5 awesome continuing education and community websites to emulate

Tue, Aug 20,2013 @ 12:45 PM
by Kathryn Lynch-Morin |

Get ideas for improving your continuing education website. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and, when it comes to your continuing education or community education website, it may also be the easiest way to take things up a notch, attract new students and get more registrations. 

Many times, a program's website is the first opportunity to make an impression on an outsider. All these websites make great first impressions with large images, easy navigation, limited text and relevant information. 

But easy-to-use interfaces and beautiful designs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these five great sites:

1. Community College Workforce Alliance

Any way you click it, this Richmond, Va.-based program website is great. The site is easy to use and makes things easy to find for users by offering up the same links in several different ways on the main page. The program's online registration function makes the website especially great. 

Allowing visitors to register online for courses, seminars and workshops is quickly becoming a necessity in continuing education and community education. If your organization doesn't offer online registration, you may want to consider it in the near future. 

2. Century College Continuing Education

There are no bells or whistles, but the Century College Continuing Education website has everything you need, right where you need it. They couldn't have made their courses easier to find. Visitors to your site don't want to go through a maze to find what they're looking for, and may even leave if they get frustrated. The fact that Century showcases featured programs on the main page makes the site even better.

3. Firehouse Arts Center

This website is immediately striking. The colors, font and graphics all work together to make this website a true joy to visit. The breadth and depth of the content makes visitors want to stay. 

Above all, this website is beautiful and we can all take a cue from Firehouse in going a little bit bold with main page design.

4. Tyler Junior College School of Continuing Studies

This website is simple and streamlined. The course categories are varied and can spark interest in nearly anyone who visits the website. Highlighting a foil fencing course and a West Coast wine and seafood event on the main page is brilliant and shows visitors the program has interesting and diverse offerings. If you have a great course or event coming up, show it off!

5. University of Saskatchewan Language Centre, Centre for Continuing & Distance Learning

This program has a lot to offer but information is separated into digestible categories and sections on this website. The "Search for a Course" function on the program's main page is something every single continuing and community education program should offer, especially those with extensive course and event options. 

If it's been a while since you've updated your website, take some time tips from these great examples and freshen things up. Your visitors will thank you. 

If you attend the LERN Annual Conference, Nov. 20-23 in San Francisco, you'll have the chance to attend several sessions on taking your website to the next level, including one session on the best continuing education websites of the year.

Download the final  2013 LERN Annual Conference brochure



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