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Cost-Effective Adult Ed Student Recruitment Campaigns: Join the National Movement with #MoveAheadWithAdultEd

College enrollment nationwide dropped 30% during the fall of 2020, as they scrambled to take their courses online in response to the pandemic, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) annual report. Compared that to a 1% percent decline the year before. In response to COVID-19 and declining student enrollments, Full Capacity Marketing […]

College enrollment nationwide dropped 30% during the fall of 2020, as they scrambled to take their courses online in response to the pandemic, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) annual report. Compared that to a 1% percent decline the year before. In response to COVID-19 and declining student enrollments, Full Capacity Marketing (FCM) partnered with the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education to create a national campaign called #MoveAheadWithAdultEd.

To jumpstart efforts in 2020, FCM developed a campaign toolkit that contained four essential communication tools to help adult educators with their student recruitment efforts; the campaign vision for 2021 is expanding.

2021 #MoveAheadWithAdultEd Campaign Vision

Adult education providers’ budgets fall woefully short in terms of the funding needed to recruit students and enroll them successfully. Additionally, they commonly use communication tactics that are often outdated and not effective in today’s pandemic environment, such as catalogs and mailers. Using automation, social media and lead capture forms could drastically expand reach to new potential students and increase enrollments.

COABE CEO Sharon Bonney explains that with limited funding and knowledge of how to effectively use digital mediums, it’s no wonder that adult education is the best-kept secret.

“Our vision for the 2021 #MoveAheadWithAdultEd campaign creates highly effective options for student recruitment campaigns with our marketing partner FCM,” Bonney said.

We’re teaming up to:

  1. Create a student-focused national campaign to elevate awareness about the value of adult education among prospective adult learners through a national web portal.
  2. Use digital advertising and public relations to increase enrollments in adult education offerings across the nation.
  3. Build the capacity of adult educators to effectively target prospective students likely to enroll within their service area.

The main page of the campaign portal will contain COABE’s zip code locator map to help students locate the nearest participating school. As an initial launch, FCM will create and maintain #MoveAheadWithAdultEd Facebook and Instagram pages to drive traffic to the locator map. These social media platforms also will support FCMin hosting digital ads and compelling content to build awareness about adult education programs.

“COABE has always been mission-focused to support adult educators through as many free resources and tools to build capacity in the field,” FCM CEO/Founder Celina Shands said. “While the campaign portal will help increase awareness among students, nationally, about their options, our agency can then run cost-effective local lead generation campaigns for schools that want a more tailored #MoveAheadWithAdultEd effort in their local area.”

For those schools that want to drive student leads to their local programs at 35-45% less than benchmark average costs, FCM creates a six-week lead generation campaign targeted to prospective students within their service area.

There are two options for local campaigns:

Option 1 is designed for a single school or regional clusters of schools (up to 5) that want to build a robust online presence to attract new students throughout the year. This option includes:

  • A student recruitment #MoveAheadWithAdultEd campaign web page in the national portal, hosted by FCM for one year and branded with the school’s logo.
  • Ads to promote adult education to prospective students in specific zip codes in the school’s service area.
  • Six weeks of digital marketing, deploying ads through Facebook and Instagram.
  • A student leads report delivered weekly.
  • A social media toolkit to promote the campaign from the school/district social media pages.
  • Entrance into the #MoveAheadWithAdultEd community, including a monthly e-newsletter that includes strategies to keep the campaign momentum, national best practices and access to FCM’s subject-matter experts.

Option 2 is designed for schools with an extremely limited budget and includes all of the items in Option 1, with the exception of the hosted webpage and entrance into the #MoveAheadWithAdultEd community of practice.

Bonney added, “FCM has been a great partner for our national advocacy efforts, helping us earn six international Davey Awards that resulted in $268 million in additional funding for adult education through the Educate & Elevate campaign launched in 2017. The new #MoveAheadWithAdultEd consumer-focused campaign will help schools with cutting-edge tactics that attract new students into adult ed, while elevating awareness at the national level.”

If you’d like to be added to COABE’s zip code locator map contact COABE. If you want to learn more about the options for a local campaign to drive enrollments to your school contact FCM.

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