Too many career colleges cater to students fresh out of high school, leaving adult learners without the support and programs they need for success. Adult learners have varied academic and life experiences, and need specialised consideration and attention to make the most of their education. Making sure your school a welcoming environment for this experienced and diverse demographic can open up a new channel for enrolments, and help you cater to students who are eager to further their careers. To help guide your marketing and outreach efforts, here are a few things adult learners look for in a career college.
Older students have a lot going on in their lives: full-time jobs, mortgages and families. They have to balance their education with their responsibilities, which is difficult at schools that only offer weekday, 9 to 5, and class availability.
The best thing a career college can provide is flexibility in its course offerings. One option is online classes, which can better fit into the students’ schedules. They don’t have to flip their lives upside down just to make it to class every week. Additionally, weekend and evening courses for in-person classes make it easier for adult learners to manage classes alongside a full-time job.
Programs Geared Toward Successful Job Placements
Many non-traditional students want to get ahead in their career paths or change what they’re doing entirely. Tailoring your programs toward developing employability skills beyond core competencies can give you an edge in attracting adult learners to your school. Make sure your programs are training students on the latest technologies, and are also teaching soft skills which will help increase post-graduation job placement and retention.
Work with employers to stay on top of in-demand skills to give your students the training they need to stand out in their fields. When they gain much-needed expertise in the latest tools and techniques, they position themselves as a valuable asset, whether they’re staying in their current field or branching out into new opportunities.
Accessible Support and Outreach Options
Adult learners are highly motivated and want to do everything they can to complete their course of study successfully. Their busy schedules make it hard to get help outside the classroom if you only offer traditional office hours. Email, online and phone-based support and outreach options allow students to get access to additional resources that support their goals and help them overcome any roadblocks they encounter.
You can’t approach adult learners as an afterthought. Non-traditional students need the right programs and support to get them moving on their planned career paths. The typical offerings at schools overlook these requirements, but career colleges can fill this gap and attract a talented and driven demographic.