The new school year can be an exciting time for many adult learners entering the classroom and a fresh start for others continuing their GED journey. Every fall there is much abuzz about students returning to school with much of the focus on traditional K-12 and college students, but those of us in the adult education community know it’s an equally important time for GED students.

This time can also be intimidating for adults who left school many years ago and want to re-enter a classroom setting. For many programs this means meeting students “where they are” and engaging them in a way that eliminates some of the intimidation with school enrollment. This is a great time for programs to hold back-to-school night and attend community events where instructors and coordinators can meet face-to-face with prospective students.

Sharing student success stories is a powerful way to connect with adult learners. Highlighting graduates of your program through local, print and broadcast media adds a personal connection to the hard work and perseverance of GED students. This works well in conjunction with advertising your class offerings and schedule in local print and broadcast media. Social media is also a powerful advertising tool for showcasing your classes, sharing these graduate success stories and actively engaging with interested and current students.

This presentation from our annual conference reviews successful marketing campaigns GED Testing Service has done and provides tips on how local adult education programs can apply our findings to help with student recruitment. Some of these strategies include:

  • Use GED Analytics and data to identify your demographics and identify the best ways to reach your target student population
    • Younger students may be more likely to seek information via social media, older students via traditional media
  • Utilize paid, earned and owned media to increase the visibility of your program
    • Paid – print, tv, radio and direct mail
    • Earned – press mentions, reviews and social media mentions from others
    • Owned –  program website, recruitment events and social posts from program accounts
  • Set objectives, develop appropriate messaging and determine how you will evaluate success
    • Recognize challenges and opportunities unique to your program
    • Determine what metrics define success for your program

GED Testing Service has also created posters in English and Spanish that can be displayed at your adult education program and/or test center to promote the GED test.

If you have other ideas for promoting adult education classes and recruiting GED students we encourage you to share them in our Facebook forum for adult educators.