Century College: Running a Winning Continuing Education Program with LERN Best Practices and Lumens

The Continuing Education and Customized Training (CECT) department of Century College, located in White Bear Lake, Minn., is one of the largest continuing education programs in the MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) system.

CECT offers a wide variety of training in professional development from administrative and supervisory staff, personal enrichment, fire training, law enforcement, trades, truck driving, motorcycle training, computer skill upgrades, to basic health care. CECT offers both classroom and online classes developed in-house by their eMagine® team, and from third party online class providers such as ed2go® and UGotClass®.

CECT is seeing increased demand in a number of programs. Truck driving is highly in demand due to the expansion of oil drilling in near-by North Dakota, and Fitness Training has seen increased enrollment during the past year. Because of this, CECT now offers a certification program in personal fitness training along with more classes in such areas as zumba, dance, and yoga.

Short term certification programs such as medical coding, health unit coordinator, and pharmacy technician in the healthcare field are very popular. These programs typically run no longer than four months and often have a final exam at the end of the program. Students then often go on to take a national certification.

SLOT programs, where companies pay a flat rate per “seat” and then have access to a multitude of courses, are also very popular for CECT. This type of program is appealing to companies who want a variety of course offerings to their staff.

CECT was one of five colleges out of the 32 MnSCU colleges and universities to implement Augusoft Lumens® prior to the whole system adopting Lumens. CECT has been using Lumens since 2009 and has had great success. One of the biggest benefits CECT gained from Lumens was the ability for students to self-register for classes online 24/7.

“Every Monday I look at our registration list and we are currently getting about 25 registrations every weekend, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up over the course of a year,” said Annette Mike, Instructional Support Manager, CECT. “With our old system, these students would have had to wait until Monday to register. Lumens has helped us dramatically increase the number of student registrations.”

CECT also uses LERN (Learning Resources Network) best practices to run their business. This includes creating yearly performance plans, creating budgets and reviewing programs that need to be cut or enhanced based on feedback from students and other trends. CECT utilizes the reports in Lumens to pull the data required to use with the LERN formulas and determine its “stars” and “dog” courses. This has helped CECT enhance its programs with high enrollments or wait lists. CECT reviews this list quarterly. CECT also has the ability to add a course immediately if registration notifies them of an increase in enrollment for a particular program.

To learn more about how Century College is benefiting from the use of LERN Best Practices and Lumens, please download a copy of the written case study.