Saturday, February 26, 2011

Promoting Shimer's weekend program

If you live in Chicago and listen to WBEZ, you may have heard Shimer's sponsorship announcements promoting the weekend college program, running chiefly during the commuting and lunchtime hours. In your humble blogger's opinion, this is an excellent investment of Shimer's resources, as it helps to build the school's information endowment while at the same time hopefully breathing fresh life into an extremely important program that has recently suffered from troublingly low enrollment.

These ads are nothing new, of course. Similar campaigns have helped to draw students to the weekend program in decades past as well. As 1988 graduate Jim Tudor recalled in his graduation address, these announcements can be particularly helpful in reaching potential students who have some awareness of Shimer but do not realize that it has a program tailored specifically to them:

I met a graduate of Shimer who told me that he never had a lecture in his four years of college. All his classes worked as a group discussion with the professor acting as a co-investigator. I felt sad about not knowing of this school earlier, but continued with my self-education program.

One day, while driving on the Kennedy expressway, I heard an advertisement on the radio about weekend classes at Shimer College geared toward working people. I became very excited. Many of the people driving near me became very excited also, but not about Shimer.
Not only is the Chicago area the most logical recruiting area for the weekend program, it is also especially rich in students with precisely this exposure profile. This fact makes this kind of advertising particularly appropriate and -- with any luck -- effective.

If, like me, you feel that Shimer is using its limited resources wisely in promoting this valuable program, why not take this opportunity to support the Great Books and take home a set? More than $2700 has been raised so far.

No comments :