The continuing education enrollment boom: Using technology to make your programs more attractive

The continuing education enrollment boom: Using technology to make your programs more attractive

By Dr. William H. Graves, Ph. D on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More than four million adults across the nation are enrolled in some form of continuing education or workforce development course. And with new grant funding for training programs and apprenticeships in new occupations, even more are expected to enroll.

More incentives mean more prospective students—and more competition. Technology can help you sharpen your competitive edge. Use software to develop relevant, accessible, and adaptable programs and processes.

Four technology changes that make your programs stand out

Continuing education, workforce development, and corporate training programs need to:

  • Expedite student registration
  • Implement flexible student information systems
  • Market course offerings easily
  • Monitor program health and profitability

Building traditional and credit programs does not happen overnight. Advanced metrics and data can provide the insight you need to build a high-demand continuing education or workforce development program. You also need to make it easy to shop, register, and pay for courses. Consider implementing an online registration system that requires only the minimum of personal information and can adapt quickly to changing student trends.

Traditional student information systems are designed to support traditional learning environments, but are often too complex to service the continuing education community. Rather than trying to make your business processes conform to the capability of your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, consider using a secondary system to serve your non-traditional students.  

A company-specific portal can help you make informed decisions by providing access to training and competency programs. It also provides information that helps you schedule and promote courses and monitor performance—so you can adjust appropriately and make sure your programs are cost-effective.

Prospective students often look for affordability, attainability, and accessibility when choosing their institution. Technology can help you offer all three. That makes a big difference in how prospective students view your institution and separates you from your competition.

The enrollment boom is here. Does your institution have the technology it needs to take full advantage?

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