How to Sunset an Educational Program

A note for the meeting planner: please order decaf for the next committee meeting. Only 30 minutes in and your highly energetic committee members have already come up with several new online learning program ideas. You love their passion but not the ever-increasing workload for your small department. Since some of your courses have been around forever, you wonder if it might be time to sunset an educational program or two.

“Sunset” is another term for “discontinue” or “retire.” When an organization has limited resources, you can’t afford to invest time and money into educational programs—online courses, certifications, or conferences—that no longer meet the needs of your target audiences.

However, sunsetting an educational program isn’t always easy. Staff, members, or other stakeholders may be emotionally invested in the old program. A sunset review process provides guidance (and cover) for these difficult decisions.

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