2012 LERN INTERNATIONAL AWARD NOMINATION
Catalog Nomination by Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center
The administration and staff of the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center would like to nominate its 2011-2012 Fall /Winter Catalog for award consideration. In the last year, we have revamped the catalog design to improve the appeal, increase effectiveness and spotlight programming we feel will best serve our community. While we are still in the early stages of the fall semester enrollment, the new design has been warmly received by staff and community, and the effectiveness of the fresh design elements and function is already evident in an increase in enrollment and participation in our online social network.
The redesign was inspired by three main goals: to create an engaging catalog theme, to prominently feature career training programs vital in a struggling economy, and to improve the overall contemporary appeal of the catalog.
Our catalog can be viewed online at the following link:
The following provides details of our efforts along with encouraging results.
Create a catalog theme to inspire, excite and engage:
Compelling call-to-action slogan. Our new theme, “This year I’ll try… _________________” , is featured on our catalog cover, repeated on the front and back of the catalog, and resonates throughout the catalog pages as it relates to various course categories. This fill-in-the-blank slogan was designed to encourage community members to make a personalized pledge toward self improvement, continued learning or exploration of a new career, hobby or skill.
This theme is introduced on the cover as “This year I’ll try… something new!” , and easily applied to all three departments of the Adult Learning Center (ALC), including Community Education (“This year I’ll try… a business course!”) , Adult Basic Education (“This year I’ll try… taking GED® preparation classes!”) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (“This year I’ll try… improving my American English!”) .
Increased color photos featuring people.
In an effort to help community members identify with the catalog course opportunities, we’ve increased our photo use by 20% and focused on using close-up photos of people. We feel this better engages the community, allows us to appeal to a diverse population and helps consumers make a personal connection with ALC courses.
Coordinated marketing materials.
In order to maximize our marketing impact, we’ve incorporated our catalog theme and slogan into other marketing tools, including framed posters, programming pamphlets, video advertisements, social network postings and email marketing blasts.
Re-design priority programming pages:
We reorganized the Career Training Program pages in order to prominently feature these vitally important job training programs in our catalog. We simplified descriptions, increased photography and expanded the section by a full page helping us introduce additional courses and giving this growing category a larger presence in our catalog. Since the redesign, we have seen a rise in enrollment of established courses, along with a robust response to our new Career Training Programs, with an enrollment increase of 95%.
Highlighted details include:
Pharmacy Tech: Our very popular and well-established Pharmacy Technician Program continues to be well-attended and enrollment is up 3% from last semester, despite the competition from additional of new medical career training programs.
Medical Administrative Assistant Courses: These courses have been offered at the ALC for many years, however, over the last few semesters, enrollment has been dropping, resulting in the cancellation of courses last semester. Since our redesign of the catalog this fall, enrollment in our Medical Terminology course has quadrupled and we extended our usual class size to accommodate student interest.
New EKG Technician program was added to our Career Training offerings and has enjoyed a robust start. Enrollment has already brought in a registration income of over $11,000 and registration continues through October 10th.
New Personal Care Aide program has enrolled students in all three sections. With a limit of 30 potential students, we are already almost half full after just 6 weeks of registration and have taken in over $3,400 in registration income.
Improve design details for contemporary appeal:
Feature stamps. Faux-rubber stamps graphics throughout the catalog identify three categories to help guide the community to appropriate courses. These stamps include: Popular course!, Great for Beginners!, Student Favorite!.
Social network logos added. We added social network logos to our pages to boost activity on our Facebook page. Since our catalog launched on August 4th, we have seen an increase in our social network “likes” at a rate of 41% and in the last month, our active users have increased by 17%.
Stylized 3D notes. Miscellaneous details about contact information, gift certificates, testing schedules and ALC policies were often overlooked. In order to communicate these points more clearly, these statements have been incorporated into three-dimensional, eye-popping sticky note graphics through the catalog. These notes add interest and energy to the pages while providing important program details to the community.
Outside advertisements discontinued.
Previous advertisements featuring local businesses have been removed in order to provide a cleaner catalog layout and increase the integrity of catalog offerings and less distraction from catalog information.
Rewritten and condensed copy. In order to improve readability, catalog text has been rewritten for clarity and the amount of text significantly reduced. Font sizes have been adjusted to allow for the incorporation of more white space, creating a cleaner, less cluttered and more welcoming look.
Redesigned schedules and charts. Complicated testing and class schedules have been redesigned for Adult Basic Education courses and English for Speakers of Other Languages (pages 30-33).
Editor: Bonnie Mizenko
Designer: Kelly Stack
Program Planners: Sharon Cindrich, Marcia Evancheck
Data Input: Diana Pettit
Proofreader: Mary Darden
Publishing Contact: Paul Palumbo