Introduction If you are having a really bad day with deadlines breathing down your neck, constant phone calls and perhaps a headache, get up and go to one of your classes – see how everyone is so engrossed in learning and at the same time having fun….it will change your outlook and you can go back to work feeling good about what you are doing. Cathy Rampley
What types of educational programming do we offer? Our Mission Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment “ We endeavor to ensure that our programs, including the support of research, involve and broaden learning.” – Filoli Strategic Plan, Adopted May 2004.
The Botanical Art Certificate Program offers a unique in-depth study of botanical art through challenging, integrated and comprehensive courses that include the systematic study of artistic skills and concepts, basic botany and botanical art history. A certificate is presented upon successful completion of course work ( 180 classroom hours plus homework ) and presentation of a portfolio and final project.
Botanical art classes began in 1999. We were one of the first west coast destinations to have botanical art programming. The student body grew over the years as did a greater demand for a certificate program.
The program piloted in 2007 and officially launched in 2008. Currently there are over 90 students enrolled in the program. It is not necessary to enroll in the Certificate Program to attend any of the botanical art classes .
25% of the enrolled students have completed over half of their coursework while 75% need to complete most of their coursework. Because these students are working toward the “finish line” to complete the program, there is continued program registration.
A Success Story Make certificate and series programs available for registration early….the 1st of October for programs starting in January,, before holiday spending starts. Education programs also make great gifts. We sell registration gift certificates and once the recipient experiences a class here, they know why it’s so great to learn here and most likely will return.
This informative series is for the home gardener who wants an in-depth understanding of plants and gardening.
The program launched in 2008.
There is one instructor; Mimi Clarke, former Lead Horticulturist at Filoli
There are 13 classes on topics such as:
Seasonal Topics – e.g. Spring Has Spring and Autumn Color Maintenance
This series is suitable for the novice gardener or those with some prior knowledge or experience.
Worth Mentioning Student quotes are a great way to advertise and market your programs. What better than to hear from past students. Make sure your class evaluation form includes the question “May we use your comments in our publicity?”
How can we grow? Do what you can do well. Don’t try to plan a class on something you have absolutely no knowledge of. Pick the brain of your curator or garden manager. He or she can provide you valuable information about your collection, what is being talked about in the world of conservation/horticulture, what other types of programs are out there and their experiences with them and most importantly, what can your institution support by way of collections, historical information, staff and or trained volunteers. We make every effort to preserve the landscape and conserve the collections and do not alter the property in ways that would diminish its character and historical significance.“ - Filoli Strategic Plan, May 2004. Historic and Conservation Programming National Trust and Historic Preservation Property with a historic house and many significant collections
You are such an Influence! Read your local paper, organization newsletters, club journals, etc. Find out what is being talked about and meet the need for knowledge. There might be something written about the Bee Colony Collapse – hold a bee workshop with a local bee keeper. Then perhaps it’s how to make your yard more native – hold a Native Plants in Your Garden class. People like to be informed, in the know, with current issues and topics. Oil Painting This is becoming very popular in the bay area. Especially Plein Air painting
Program Evaluations from your existing programs are an invaluable resource when planning new programs. Filoli asks students to complete an evaluation form after every program.
Don’t spread yourself too thin . Focus on the content areas you have the best resources for and can deliver the strongest programs.
Be consistent with your content areas ; based on your past enrollment, plan the appropriate number and level of programs for each content area. Don’t over-plan any one particular area
If you are building, concentrate on one area at a time and devote as much time as needed to develop a well-rounded program that meets the needs of both new and returning students.
Found Opportunities Local papers, newsletters, journals can be great resources for identifying opportunities. Google searches for local organizations- establish partnerships with, provide programming specifically for or advertise your programs through them.
Over half of your students are most likely returning students. The other half are new, your chance to become “the chosen one.”
Returning students need new classes to further their learning.
New classes in existing content areas
Classes that can combine content areas and will attract students from each, thus increasing registration.
Example: Basic Botany – this class is for anyone that uses flowers and would benefit from general knowledge such as plant nomenclature, basic plant botany and how they grow. Art, floral design and horticulture students could take this.
