Take Your Continuing Education Business to the Cloud

By now most continuing education programs know the benefits of having online registration. Online registration makes it easier than ever for students to register for classes and for continuing education programs to reach a widening online customer base. Additionally, having students register themselves saves significantly on staff time. But this isn’t the end of the story. Continuing education programs can get a lot more mileage by using an enrollment management system that is built to be used entirely on the web.

You may have heard of terms like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud computing, which are commonly used terms in IT now to describe software that runs on the Internet. Software systems delivered through a SaaS or cloud-based model are available on-demand and typically paid for by a monthly or annual subscription. Some of the benefits continuing education programs can realize using an enrollment software system delivered through a SaaS or cloud-based model include:

Portability and accessibility

The enrollment management system goes wherever you go using a SaaS or cloud-based model. You can log onto your system from any computer with an internet connection, and access all the system’s functions – including registration, catalog creation, reports, and financials – from one unique site. There is no need to reinstall the software on every new machine that you do work on. You and your continuing education staff can work from anywhere with a computer and an internet connection – at work, at home, at any time. Cloud-based or SaaS software can give your continuing education business even greater flexibility and responsiveness to help meet your student’s needs.

Software designed for your needs

Software delivered using a SaaS or Cloud-based model can be more easily designed to fit the specific needs of businesses in specialized fields like continuing education. Since cloud-based software is “distributed” online, it can be flexible enough to change with you. If you request a feature unique to your business, the software developer can easily and quickly respond to your request by changing your site. Unique solutions for individual businesses are much easier and quicker to create. And you no longer have to wait for a new version of the software to be released, sent to you, and installed. Your sites’ fixes and customizations come immediately after they are created. This saves time and money on software upgrades – as these are uploaded automatically to your site.

Individualized and interactive communication

By using a SaaS or cloud-based enrollment management system, students can give you instant feedback regarding class availability. If a class fills up, or registration closes, this is reflected immediately on your website. You can communicate more on a website without worrying about wasting paper or incurring extra printing costs. For each class you can include a unique instructor biography and directions to a class location.

You also have the power to create a unique look for your site, customizing your site to match the season and your brand identity. You direct all communication with your customers. You can showcase your favorite class, offer special discounts and send out individual emails.

SaaS or cloud-based software offers a huge benefit in getting your students involved in your continuing education business. Students can see their individual profile online, up-to-date class transcripts, and receipts and invoices from classes they paid for last year, or a minute ago. All your students’ information is updated instantly and accessible at any time.

SaaS or cloud-based systems also give instructors better communication with their students. Instructors can log into your site, view the roster for an upcoming class and send out an email to each student in the class, telling them important information for the next class meeting. Instructors can also access their own profiles, including payment they have received from you for teaching.

Using a SaaS or cloud-based software system gives you the most flexible solution for running a continuing education business. Having your enrollment system entirely online allows you to identify and respond to customer needs quickly and creatively.

To learn more about the benefits of using a cloud-based enrollment management software for your continuing education program, please join us for one of our upcoming “Intro to Lumens” webinars.