For associations, the third key to developing a quality education program is planning and performance projection. For many associations, education for their members and the profession is part of the mission statement. If it is not part of the mission statement then it is critical that senior management is committed and supportive. And of course, after analyzing the results of your needs assessments, it is time to develop measurable short and long-term educational goals.
The short term goals will likely focus on courses, workshops, webinars, conferences and other content related offerings. These can be one hour, 3 days, 6 weeks or 12 months in duration. However, these offerings should all be directly interrelated to short term, overall program goals of between one to three years. Creating, changing or adjusting education programs often take at least 2 â 3 years before you begin to see the major results programmatically or financially. Individual courses may change or be adjusted quickly but entire curriculum or certificate programs need time to grow. You should have built in a continuing needs assessment process and a system that will provide you with the flexibility to make course adjustments.
You should plan long term of at least 3 -5 years for your core programs. Expect that technology; social, economic, political and education environments will change during this time period. In todayâs environment the probability is that you will have to adjust your goals. Review of long term education goals should be a continual process. It is critical for both the association and the membership that education analysis occur during senior managementâs annual strategic planning sessions and that the education program projections tie into the overall association mission statement and business operational plan.