Special-interest classes provide fun

Tae Kwon Do, Line Dancing and Phlebotomy are some of the continuing education courses offered by Midland College.

People are generally unaware of the extra classes that are offered at MC, according to Associate Director Brenda Cordero. The department of continuing education is currently working with MC’s public relations department to get the word out about the courses offered by the department.

According to Cordero, it can be difficult to keep classes in session due to both lack of enrollment and lack of teachers. In order for a class to be approved, it must have a minimum of five students enrolled. If a class does not meet enrollment, then it has to be canceled.

“It’s hard on everyone when a class gets canceled,” Cordero said.
She also said that the department would like to offer more classes and would be completely willing to add more courses if teachers for the courses were available.

The department is always looking for new teachers and new ideas for courses suggested by potential teachers.

The courses do not count toward student credit hours as they are usually only a few weeks long and are more like hobby or other special-interest classes. The courses are not funded by the college and are self-supported through fees charged to students.

These courses are geared to people of all ages, but most teachers prefer their students to be at least 18 years of age or older. The students enrolled in them do not count toward MC’s overall enrollment number.

Cordero said the courses have non-academic benefits. One benefit is meeting new people, who have similar hobbies. Another benefit of these courses is getting students out of their residences and get them participating in something fun and productive.

Community courses generally begin around the same time as the academic semesters begin at MC. These classes all meet on various days and run for various amounts of time throughout the semester. Classes generally run four, six or eight weeks.

According to Cordero, community courses are mainly offered in the evening. The reason being is that most of the teachers who teach the courses have day jobs and the evening is the only time that they have time to teach.

Offering classes in the evening is also beneficial to students because it makes it easier to balance academic courses and work with any community courses they chose to take.

Community courses are held both on and off campus, depending on the course.

Courses include such topics as country and western dance, beginning Hatha Yoga and swing dance. Others courses include a singles’ mixer, Zumba Gold, and Ai Chi.

Most of the courses are starting to come to a close, but most of them will be offered again next year. More information is available at http://www.midland.edu/continuing_education/.

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