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on 22 May 2017 11:07 PM
  • Association Management

For associations, continuing education has become increasingly important as a membership benefit. In a recent study from Pew Research Center, 73% of respondents identified themselves as lifelong learners.

That means that there’s a huge and growing opportunity for your association to engage with both members and non-members.

Most people are constantly looking to learn, but with the plethora of learning opportunities that exist out there, how do they choose what training they’ll undertake? Earning continuing education units (CEUs) is a big incentive. Tracking CEUs for your members is an important function of your association – and has come to be an expected benefit for members. (123Signup Association Management Software makes tracking CEUs a piece of cake).

If your membership growth is stunted and you’re having difficulty retaining the members you already have, revamping your continuing education programs and offering more courses that count for CEUs can do wonders to revitalize your organization.

Evaluating your existing programs and determining what needs to be changed, and what additional courses would add value for your members, requires research and thought. The best place to start is by asking your existing members what they think about your existing courses, where they feel they need to up-skill, and what knowledge and capabilities they feel they need to do their jobs better.

If you’re not already, you should be surveying every participant in every one of your courses. Start by looking back on the responses you’ve received regarding these courses in recent years.

You should also have a record of people who have attended any of your training programs in the past. Since they’ve already shown interest in continuing to learn, surveying just that segment of your membership is a great place to start.

Once you’ve gained some insights on what your members are looking for, you might even host a small focus group to brainstorm on potential future training topics and structures.

The next step? Create an action plan on how you will bring your ideas to fruition, and the people and resources that will be required.