All Posts By

Rick J. Stern

Four Skills CE Staff Should Consider Cultivating

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Working with technology customers and continuing education organizations for over thirty-five years provides a great deal of insight into the skill level of continuing education staff. After reading support requests, reviewing suggestions, and providing classroom training for many of those years, it is clear that a majority of continuing education software users are very skilled at their jobs.

With the entrepreneurial nature of continuing education programs, becoming “street” smart is almost a requirement in order to get the job done. However, a few areas of need seem to reappear often enough to warrant consideration. If certain skills were refined, a very good employee can grow into a superb and highly valuable employee

Read More

10 Signs Your Registration System Does Not Fit

By | Managing | No Comments

Ever try to cut a ripe tomato with a dull knife?  The aftermath is typically not attractive, the results are less than useful, and the amount of effort needed can be more than the outcome is worth.  Using an outdated student registration system can be described in these same terms.

Knowing the signs of an outdated student registration system benefits a manager as they strive to build their program and increase enrollment.  Minimally, the information discovered from a system review assists a manager in designing in-house processes that start to overcome some of the shortfalls of an existing registration system.  However, the information is also very valuable when building the case to replace an outdated registration system.

Read More

How to Get the Best Results from an Online Support Center

By | Training | No Comments

The use of online, ticket based systems for software support has been growing consistently for years.  It is convenient, timely, cost efficient, and provides a first-come, first-served queue environment that is appropriate for properly managed support. 

To some customers, however, it seems tedious, unrewarding, and is not detailed enough for their objectives.  Using a different approach, customers can improve their capabilities using online ticket support systems and acquire much better results than they believe they experience now. 

Read More

Would You Advertise on Your Website?

By | Marketing | No Comments

The internet has become one of the fastest growing methods of advertising, and businesses are always seeking effective ways to reach new customers.  Continuing education students are an excellent market as they can vary both demographically and geographically.

The link between continuing education programs and local businesses seems like a perfect match.  As with any media, however, there are both advantages and disadvantages to selling advertising on your website.

Read More

The Sabotage Factor

By | Managing | No Comments

Implementing a new registration system successfully takes a great deal of preparation and planning, and part of that plan should cover helping staff deal with change.  Some staff may be excited about the change.  Most others will be supportive, yet anxious, and will follow along. 

But a small few, or possibly only one, will be highly reluctant to the change.  Even worse, they may be silently reluctant.  This is the reason to prepare for “The Sabotage Factor".


Read More

Customer Discounts, Do They Work?

By | Financial | No Comments

A registration season does not pass without hearing about the latest and greatest new discount being used in adult and continuing education programs.  From buy 2 get 1 free to across the board discounts for quantity purchases, the discount formats are almost as varied as the organizations themselves.  But do they work?

Over the years, I have seen numerous programs offering discounts primarily because they always have.  In other words, tradition.  So why offer a discount if the only current measureable result is having less revenue because of the discount than if you had not offered the discount at all? Why offer a discount if it does not meet a legitimate need?

Read More

How I Caused the March 2016 Power Blackout

By | Social Media | No Comments

To this day, there has been much speculation on what caused the massive power blackout of March 2016. Conspiracy advocates blamed big corporations and global warming.   The main stream media targeted the cause as the 2016 presidential election process.  In Washington DC, they blamed each other. But I knew the truth.  I knew I had caused the blackout without even knowing it.

Read More

Why “Partner” Is Not Just a Dance Term

By | Managing | No Comments

“Grab your partner by the hand, do-si-do to the promised land“ are not just lyrics for a popular square dancing song, they are also important words of wisdom for your Continuing Education Program.  Whether it is by joining forces with corporations, other schools, or local organizations, your CE program can truly benefit from having partners.

Read More

Using Data for Analysis: What You Need to Know

By | Managing | No Comments

If you are utilizing an online learning platform, chances are you are also collecting data about a variety of components. Maybe you want to know about student demographics or perhaps you want to track the click-through rates of your web banners. Regardless of what data you are collecting, the question you should be asking is how I can properly analyze this data so it serves a greater purpose?

Read More