You will find some get hooked on learning – they can’t get enough. Meet their needs…they make-up at least 50% of your student body.
New students need introductory / beginning classes.
Plan some programs that include all materials. This way they can try something out without having to invest a large amount of money on supplies.
Plan classes that can’t be found elsewhere – make your place the local destination to learn a particular skill – e.g. botanical art.
Quarterly Newsletter Highlights - sent to all members.
NEW this year – Monthly eNews Filoli Features
There are approximately 13,000+ emails in our database; about 6,000 are members. The rest are non-members that have registered for a class, attended a special event or completed a simple form available in the Visitor Center. There has been a huge effort the past two years to collect emails. This has proven very beneficial.
Web Site - Available all the time – the challenge is to keep it up-to-date. Once people rely on it, it becomes an essential part of your business and must be kept current.
Online registration has proven to be very successful. If I had to guess, I would say 75% of our students register online. Registration can be an “impulse” buy – you need to be available to accept that impulse at any given time.
How do we get them here?
Plan a FREE program for members to highlight your education programs.
Twice a year we hold a 3-day program that highlights our knowledgeable instructors, staff and volunteers. Programming includes talks, walks, demos and hands-on activities for children.
Usually a specific plant collection is focused on.
ALL programming is FREE for members or with paid admission to Filoli.
Instructors and speakers donate their time as they are promoting their programs, keeping overhead to a minimum.
These are planned when we want to spark attendance during an otherwise slow time of year.
Hire reputable instructors - they usually have their own student body – new students for you!
Provide an atmosphere of learning, support and comfort.
Provide a well set-up classroom and clean accessible bathroom
Special touches - we start every class with coffee, tea and some sort of treat – biscotti, coffee café, fruit. There is little cost involved and the rate of return is great.
Once They are Here The Roth Room The Bourn Room Red’s Barn in the Nature Preserve Always remember that these are adult learners – they choose you. If you do it right they will continue to choose you. Then they will hopefully tell two friends who will then tell two other friends and the next thing you know you have and a reputation for having quality programming. Reputation and word of mouth goes a long way, especially with a local institution that relies on local support.
I am sorry to have missed meeting you all in person. Feel free to contact me anytime you wish to share ideas, ask me questions or you are in the area and would like to visit our beautiful estate. - Cathy Rampley Email: [email_address] Phone: 650.364.8300 x 233 Have a great meeting and here’s to your future success!
Adult Educators in Botanic Gardens, Arboreta and Herbaria AEBGAH
Adult Educators in Botanic Gardens, Arboreta and Herbaria
AEBGAH’s goals for 2010
1. To foster a means of connection for adult education professionals
(Find AEBGAH group on LinkedIn )
2. To launch a nation-wide survey & establish baselines in our industry
(Your participation needed!)
3. To gather and empower each other through the exchange of knowledge:
October 8, 2010 Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL
How do you find instructors? What is your policy for staff and volunteers attending classes? What is your marketing plan for classes and other educational programs? (Do you print a catalog, in what format, what info is included, how often do you print a new catalog, who do you mail it to, etc.) What trends have you seen recently in popularity of classes? (Subject matter, style of teaching, etc.) How do you use your website for adult education? How do use social media at your institution, specifically for adult education? (Which applications--Facebook, Twitter, etc. How do you measure success? What works and doesn't work?) Do you offer online classes? (What applications--Moodle, Sakai, etc. Which classes work online and how do you create a worthy substitute to hands-on learning? Who administers these classes?)
Adult Educators in Botanic Gardens, Arboreta and Herbaria
What you can do today:
Join the AEBGAH e-community!
Look for AEBGAH on LinkedIn
With ?’s contact:
Manager of Symposia and Special Programs
Chicago Botanic Garden
Turn in Survey Card
Save the Summit Date of Oct. 8 @ CBG!
Your turn! Introduce yourself.. and your role at the garden
Type of adult education programs you offer
Describe a success or a program that you are particularly proud of.
Describe a problem you wish you could solve.
Where would you like to see your program grow?
Influences that help shape adult education programming