Meeting the need for flexibility

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

New course options increase access to education

Community college students’ lives are increasingly complex. Scheduling classes sometimes means giving up work hours or scrambling to arrange care for a child.

Community colleges have long provided flexible options to accommodate their students’ busy lives in mind. That’s continuing to increase. There are hybrid options, flexible start dates, and new options for when and where students can take courses. Here are just a couple new options for students this year.

Weekend option in early childhood education program

Lamar Community College (LCC) in Colorado is now offering early childhood education classes on the weekends to help meet the growing demand for trained educators in Southeast Colorado and beyond.

Starting in January, students interested in a career as a preschool or kindergarten teacher, childcare center administrator or caregiver for young children can get their certificate from LCC.

Classes will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, and students will take one class at a time. Each class takes roughly three weeks to complete. Classes are offered both on campus and at LCC’s Distance Learning Sites in Eads, Springfield and Granada, or students can tune into classes remotely.

“LCC wants to serve non-traditional students and those who may wish to transition to a career in early childhood while continuing to work full-time,” said Dean of Academic Services Annessa Stagner-Stulp. “There is high demand for individuals skilled in early childhood right now, and we are committed to helping our community meet that need.”

Accommodating everyone

In Minnesota, Alexandria Technical & Community College is offering a new part-time option to a nursing assistant/home health aide course.  The part-time course is “accommodating to students of all ages, from high school students to working adults, who are looking to begin a new career path,” according to the website.

The full-time course option is still available and requires 22 hours a week over four weeks. The part-time option requires 11 hours a week and takes eight weeks to complete.

There’s more flexibility in when students can take that part-time course, too. It’s offered twice in the fall and twice in the spring, and students have their choice of taking the course Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

How is your college expanding flexible options for students? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.