Per scholas Case Study

Increasing new learner recruitment by leveraging Sage alumni and Atlanta Community Based Organizations

Partner Context

Venture 2 Impact partnered with Sage– a dedicated community partner with an established foundation, clear & strategic impact focus areas (Fuel for Business, Tech 4 Good, Protect the Planet) and ongoing volunteer programming– to support the Per Scholas Atlanta Program in developing an improved new learner recruitment strategy. 

Prior to the skills-based volunteering project, Per Scholas advertised and recruited for their programs on Indeed, at some schools, and at job fairs. They even had the opportunity to advertise their program on television, during a popular sporting event. Their goal is to enroll at least 200 people in Atlanta per year, but found that, despite their best efforts, meeting this target was a challenge. Per Scholas staff would often attend job fairs and receive 1000 interested applicants to their program. However, only about 25% of these individuals would take the next step and sign up for an information session. Fewer still would actually attend the sessions. 

Based on this recruitment process, it was clear that improvements could be made to increase the number of learners who sign up and participate in Per Scholas’ training programs.


Per Scholas believes that a thriving workforce starts with equitable access to education. In working towards this goal, Per Scholas provides skills training and access to employer networks to individuals often excluded from tech careers. Per Scholas envisions a technology workforce as diverse as the customers it serves. Over 16,000 graduates have launched successful careers in tech to date through their no-cost technical training. Their mission is to advance economic equity through rigorous training for tech careers and to connect skilled talent to leading businesses. 

They work directly with employers, large and small, to design rigorous, boot camp-style courses with an 85% graduation rate. Their tuition-free training combines business professional skills development with hands-on technical instruction for high demand jobs.


How might we support Per Scholas Atlanta to increase their word of mouth prospective learners recruitment by improving their process for engaging community-based organizations (CBOs) and alumni? 

The Innovation

Volunteers conducted a SWOT analysis of Per Scholas’ previous recruitment process to determine strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. They focused on two specific areas that provided the most opportunity for improvement in the learner recruitment process: 

  • – The marketing strategy: Volunteers asked, is Per Scholas actually reaching people who want and can benefit from their programs and training? How might they reach more of their target audience?
  • – Sign up Process: Based on Per Scholas’ staff feedback, the first 3 steps of the previous learner recruitment process were where most initial applicants would drop off. These steps included: 
  • 1. Interested applicants fill out an eligibility form
  • 2. Hub Sport sends the applicants an invitation to register for an Application Overview: many never register. This is the first drop off point
  • 3. Attend an Application Overview: this data was automatically added to Salesforce and was a big drop-off point
  • 4. Take Assessments which are sent automatically via Salesforce
  • 5. Interview
  • 6. Background Check
  • 7. Enroll

After the volunteers presented their SWOT summary to Per Scholas, they worked within two main teams to provide recommendations on how to improve the learner recruitment process by specifically leveraging Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in Atlanta and feedback from Per Scholas alumni, employed at Sage.


Immediate outcomes (1-2 weeks post-project)

Intermediate outcomes (6 months post-project)


The recommendations were successfully received by Per Scholas staff and a plan to implement changes was devised, as reported by a Per Scholas staff respondent in the post-project survey:



By the numbers...

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