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March 2016 | Issue #41

Current Releases: SM 8.0.036 (2/25) | AW 3.5.027 (2/22)
Modules with the Mostest (4/14 1:30 Central)
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
ACEware Employee Spotlight: Michael Lowry
This month, Michael Lowry is our ACEware staff spotlight.
Michael started working for ACEware Systems as a Technician nearly seventeen years ago.  In addition to providing technical support for over fifty customers, he does final testing of software patches and features before their release. His internal title is Captain Bozo, though he may have recently been promoted to Rear Admiral Bozo. (Confirmation could not be obtained at press time.) He also carries the titles of Toilet Plunger Extraordinaire , Parking Lot Snow Removal Specialist, Fire Starter, Toilet Paper Retrieval Expert, and Lightbulb Changer.

Prior to working for ACEware, Michael was a Navy Rescue Diver. This  experience helps him provide aid when his customers are in distress.  He's a people person and that helps him connect with the many personalities and moods he works with each day.

Michael has a wife, Daedra, son, Khamon, and two step-daughters, Keturah and Kalona. He enjoys doing outdoor activities with his son.

Michael also works s ecurity for Kansas State University sporting events.

Michael is the ACEware jester (in case you couldn't tell by his self imposed titles). He enjoys playing pranks on his coworkers and poking fun at them.

Contributed by  Michael Lowry and Matthew Olson
Menu Access Shut Down With Course Screen
Recently, people noticed a change that I originally  kept pretty quiet. This change shut down the menu and some of the keyboard shortcuts with the course screen open. The reason this was done was because data was being lost. I'm sorry for any inconvenience  this change has caused.

Too often there were reports that would manipulate course data. Usually it was  registration data that would then affect the course. From course quick reports, I can control the refresh of the screen, but not from the report menu. Examples of these changes would be stampvals and swapvals.

One of the worst scenarios  was if you had a registration open and then opened the course and there was confcert (function that stamps the certificate date) on a report or anything else that manipulated the registration. The changes to the registration wouldn't show or save because you had that registration open. By shutting down some of the access with the course screen open, I could control it so that those changes would show when you closed the course screen and would also save everything properly.

One feature that is now missing is that people would bring up a second course while still having a course screen open. Maybe you want to compare the two courses to see the difference. Besides taking screenshots  of the first course or running a report on it and printing it, you can use the F2 Quick List-Enrollment to search for a second course. For example, bring up a course, move the course screen to the right, hit F2 on your keyboard and move it left, enter criteria for your second course and hit OK, shrink the search window so that it doesn't cover your first course screen, then double-click the course number you want. Move that course screen left and if you have a big enough monitor, you should see the first course screen you were wanting to compare.
So far, nothing has been reported to me that would make me believe that you will also lose data with the names screen. I'm sure something will eventually come up to where I will need to shut down the menu on the name screen, but until then, people can still enjoy freedom in this area.

Contributed by Matthew Olson
Marketing: Funnels
Tornado season is just around the corner in Kansas. While I do want to talk about funnels, I don't want to talk about the dark, life-threatening ones. How about talking about creating marketing funnels in continuing education?

I first came across the term "funnel" while researching methods of marketing my personal writing  (you do know that I have published two books, right?). A funnel is a way to logically convince your customers into purchasing your expensive products by first hooking them with a less expensive (or even free) product.

There are some easy funnels to be made in continuing education. My wife and I are taking our puppy to a beginning training class. At the end of the class, they told us that they offer an intermediate class. At the end of intermediate, they shared their advanced class information. Since we were already in the program and enjoyed the first class, we said 'yes' to the subsequent offerings. Easy.

Not so easy is getting people to buy into a chain of classes like the puppy training. Let's say you offered these three pet courses at $120 per class. Would you like to know why I said 'yes' to the first course? They had it discounted by $40. If everyone in that class had the same discount, then they probably didn't make any money on the class. Why were they willing to offer the class at such a discount? It was because they were banking on making up for it by receiving full price for the subsequent courses.

Is there a way to create a marketing funnel with standalone classes that aren't part of a chain? I think there is and I've seen some good examples of ways to do just that. Offering an open house provides an opportunity get potential students in the door and allow them to socialize with your instructors at no expense. I've seen customers offer discount coupons on the first course taken in a semester, taking advantage of our one-time coupon feature in (if you have questions about this feature, contact your tech). Another thing to do is to offer an affordable membership option to your customers, and then give them access to members-only pricing or members-only courses.

