As popularity for our online doula training program continues to grow, we have enjoyed over the past several months new registration numbers coming in at between 15 to 20 new students per month. While we are both gratified and excited by the success and interest in our course, we are having to deal with the real challenge of growth and how to manage that effectively. An additional issue that concerns us is the retention of students after registration, meaning that we have quite a few that sign up, and then never move past registration. This same group tends to drop off after the first month or two in the program.
Our one limitation that we not willing to budge from is the desire to keep our company structure small and personal. We feel that this smallness of business overhead is at the very heart of what has allowed us to keep our services both personable and affordable. Technology allows us to stay small and affordable, while still serving our students reasonably and timely. So in an effort to keep our current culture in place, we are announcing the implementation of enrollment limits for new students starting in September 2014.
Student enrollment limits will be put in place to only allow the registration of 20 new students per month. We will use a first-come, first-serve policy, not giving preference to different payment options. Once the quota of 20 new students has been met, registration will be closed for the month
, and the option to be added to a waiting list will be added. We feel that this will serve a dual purpose in both limiting the number of students that can enroll in a given month, as well as filter out those prospective students who are interested, but perhaps are not as committed for whatever reason.
Additionally, we hope that those who are waiting to sign up for the course will take advantage of the free first unit of the course. This will allow prospective students waiting to begin the program an opportunity to start reading and studying before they pay for the program. Hence, this will then afford prospective students a period of evaluation without making the financial commitment up front. We see it as a win-win solution for both prospective students and us, the company.
The end goal of these changes to the registration process is 1) to allow us more time to focus on the successful training of students already in the program, 2) to improve the quality of the training materials, and 3) to create a stronger and larger base of trained and certified doulas to serve new and expectant mothers!