Date of this Version
Since the start of Fiscal Year 2013 Morris Arboretum received 1,297 registrants for continuing education courses (excluding the School of Arboriculture and symposia but including Growing Minds programming for families). Out of those 1,297 registrants, 61% were designated as member registrants. At the same time, 10.5% of Arboretum memberships were associated with course registrations. Assuming that membership retention often occurs through increased involvement, then it follows that an increase in continuing education participation from members should result in continued or added financial support. With this knowledge, we need not offer a larger quantity of classes but should instead tailor our offerings to provide the most engaging opportunities for new class-takers as well as continuing to engage our current class-taking members. This approach to facilitating retention and positive growth within the continuing education program as well as within membership involves converting non-class taking members into class-taking members while, at the same time, retaining our current class-takers.
The primary action of this project was to use research to inform program offerings resulting in a deeper understanding of our continuing education audience. This study involved research through membership records, demographic analysis, interviews, and an online survey. This research resulted in four recommendations for future programming: continue to offer a variety of classes at a variety of times, increase marketing efforts, look for new ways to engage the most populated membership categories, and continue to focus programming on collections, landscape, and gardens.
Adult and Continuing Education | Horticulture
Date Posted: 06 May 2019