How To Create A Continuing Education Program For Your Industry
When it comes to continuing education programs, one size does not fit all. There are many different approaches that you can take and various ways to create an excellent program for your organization.
This blog post will highlight some of the top tips for creating and coordinating a successful continuing education program at your organization!
Create a continuing education program that will be relevant and support your organizational goals. You want to create a learning experience for the employees, not just require them to attend training sessions.
The best way is by showing how it fits into their day-to-day work activities so they can see how what you're teaching impacts their job responsibilities.
It should also align with any company initiatives or strategic priorities, which often include leadership development programs in communications, problem-solving skills, team building, etc.
1. Determine The Needs Of Your Audience
One of the first steps to creating a successful continuing education program is determining your organization's needs and how you can tailor the content for those specific needs.
If, for example, you're running a continuing ed program for employees at an engineering firm, then chances are that they'll be interested in topics about safe work practices, or if you're offering training classes to fitness instructors, it might make sense to focus on coaching techniques.
Once you've determined who your audience is and their interests, it will be much easier to find relevant presenters and create engaging courses.
How To Present Information: When developing course materials, ensure that they address different learning styles (visual learners need more visual elements while auditory learners benefit from audio clips)
Build Around What Managers Need From Employees: You need to build your continuing education event around the needs of individual attendees, but you can also boost attendance by building a curriculum based on the needs of managers. This way managers are more likely to accept the request to attend, and managers can help spread the word of your event!
Ask Participants What They Need To Learn: You want your event to resonate with attendees. The best way to boost engagement and drive more registrations is to build topics and content around specific needs of registration attendees. Make sure your content is relevant, timely, and engaging to drive more attendees to your next continuing education event!
2. Build Your Content Around Your Audience
One of the most critical aspects of creating a successful continuing education program is understanding your audience. The content you provide will depend on who your target participants are and what they want to learn.
To help with this, ask them for feedback about what topics would be helpful or relevant to them! It's also worth considering that different audiences may have different needs, so it helps to create separate courses or programs for each group instead of trying to make one "one size fits all" curriculum (though sometimes this necessitates bringing in more than one presenter).
This can be accomplished by holding an open house where potential attendees get a chance to meet speakers/presenters and find out more information before committing. Be sure to provide course descriptions online beforehand, which allows people to learn at their own pace and with the right type of content for their needs.
3. Create A Schedule For The Event
Creating a schedule for an event can be tricky, but there are some steps that you can follow to make it easier. First of all, think about when the best time would be for your target audience.
They may have work schedules or other commitments, so you'll want to coordinate around those. It also helps if you know how long each session is going to last. This will help determine how many sessions fit into one day as well as what times they should go on (i.e., shorter morning workshops followed by lunchtime seminars)
For most programs, it's a good idea to have morning sessions with lunchtime breaks in between. They're usually quieter as people are coming back from work, which allows them time for networking before the event begins again later that evening.
Creating a plan is also beneficial because you'll know what content will be presented at each session so you can prepare accordingly. It helps if there's a sign-in sheet or registration process - even just by email address - which means participants will be able to register ahead of time (or shortly after) without having to call individually for more information about when/where their course starts.
4. Choose The Right Presenters
Finding the right presenters is key to success! This may mean having a list of preferred speakers that you're already familiar with, but it also means being open to new ideas.
Remember, your goal here is not only engaging content but creating an experience for participants so they'll be more likely to come back in the future, and tell others about their great experience too!
If you have access to current employees, this will help create a sense of community and give them opportunities for advancement, which should go hand-in-hand with any continuing ed program designed by managers looking at how best to train and develop people on staff.
In addition, there's nothing like someone speaking from personal experience when it comes to conveying the correct information to the right people during your continuing education program.
5. Follow Up With Participants After The Event
After the event is over, you'll want to follow up with your presenters and participants. This doesn't have to be a formal evaluation - just something where they tell you what went well and room for improvement.
It's also worth checking in on how interested people are in continuing education programs like this. If there isn't sufficient interest, it may not be worthwhile going forward with another one.
However, suppose the feedback shows that many attendees would like information about other opportunities or events coming up. In that case, it helps justify future endeavors because those engaged will ask for more while others might inquire based upon their own interests too.
Create A Great Continuing Education Program For Your Organization Today!
You should now be ready to create an excellent continuing education program for your organization. Remember that one size does not fit all, and no two organizations are the same!
Be sure to consider what you want from this course before designing it, as well as who will be taking part in it. It is important that any program you design meets the specific needs of its target audience while also providing a valuable experience for participants.
As with most things in life, there's usually more than one way to do something; make sure you choose the best option for both your company and employees!