Comments on this site are welcome but generally I will delete those made anonymously or any posts if they are seen to attack anyone.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Thoughts on charging for correspondence courses

For a year now the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea has run a correspondence course. It uses the Golden Dawn system to provide people with a system of training and mentorship. As a system it works and those who have worked hard at it have got a lot out of it.
The only problem is that the drop out rate between the first and second course is phenomenal as is the range of “dog ate my homework” excuses. I wrote the first few courses to weed out those who will not survive. It forces people to wrestle with their lower self and get a bit of discipline by learning the basics of meditation. All vital stuff in training and has to be done. The work picks up after about five or six months. But the idea is more that if you are forced to write a daily diary that will be mentored you start working and from that you get the insights into the system. It was the same sort of system used by the outer order of Inner Light and is still being used in the Servants of the Light. It worked for me too.
The course is cheap. We were not in it for the money, the order just wanted to help people who could not make contact with a group start working on the magical path. Currently we charge 10 euro for the first lesson and five euro for each one afterwards. This is what I think is the problem. People join with the expectation that it is cheap so they do not place any value on it. They join without engaging brain as to whether or not they can really do the magical path.
I am toying with the idea of raising the price for the first course from 10 to either 50 or 100 euro with the idea of people giving it some value. The course will remain at 5 euro for after that. Obviously if we raised the fees the amount of people joining would plummet, but those who did pay up would be serious about it.
One of the things that really gets on my nerves is that many people have not even bothered to tell us that they want to quit. This meant that one of our supervisors had ten or so students but was not doing anything, where as another had five students and was run off her feet. We did a purge of these members recently and the correspondence school lost another 70 per cent.
The reason I am posting this here is to ask what the view of the community would be to increasing the fees like this and for this reason. Like I said the course was not about the money (the Order itself is not collecting dues at the moment). However I am beginning to feel that if we are to be taken seriously we might have to charge a bit more for the first lesson to make people stop and think about what they are getting into. By keeping it cheap afterwards we are still sticking to our volunteer ethos without having to waste so much time with people who stumble across the order on the Internet and think that joining is a good idea. I am fairly open minded about this so I am interested to hear people's point of view. Discuss.