In January 2019, the Wilmette Institute launched a deep-discount offer for Wilmette Institute First-Timers. This was the deal: If you had never taken a course with the Wilmette Institute, you could choose the First-Timer discount when you registered for your first course—which is US$10.00. The response was even heartier than expected. For the Winter term (January–March 2019), 153 individuals have taken the Wilmette Institute up on its discount offer.
A Look at the Statistics. In January 2019, 28% of all learners registered as First-Timers. “Finding the Hidden Gift: Approaches to Studying the Bahá’í Writings” and “Helping Teens and Children Navigate Media and Screen Time” each boasted 37.5% First-Time learners. The course with the least number of First-Timers (16%) was the Bicentenary course “Discovering the Báb’s Persian Bayán: The Most Holy Book of the Bábí Religion.”
In February 2019, the percentage of First-Timers jumped to 41% of all learners registered. This included 71% of the learners who chose as their first courses either “Embracing a Spiritual Identity of Motherhood” or “Enhancing Love, Friendship, and Service in Your Marriage.” In the Bicentenary course “The Life of the Báb,” 21% of those enrolled were First-Timers.
The Wilmette Institute expected that its regular community of learners would fill up the Bicentenary courses and was prepared to offer the courses a second time if necessary. While that has not been necessary, it is gratifying to see that the courses are of interest to some First-Timers.
In March, 46.5% of all learners registered under the First-Timer discount program. This does not include the 18 first-time participants in the twelve-week course “How to Organize and Maintain a Bahá’í Archives,” which was not eligible for the discount, and which, as a how-to course, would normally consist only of individuals taking the course for a first and only time. The highest numbers of March First-Timers were in the courses “Indigenous Perspectives on the Sacred” (61%) and “Racism in America: The Most Vital and Challenging Issue” (57%).
The statistics about the number of those enrolling as First-Timers—from 28% to 41% to 46.5% of all enrollments in three months—certainly indicate a great start to the 2019 discount offer. The Wilmette Institute is happy to welcome 153 new learners to its family. It will be checking to see how many First-Timers decide to try a second course in 2019. What surprises are in store for the Spring (second) term of the calendar year?
First-Timer Discount Still Available. The First-Timer discount is still available. If you have never taken a Wilmette Institute course, pick you course from the Institute’s catalog (or from the courses listed in this eNewsletter), and take your First-Timer discount when you register.