about desired results. The operative word is action — creativity eludes those who sit down and wait for it to come.” 

    So take your first step toward creativity by reading this article. Inspired by Brito’s new book on creativity, we’ll show you six actions education programs can take to be more creative. Plus, we uncover three core skills you can pass on to your students.

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  3. How to Find Students on LinkedIn: Bright Ideas for Adult Ed

    You may not think of LinkedIn as a place to find students. It’s probably more familiar as a platform to search for jobs or hire a new employee. But, it’s also filled with professionals and job seekers.  

    Both groups are often eager to learn so they can advance their careers. In short, they’re ideal candidates for adult education programs. But how can LinkedIn be used for your adult education program? Making LinkedIn part of your online presence can connect you with these motivated learners. 

    Colleges and universities already use LinkedIn to find students. Many with great success. There’s no reason your adult ed program can’t follow their lead. Even if you’re not a LinkedIn pro, this post will show you how to find students on LinkedIn.

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  4. Optimize for Near Me Searches To Help Students Find Classes

    The internet connects us to people and businesses all over the world. But we also use it to find things in our own community. You might type in “burgers near me” to find a new burger restaurant or use voice commands to find a gas station when you’re in an unfamiliar part of town. Whatever you’re looking for, near me searches have become a common way to find it.

    So why haven’t you already optimized your course catalog to help your classes show up in near me searches? 

    If you’ve never considered location based search, or if you have, but weren’t sure where to start, this post is for you. We’ll walk you through why and how to optimize for near me searches so more local students find your classes.

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  5. Shuttered Venue Operator Grants 

    Update: SVOG applications open April 8, 2021. The SBA has provided a sign up form for access to the electronic application. 

    The SBA is hosting a webinar 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 to review the application process. To participate, register here by March 24th.


    If your organization is a live venue, performing arts organization, cultural institution, theatre, or make your living as a live venue promoter or talent representative, you may be eligible for an upcoming federal Shuttered Venue Operator Grant. The SBA has provided a preliminary application checklist.

    The Small Business Administration will allocate and distribute $15 billion through the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program to eligible persons and entities who experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue. Up to $10 million may be granted to an entity. You do not need to repay these federal grants. Interested parties may also wish to consult the SBA SVOG FAQ.

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  6. New Financial Support from the Federal Government

    UPDATE: SBA is currently offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021.

    The SBA also has announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.


    Most organizations offering in-person educational classes and workshops have been affected by the pandemic. While many organizations have increased their online opportunities and have worked hard to provide in-person experiences as local rules allow, it’s still been a hard year.

    Fortunately, some organizations may find financial relief available as part of recent COVID relief legislation.

    Many educational providers are considered small businesses, and we encourage such organizations to look into these programs. Additionally, eligibility for the PPP has been expanded to include 501(c)(6) organizations, so you may be eligible now even if you were not during the first round. At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods.

    While funds are not as scarce as in early rollouts of these programs, if you are eligible it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible. 

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  7. Have You Looked Into Disaster Funding Through the SBA?

    As of April 21, 2020, the Senate passed a bill providing an additional $310 billion in funding to restart and expand an emergency small-business loan program. This bill still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President. However, it is anticipated that funding could be available by the end of this week.

    These additional funds will expand the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Many educational providers are considered small businesses, and we urge you to look into applying.

    If you are eligible, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible. Funds are expected to be fully dispersed quickly and are being given on a first-come-first-served basis.

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  8. In Appreciation of the Overlooked Majority – Those Who Teach Adults

    When we’re thinking of teachers, the image that first comes to mind isn’t usually the person standing before some of the millions of adult lifelong-learners, but it should be. Two times as many people take classes outside public schools, universities, and colleges combined. It takes a lot of teachers to deliver education to such a massive number of people! Yet the teachers of these classes are often the overlooked majority of educators, even during teacher appreciation week. But not by us!

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  9. In Celebration of Pi Day

    In celebration of  Pi Day (and because we CourseStorm folks are naturally curious) we decided to see just how many math and math-related classes have been listed using CourseStorm since last year’s Pi Day. 

    Curious to know how many there were?

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  10. Outgrowing Google Spreadsheets

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: It’s a motto many of us live our lives by. Unfortunately, sometimes we get so used to doing things the same way we’ve always done them that we don’t notice the cracks and tears in the system. Think of that old swelling front door that you have to kick to close or the upstairs toilet that you have to remember to wiggle the lever on to keep the water from running. While this solution works for a while, over time the problem gets worse. At first, you tell yourself that you’ll hire a repairman or look up how to fix it yourself, but you get busy, and then you grow so accustomed to the inconvenience that it can be easy to overlook the fact that it’s costing you time and money.

    The same may be said your current strategy for managing enrollment. It’s working okay–it’s been working for years–but is it still the most efficient, cost-effective solution for your needs? It’s easy to add registrants to a Google spreadsheet at first, but as your program grows, that spreadsheet grows as well. You start to lose track of who has paid and who hasn’t, and what started out as a simple solution has become complicated.Read more

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