During the height of COVID-19, the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education and Full Capacity Marketing partnered to develop a national campaign to address plummeting enrollments in adult education programs.
The campaign, #MoveAheadWithAdultEd, is celebrating one year of connecting adult learners to life-changing educational opportunities. In the past year, #MoveAheadWithAdultEd has earned two global Davey Awards for integrated campaign, which included a toolkit adult schools across the country could use to raise awareness about the value of adult education; a campaign website and a locator map to help adult learners find providers in their area. The campaign partners used digital advertising, covered by a $120,000 Google Ads scholarship, to drive prospective adult learners to the locator map.
“Adult education offers solutions for learners who want to elevate their skills,” COABE CEO Sharon Bonney said. “The more than 79,000 public-sector adult educators that we represent offer solutions to change lives for the better, including improving English, finishing high school, learning a new skill or obtaining a certificate for the workplace. The #MoveAheadWithAdultEd campaign has helped us reach those adult learners who want a different path to improve their lives by connecting them to adult practitioners across the country.”
During the height of the pandemic, Strada’s Education Consumer Survey estimated that 20.5 million working-age adults, ages 25 to 64, intended to pursue further education and training but cautioned that additional guidance and coaching would be critical to help sidelined adult learners, who may experience self-doubt and lack access to clear information about opportunities. Strada also reports that those Americans with less education are most likely to be left behind from an economic standpoint.
COABE tapped its long-time marketing partner, Full Capacity Marketing, to offer schools and educational consortia the opportunity to leverage the national effort with local, paid digital adult learner recruitment lead generation campaigns, in multiple languages, to reverse substantial enrollment declines as a result of the pandemic.
In the pilot study, 12 organizations participated in local lead generation campaigns and received over 5,000 new adult learner leads adding to their student pipelines for enrollment. Together, the national and localized campaigns have built awareness to over 5 million potential learners with an average of 370 clicks daily to the campaign website. Also, 2,300 participating schools nationwide have boosted their exposure on the campaign website school locator map and on their social media pages using the campaign’s free student recruitment toolkit, and by using the #MoveAheadWithAdultEd tag.
“FCM’s work in the adult education arena has allowed us to become very familiar with adult learners and their characteristics, which allows us to develop campaigns that yield better results,” FCM CEO Celina Shands said. “That’s a win for local education programs that want to run lead-generation campaigns in their area because we can help them connect with prospective students while delivering higher-than-average engagement rates at a lower cost.”
If you are an adult learner who wants to know more about how to find adult education programs in your local area, go to www.MoveAheadWithAdultEd.org. If you are an adult education provider that wants to list your services on the campaign locator map to receive free referrals, or if you want to run a localized lead-generation campaign with Full Capacity Marketing, go to https://moveaheadwithadulted.org/join-the-movement/.
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We are so proud of the six Davey awards for our national campaign and credit Full Capacity Marketing for mobilizing both leadership and educators in all 50 states to reposition our important mission. Their team is consistently strategic, on time, and on or under budget. I highly recommend FCM in developing and executing complex education and workforce campaigns that need targeted results. We have rehired them for future phases of our project.
Full Capacity Marketing is exceptional at understanding the market and knowing how to create the right strategies to engage students. They are responsive, available and highly strategic in working with our many stakeholders. Our region is very excited about their work to date and we look forward to continuing our relationship.
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