Get Students to Take Your Class

It’s about time we posted something fresh on here! We hope you enjoy these tips on how to market your classes to students!

Semester after semester, students sign up for classes. Most are ones they need, but some of them are classes they actually want. These classes are the ones that they squeeze into their schedules because they seem interesting or fun, and classes that they might actually get excited for (yes, I said excited)!

But there is a problem with classes that students only “want” and don’t “need” – interest can dwindle, schedules might not allow, or awareness of the class might fade. So how do you keep prospective students interested in taking your classes when they don’t “need” the credit, then actually get them to enroll? Here are a few helpful tips to keep those students enrolling!

Make the class interesting. It’s true. Students talk. They often gripe about classes and course work. But believe it or not, when they actually like classes, students talk about those too. Think of them as your customers. You are there to teach them something and make it as painless as possible (and dare I say, maybe even fun?!). If they have a great experience, they’ll talk about it with their friends or even recommend it.

Go door to door. Spark interest in prospective students by visiting related classrooms to share a little information about the class or classes you’re offering. For example, if you teach Buddhism of East Asia, talk to your colleagues that teach other Asian religion classes about briefly speaking to their students before or after class.

Get recommendations. Have the other instructors in your department recommend your class to their students at the end of each semester. Instead of going into a classroom and giving a pitch for your class yourself, have your peers do it for you.

Accept non-majors. When students want to mix up their schedules, they often look for classes that are different from those they have already taken or the courses they are currently in. Sometimes, they are in a completely different field of study and have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of that student’s coursework, but that’s the point. Make your class non-major friendly by allowing non-majors to enroll in and take the course without having to jump through too many hoops.

Pick the right time. Unless you work on a campus where students magically wake up at dawn, do not, I repeat, do not schedule your class for 8:00am. No matter how interesting your class is, sleeping in is a tempting option, especially if it’s during a class that isn’t needed to graduate. That being said, students also don’t want to stay on campus any later than they have to, so don’t pick times much later than 5:00pm.

Have you ever seen a loss of interest in the classes you teach? What have you done to create awareness and to get students to enroll?