Getting Creative About Getting The Message Across

Effective Clery Act Training

Posted on 27 April 2015 |

college campus with student groupYou want them to be safe on campus. You're required to offer student safety training, and you're doing your best to comply. 

But what do you do when the students on your college campus don't want to attend Clery Act training workshops or seminars? You get creative. 

Traditionally, compliance training has meant sitting in a classroom or event center, attending a series of in-person workshops and classes. But with today's virtually-focused and tech-savvy student population, that approach just doesn't seem to work. Thankfully, there are alternatives that can achieve the same goals. Here are some ideas for taking it out of the box, and into the lives of the students you need to reach. 

1) Break it up

Instead of overwhelming staff and students with hours of training, break it up into small, easy to digest bits. Think Tweets versus Whitepapers. A lot of information crammed into a few characters. You might not be able to reduce meaningful training to 140 characters, but you can offer five, ten or fifteen minute modules busy college students can easily work into their schedule. 

2) Go virtual

There is no rule that says that training needs to involve folding chairs and boring boxed lunches to get the message across. You're trying to reach a generation that has grown up online. So go online to teach them. Virtual, on-demand classes that can be viewed on a PC or tablet takes the training to the students' preferred space. No missed meeting, no awkward questions or topics with classmates sitting next to them means more willingness to dive in. 

3) Take it where they live

If you want to do in-person Clery Act-mandated training, forget the large group format. Replace the hundreds (or thousands) of kids in one room, and substitue an RA (and maybe a trainer) and a couple dozen students. Serve snacks, make it feel casual and share the message. Advertisers have known for decades that the medium matters as much as the message. Use that to your advantage. 

 4) Make it relevant

Take a packaged training program and add local color, real-life examples and a chance for students to share their own experiences and you have a recipe for training success. The official training program ensures that you cover all the bases. The rest keeps everyone engaged. The combination means better educated and safer students, which was the whole goal of the Clery Act. A win-win. 

5) Get feedback

One way training is never a good way to reach people, so make sure you're listening at least as much as you're talking. Ask students what concerns them. Find out what they wish they knew. Listen when they call a lesson "unrealistic" and hear what doesn't work for them so you can adjust your message...or your convey the important campus safety information they need to stay out of danger. 


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