Marketing and Recruitment for Adult Learners in Online Programs


This research investigates the structure and practices of marketing and recruitment for online programs. In particular, we explore how administrators design marketing plans to recruit adult learners.

Key observations from our research

1. Profiled institutions locate marketing and recruitment functions for online programs within divisions of continuing and online education (COE).

2. COE marketing teams at profiled institutions utilize the same marketing strategies for all programs, regardless of age group (e.g., adult learners versus traditional students) and delivery method (e.g., in-person versus online programs).

3. Marketing staff design marketing and media campaigns in collaboration with academic program administrators and faculty.

4. Marketing and recruitment for online programs occurs primarily through digital and print advertisements, information sessions, and word-of-mouth referrals.

5. Directors evaluate marketing strategies through data analytics, including email click-through rates and search trends.

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