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I accepted an offer to teach a graduate course at the university, as an adjunct professor. This program has a minimum threshold for number of students signed up. In other words if not enough students signed up by the deadline, they won't offer it.

I wonder how do you advertise the courses that you teach? I think the subject and content will be very interesting to many students, so the question is how to disseminate the information about it to potential students outside the graduate program that it is part of?

It's a national university in USA, ranked in top 100, not top 20 or Ivy league type. I believe that this course will be available for students of a regional consortium of universities to which this uni belongs. The course is elective, and a part of a small Masters level program, but will be listed in the catalog and should be available to students outside the program. The course is a STEM subject in STEM certified program, so it should be compatible with similar programs

  • By "regional consortium" do you mean a university system like the University of Maryland? Or something else? I've never heard that specific term before. – Stella Biderman Jun 22 '18 at 20:03
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    What is "STEM certified" supposed to mean? – user9646 Jun 22 '18 at 20:17
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    @StellaBiderman In my experience, it would be nearby universities from separate systems that have agreed to work closely together, so both public and rpivate. – Azor Ahai Jun 22 '18 at 20:26
  • a course will fit into STEM programs, those where foreign students get 3 year OPT visas after graduation, allowing them to legally work for any employer. It’s a big deal for those who want to get a job in USA with work visas because they have years to obtain legal status @NajibIdrissi – Aksakal Jun 22 '18 at 22:40
  • Consortium is a bunch of near by unis that allow students to take each other’s courses @StellaBiderman actually UMD is in one registrar.umd.edu/current/registration/consortium.html – Aksakal Jun 22 '18 at 22:41
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First, make up an attractive one-page flyer that details what your course is about and when it's offered, and that it's STEM certified (sounds important, but I've never heard of it).

Then, contact departments at your university and at others in the consortium that may be interested in your course and ask if they would send out your flyer advertising your course to their graduate departmental mailing list.

You might also note there needs to be a minimum enrollment (encourage people on the fence to sign up).

Where I'm at, this would usually be an advisor's job, or maybe a program coordinator, but if you know a sympathetic professor in the department you're contacting, they could also reach out to whoever manages the mailing list.

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What are the prereqs for the course? Most of the courses I've seen who did not have enough people sign up had lots of prerequisite courses which resulted in many potentially interested students to skip over the course as they weren't eligible.

Assuming there should be a decent chance of plenty of students interested in the course, I'd recommend some of the following methods:

  • Advertising at a club

Lots of people from a variety of majors and backgrounds attend club activities for areas of interest. For example- my school has a data-science club which has people from CS, Business, Math, and even some liberal arts majors! If, for example, you were teaching a new data science course in an interesting topic- the club would be your best bet for finding interested students

  • Advertising Through Professors

If you know of professors teaching related courses you can pass on the word to them about your course and they can try to inform students they teach about the course. I took a digital forensics course in which the professor recommended we take Networking afterwards cause it covers similar material- and in Networking the professor recommended several times throughout the course we take the security course (and also advertised some of his own courses). This seems like a decent option and definitely worked for me

  • Advertising Through other students

Definitely a harder option- but if you have formed any close relationships with students you've taught or met then you can ask them to spread the word of your course or ask if they know of anyone who might be interested. Always worth a shot.

Always need to consider the chance that even though you think the material will be interesting to students- not everyone will feel that same level of interest. Another thing I'd consider is looking at the course description posted online- one of the most interesting grad courses I've taken had the worst descriptions that made it sound utterly boring and it definitely scared most people away from the course.

Good luck! Hope you get to teach the course.

  • I didn’t put any formal prereqs, but mentioned required skills in the syllabus. There will be a very brief synopsis in the course catalog with description of content which I didn’t write yet – Aksakal Jun 22 '18 at 22:55

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