five adult students smiling at a teacher in a classroom

4 Signs You Could Improve the Non-Traditional Learner Experience

Colleges and universities of all sizes are increasingly relying on their continuing, professional, online and workforce education units to drive enrollment and revenue growth. 

But managing a lifelong relationship with your learners is nearly impossible if you’re not delivering the experience they expect. 

 Here are four signs that your learner experience isn’t up to par: 

1. You Make Payment Difficult 

Many CE divisions struggle to offer a modern payment and enrollment infrastructure. 

Across the country, there are CE units of all sizes taking payment by phone and accepting checks. There are more still to who ask students to print out enrollment forms and fax them in. In the 21st Century!! 

A modern business needs modern payment solutions, including allowing students to register and pay with their credit card online.  

Not only is it the experience students expect, it’s also compliant with basic security standards! 

2. You Struggle to Issue Refunds

Related to the above point, if payments aren’t being processed in a standard way… refunds are going to be difficult to process too. 

The expectation of a modern consumer is that when they request a refund, it’s processed immediately. But for schools with inconsistent payment standards, it’s extremely difficult to issue those refunds—leading to a bad consumer experience and minimizing their likelihood to return in future. 

3. You Make It Difficult for Learners to Change or Drop Courses

Life circumstances for non-traditional students can change in the blink of an eye. Understandably, learners expect to be able to log into a back-end portal to easily manage their courseload.   

But many CE divisions have processes in place that make this very difficult. Students have to call into the office, and frequently have to get physical forms signed in order to process course drops and changes. 

It doesn’t have to be this way! 


4. You Communicate with Learners Like It’s 1999

 Even though 65% of emails are ignored, most CE divisions rely on email almost exclusively to communicate with their students. 

This isn’t student-centric, and generally speaking it’s not even best practice… but it’s the only tool available. Introducing SMS text messaging can make a massive difference in improving strategic communication with learners. 

Make Self Service Your Standard 

If any of these items resonate with you, it means your systems aren’t supporting your success. At colleges and universities of all sizes across North America, CE leaders are turning to Modern Campus for a solution. 

UC Berkeley Extension turned to Modern Campus Continuing Education and Workforce Development to offer a high-quality student experience that matches their brand.  

According to Robin Sease, a business analyst with Extension, allowing learners to manage administrative processes like requesting refunds, making payments and requesting course drops & changes has made a significant difference. 

“With the Student Portal, we significantly improved our student experience and that has made a difference for re-enrollment,” she said. 


Access Resources To Help You Modernize Your Learner Experience

Scaling Non-Degree Education

Last updated: September 8, 2022


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