Our recent conference on all things adult market brought together nearly 200 folks from all over the nation (add in a handful of Canadians).

From the urgency of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and continued lack of budgets, to powerful stories of making a difference in lives and success on a shoestring, we heard it all. Cathartic at times and always constructive, the sessions and self-initiated conversations were tremendously interesting.

The following chart more or less sums up some of the chat.

The Good Old Days This Week
The Sales Pitch “Hi.” “Proof? Well, here is the data and a gazillion testimonials about our flexibility and convenience and value. As you can see on page 42…”
“Flexibility” Courses offered weekends, evenings, and weekdays. Take classes anytime, anywhere, from the international space station to your bathroom.
“Affordable.” We work with you to help with the burden of $19/hour tuition. We work with you to help with the burden of life. And the $535/hour tuition, we can help there, too…
“Convenience.” Parking lot is near the building where classes held. You are alive and can turn on a computer.
Budget Love From the Mother Ship. “Not much, but get us more students.&r “Not much, but get us more students.”

Ha. Well, the latter boxes aren’t really a laughing matter, I realize that. But it is sure the main topic of so many conversations. And indigestion. And tears.

Nearly all of you in the adult student business bleed limited funds with odd decisions, but your intentions are always good and your hearts are always in the right place. Our conference was a gathering of good to great people doing great to amazing things, but most with little really resourced properly. And the higher-ups wanting more.

The non-profit institution adult student marketing/recruiting world will soon do a 180-degree turn (OK, 150-degree, some folks DO have the money, luckies) and earn more Mother Ship respect. Something has to change – it just can’t continue this way. Economics and the marketplace won’t let it.

Neither should you.

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