Attracting Students to Adult Education Programs

Inside Higher Ed :: Registration Rave

Interesting article about the “registration rave” hosted by Morton College outside of Chicago. The college runs a 29 hour event, staffed by volunteers from the various offices of the college, where prospective students can register even if they hold down jobs that keep them from more traditional registration events.

It’s Morton’s round-the-clock “registration rave.” Some people are there for the music or the Sno-Cones, some so their kids can play the carnival games, and others to take placement tests and meet with academic advisers.

The all night-event is an initiative of college president Brent Knight, who had formerly worked as VP for Meijer Inc., “a ‘big-box’ retailer in the Midwest; like a ‘super Target,’ as Knight puts it”.

The comments are worth a read, as well. Some are sceptical:

I completely agree with the previous commenter. Unless classes are offered in the middle of the night to serve the same students who were available in the middle of the night, how are the students going to succeed? Also, isn’t it a bit of trickery to create a party atmosphere when education, although it can be fun, is serious business.

Others are more supportive:

That people who work shifts would show up in the middle of the night to enroll or register for classes is not surprising: there is a whole world of such people and there are services and industries that schedule to accommodate them. I have thought and advocated that higher ed also accommodate them for the longest time. Unfortunately, many in higher ed either have never worked outside that rather small world and cannot conceive of offering not only services such as admissions, registration, financial aid, advising, etc., outside the usual hours, but also courses when there is good reason to do so. For example, nurses and police officers (and other shift workers) typically get off work at hours like 7a.m., 3 p.m., and 11 p.m. If you wanted to offer degrees, or simply coursework — whether for credit, non-credit professional development, or CEUs — for such people, why not offer it when they get off work? Even, in their workplace? Whether through face-to-face instruction or via technologically-assisted instruction, there is no reason why that is not feasible today.

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