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By Rick Rosen
Gemmy Allen had a problem. Two Management classes at North Lake College weren’t attracting students. But Allen, the coordinator of the Business and Management programs at NLC, wasn’t sure how to recruit students. She needed a marketing plan.
How Allen went about marketing the two classes and what she learned about recruiting students are lessons that other faculty members and program chairs can learn from.
The two classes that concerned Allen were Problem Solving & Decision Making and Cooperative Education, co-requisite classes. These cooperative, or co-op classes, are designed for management students who work during the day. Students are generally supervisors who want to gain more credentials or employees who want to become managers. The classes meet one evening per week.
Getting the word out about the classes was difficult. “In tech, especially co-op classes, you really have to make an effort,” she says. “People can’t just read the schedule and know whether to take the class.”
Also, while online classes are attractive for busy students, Allen strongly believes that students benefit from the in-class instruction that the co-op classes include. Cooperative classes also bring in a higher level of state reimbursement than regular classes.
Before, student recruitment involved visiting other business classes to talk about the co-op classes, handing out brochures and visiting local businesses.