Pricing and Compensation for K-12 Professional Development Classes
Pricing and compensation are two important factors in k-12 professional development classes. Pricing is one of the most important aspects of nearly anything. After all, if price wasn’t important, we would all be driving around in the newest car model. But product pricing is important. When you shop online or in a store you probably look at two things: quality and price. It is very much the same for k-12 professional development classes. Compensation for instructors is also very important because it drives the availability of classes, as well as the quality.
Because pricing and compensation are so intertwined, we will discuss them side by side with the pricing models Distance and Continuing Education at North Dakota State University (NDSU) typically uses. There are two base-price formats from which to choose. On top of the base price there are some additional costs you may need to add to that base price, but we will get to those in a moment.
$50 per Credit
The lowest cost per credit we offer is $50 per credit. This cost covers the basics, from getting a class approved, getting students registered, and recording grades on transcripts. This rate does not include any payment for an instructor. Many classes are offered at this rate because the instructor has an outside source of compensation for the class. Maybe they have a grant or maybe the class is exclusive to one school district and it is a part of their contract or maybe the instructor is not expecting any compensation for teaching the class as a way to keep costs low for their fellow teachers. Regardless of how the instructor is paid, in this model, $50 per credit is paid directly to NDSU.
$125 per Credit
This is the second tier price model of $125 per credit. This model allows the Distance and Continuing Education program to seek instructors who can teach classes open to all teachers, statewide and nationwide. Through this model we are able to pay instructors a fee of $60 per credit per student. The remaining amount stays at NDSU to cover the administrative costs of offering these classes.
Now for the additional costs that may be added on the base prices listed above. We always encourage instructors to keep their additional costs as low as possible to keep the cost per credit low. Our goal is to provide quality professional development at a great value to our participants. Not all of these costs are added to each class but this gives you an idea of how you, as an instructor, can cover your costs.
Often professional development is attached to large conferences. Each conference has a different fee for attending the conference. Sometimes this conference fee is paid directly to NDSU, but most often this fee is paid directly to the conference you are attending. Conference fees generally go toward paying expenses related to holding that conference, which may include facility space fees, speaker fees, materials fees, food, and other various expenses.
Often professional development classes require a variety of materials for a class. Each class will look different as to what materials are needed but here are a few examples.
- Sometimes an instructor will purchase books for all participants at a discounted price.
- Distribution of lesson plans or other documents.
- Art, craft, and other supplies for working on projects in the class.
We encourage instructors to keep their materials fees as low as possible.
Some instructors will only ask for payment for the time they spend grading assignments and papers. Typically this fee can run between $10 to $30 per student depending on the number of credits. Each class is going to look a little different in terms of its cost per student.
At NDSU, we are always trying to find ways to keep teachers’ professional development expenses as low as possible. Occasionally, an instructor will obtain a grant that provides professional development credit for FREE to course participants. Any classes with FREE professional development are promoted throughout the state (or according to what the grant specifies) to allow all North Dakota teachers an equal opportunity to get registered. Sign up for our email list to get class notifications like this.
Now that you know the price and compensation for professional development classes, are you interested in offering a class? Read more about what to think about when designing a K-12 professional development class. We thank you for considering offering a professional development class through NDSU.
Let us know if you have any questions in regards to pricing or compensation
About the Author
Connie Jadrny, is the marketing and public relations coordinator for NDSU Distance and Continuing Education, a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning.
In more than 14 years at NDSU, Jadrny has learned a lot about the professional development needs of k-12 teachers.
In this series of posts, she intends to pass along bits of wisdom from the professional development industry.
Let’s learn together!