In my personal writing, I have free book previews available on many of the sites that sell the books. These previews get that book to sell. In addition, I have samples of my two books posted on Goodreads with links to both of them at the end of the sample. I also have links at the end of each book to the other. I'm already planning on expanding my funnel system when the next book is available for sale this summer.

What marketing funnels are you using to promote and sell your courses?  We'd like to share your successful ideas with our entire readership. Contact me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Contributed by Matthew J. Olson
Coming Soon to the ACEware Webinar Archives
The many spring-like days we've had in Kansas this February  put us in the mood for some tidying up. One of our spring cleaning projects was to reorganize the archived webinars page on our website. We took a look at all the webinars we've saved and decided that storing them according to user roles might make finding topics of interest easier for you.

Whether you're responsible for registration, finances, marketing, coordinating, or a little of each, there are webinars to provide you with the information you need to support your work.  Student Manager and ACEweb have so many tools to make your job easier.  The new webinar organization is illustrated below.  Take a look around to see what is available in our archives--you are sure to find something new and amazing about your software.  
Remember, webinars are saved to the archives within 24 hours of the live session and are found at

Drop us a line to let us know how this organization works for you. While you're browsing around you may think of a topic you'd like to see offered in a webinar.  Share those ideas with Lauri (

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Do You Know About RWD?
Okay, so maybe you are not exactly sure what the heck Chuck is talking about? So, what do you do? You whip out your smartphone and say "OK, Google" or "Hey, Siri", "what is RWD?"

Your students do the same thing when they go to look for a class or a professional development opportunity. Right now, over 60% of online  searches are done with a smartphone , and that percentage is projected to keep rising.

So, what's the big deal, you say? The big deal is that now, the  latest Google and other search engines use algorithms that give higher relevance to websites  that have mobile-friendly pages. And THAT, my friends, is the  significance of RWD (Responsive Web Design).
How can you ensure that your customers' online registration experience is tailored for mobile viewing?  We have two suggestions:
First, check your main departmental website. Is it mobile-friendly? The easy way to check is to view your page on your browser and shrink it until it is no bigger than your phone, or just use your smartphone . If it does not automatically adjust the formatting to easily view, then you might want to consider working with  your campus webmaster (or whoever  is responsible for your site) to implement a responsive design.

Second (and this is where ACEware can help), take advantage of our ACEweb RWD upgrade and makeover. Cheryl completely overhauled the  ACEweb templates so that they are mobile and tablet-responsive. 

By switching to a responsive web design, you're not only making the online experience more user-friendly for your customers, but you're also ensuring that your programs will be at the top of the list in Google search results . The RWD upgrade and m akeover service details are on our website.
If you're still not sure what this is, about or how it might affect you (and your enrollments), give your tech a call. S/he will help you confirm the "friendliness" of your website and show you some examples of what RWD ACEweb looks like . To really experience RWD for yourself, fire up your  smartphone and point your browser to .

Contributed by Chuck Havlicek
ACEware On the Road
The ACEware team will be attending several state-level continuing education association meetings this spring as exhibitors and presenters. We're excited for the opportunity to meet customers and hear how things are going with their continuing education programs and their ACEware software. Here's our spring road trip schedule to date:

GAEA - March 6-8, 2016, Brasstown Valley Resort, Georgia
OCHEA - March 17-18, 2016, Columbus, Ohio
CETI - March 30 - April 1, 2016, Celebration, Florida
TACE  - April 19-21, 2016, Austin, Texas
PACE - April 21-22, 2016, Thackerville, Oklahoma

As we add new events to our travel schedule, we post them to the ACEware home page. Want to  see your state continuing education association meeting there? Send a note to Perhaps we can get it on the schedule of events. 

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Countdown to Conference
In seventy-eight days, we'll meet in Manhattan (KS) for the 20th Annual Users' Conference. Register right away to join ACEware software users from around the nation to:


Get a first look at over 10 new features.


Discover new ways to use your software and take full advantage of its many powerful tools.


Experience how others are using Student. Manager/ACEweb to serve students and manage programs.


Connect with other continuing/community education professionals; discuss your challenges, generate ideas and build your professional network.


Engage with the ACEware staff and help shape the future of Student Manager/ACEweb.


Receive hands-on training and meet one-on-one with a technical representative.


Learn from an expert about the effects of social media on society and reflect on the future of programming.


To receive the special hotel rate of $109, you must make your reservation by April 16.  To see what scholarship funds you have available, write .

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire

Here's to your continued success!

Your ACEware team,

- Chuck, Sharon, AJ, Cheryl, Jason, Lauri, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, and Stein

 Aceware Systems
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