Transitioning Summer Camp Students Into Long-Term Students: Ideas and Pointers
With summer in full swing, coding camps are at their most popular at the moment. School isn’t due to start for over a month, and parents want their kids to use their time wisely over the summer. Summer tech camps are a way to bring in extra revenue in the off-season and offer a promising opportunity to parents and students wanting to learn.
While summer coding camps are popular – the students you get for summer camps and the students you have for the regular school year could be completely different. If this is the case for you, there might be an opportunity lying in wait. We’ll be talking about several topics and ideas on how to transition your summer coding camp students into year-round regular students and why you should consider starting this practice.
Parent and Student Expectations for Classes
Before we can focus on convincing parents to enroll their students long-term, we need to go over what both the parents and the students can expect from a coding camp vs year-round classes.
Coding camps are usually held during the summer, winter break, or spring break. These camps can vary in scheduling. Online-based camps may offer a 1-2 week-long schedule of Mon-Fri or weekend classes for 2 – 4 hours a day. In-person camps might be all-day classes over the course of a few days or a few hours a day over the course of a week. The courses offered are usually similar. You’re usually given one coding language (ex. Java) that you learn about for the duration of the camp. While they’re a great way to introduce new knowledge, time is the main limitation.
In contrast, year-round classes offer flexible time schedules. They also offer a more in-depth learning experience since courses last for months and can encompass more knowledge. Over the period of a school year, students can learn multiple coding languages and retain more knowledge thanks to having more time to let lessons sink in.
Coding isn’t something that can be mastered in a couple of weeks. It’s a skill that needs to be developed over months and years of learning. Parents will expect camps to offer a way to teach their kids a basic understanding of coding, but some parents may want more than that. Scenarios like these are a prime opportunity to inform parents of the benefits of enrolling their child in year-round classes.
Long-term Benefits for Students
As mentioned before, year-round classes offer a more in-depth learning opportunity for students compared to tech summer camps. There are long-term benefits for students who absorb more knowledge. The earlier students start learning how to code, the better chance they have at becoming successful coders in the future. It has been estimated that in 5 years, there will be over 3 million job vacancies in the STEM and coding field in the United States alone. Having students enroll in long-term classes gives them a competitive advantage over those who have only taken summer programs. This edge can potentially turn into an opportunity for a career path. You can leverage this idea to convince parents to enroll their children in year-round classes. Building and securing a child’s future is an important goal for parents.
Gaming is also immensely popular among students of all ages. Many courses offer lessons in the form of interactive games that teach coding through world-building and game customization. When introduced to this idea, students may be more inclined to create their own games as opposed to just playing games. This further benefits their long-term growth through hands-on learning.
Other long-term benefits include:
– learning to think outside the box
– effectively solving complex problems by breaking them down into smaller pieces
Coding teaches students many skills that they can apply later in life, and will better prepare students for the future.
They say the proof is in the pudding. Part of your success will depend on how good your courses and curricula are. Your goal is for students to have a fun experience and give positive feedback to their parents. On your end, you also want to give reliable feedback to parents on how well their child is progressing through your program. Some parents may even use camps to gauge their child’s interest in learning to code. Achieving positive feedback means you have more ways to convince parents to enroll their children in full-time classes.
You should always be looking for ways to improve what you offer your students and parents. This could be in the form of your curricula, your operations, your customer service, your website’s ease of use, etc. Growth is a constant endeavor when it comes to running a business. Stanford University has a lovely article on improving online learning.
Growing Your Business
One of the best reasons to consider converting summer tech camp students into long-term students is that it’s a great way to grow your business. This happens in a couple of ways. The obvious way is that it grows your business by simply adding to the volume of year-round students you already have. The less obvious way is through word-of-mouth referrals and advertising. The more students that you transition from tech camps, the more likely your business will reach the eyes and ears of like-minded parents wanting to enroll their students. Here are some helpful tips to grow your business in other ways.
Another talking point is pricing. Summer programs and summer camps are attractive because of their availability during the off-season. But because of that, they’re sometimes more expensive as well. Long-term classes can usually provide more learning time and content per dollar spent.
Your pricing may vary, but this is a good way to draw in potential long-term students.
Summer programs and tech camps are usually packed with students. This means that oftentimes, there are more students assigned to a class than there would be normally. Year-round classes have the advantage of having fewer students per teacher, giving each student a better opportunity to interact with their teacher. This can improve the overall quality of a student’s education, and benefit their growth.
The increasing amount of regular students you’ll be getting from summer programs means you’ll need to hire more teachers. We’d suggest you look at College-level Computer Science or Computer Engineering students. They make great teachers as they are already passionate about coding and programming and have the knowledge and experience to make them great assets to your business and students. It also allows them to earn a little money on the side to supplement their college expenses.
Questions and Contact
If you’d like to more about us and what we offer or have any questions about Roblox or other fun games our curricula use, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-665-7799 and we’ll be happy to get back to you.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post!