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Getting Started With Program Creation
First, let's make sure we're comparing apples to apples. In our lingo, a Program typically has a name, schedule, and a time. While programs can vary dramatically in structure, they always organize Enrollees into distinct groupings (usually funneling down to price). Programs may also have a capacity indicating the total number of Enrollees they can accommodate. The word Program is also a label and can be changed to plans, trips, etc. Many Programs have Classes which can also have a capacity.
With this in mind, remember that Program Options act as a series of choices that funnel the person enrolling down to a final choice. Think of them as the means of presenting all your possible options to the customer without completely overwhelming them.
To get started, you need to know a few things about Programs and how they are presented during the enrollment process. This article will walk you through the concepts and some preparatory steps.
Understanding Program Selection
To set your programs up correctly, it's important to understand what options are presented to the customer during the enrollment process and in what order (see Figure 1). There are two pre-set options that come standard with every account. First, there is a Location option in case you have multiple locations. Second, there is what we call an Enrollment Period, which is typically used for what it sounds like, but can also be used to break enrollments up into other types of segments. After these first two selections, the rest of the options are 100% customizable by you within the settings section of the Program page, including how many options you present.
STEP 1: LOCATIONS
The first thing a customer is presented with is your location. If you have only a single location, there's not really much you need to know other than it will list the name of your location as shown in the top right when you are signed in (see Figure 2). You can easily edit the location name if needed (see Figure 3). You will also need to make sure the location is published before people can enroll. The eye icon will be crossed out if it is published, indicating that the only action you can take is to unpublish it.
STEP 2: ENROLLMENT PERIODS
Enrollment Periods come next. If you have only open enrollment that runs year 'round, you can get away with one Enrollment Period . If you have start and end dates to programs or classes and need people to enroll into a specific period, semester, or cohort, etc., you can create as many of these as you'd like (see Figure 4). Programs created in one Enrollment Period are not visible or available within other Enrollment Periods.
There are a few options you need to be aware of when using the Enrollment Period widget (see Figure 5).
Each of these options are explained below:
- Duplicate - This duplicates all settings, including pricing, fees, coupon codes, billing schedules, start/end dates, proration settings, etc. into a new Enrollment period that you can then rename. This allows you to quickly and easily create a new "school year" without having to remember how you had everything set up. Simply go in and modify dates, fees, pricing, or anything else that has changed and you're all set for enrollment.
- Archive - Archiving allows you to put past Enrollment Periods out of your view. No data from that enrollment period is lost when it is archived. Archived Enrollment periods will not be visible to you or anyone else throughout the app except in the Archived tab, where you can unarchive them at anytime.
- Edit - Editing an Enrollment Period is simply renaming it.
- Publish/unpublish - Unpublished Enrollment Periods are not visible on the enroll form. By default, newly created or duplicated Enrollment Periods are unpublished. When you are ready for them to be used, simply publish them.
STEP 3: PROGRAM SETTINGS
When a new Enrollment Period gets created, you'll see a blank screen with a prompt to go to the Programs tab (see Figure 6) or if you created the Enrollment Period from that tab, you'll see a prompt to open the Options (see Figure 7).
To create your program options, follow along in our next related article, How do I create program options?