A excellent selection of Community Education courses at Rend Lake College is now more accessible to the public than ever. Scores of classes can now be taken on-line, fitting in with the need for flexible scheduling in today’s world.
Offered in six-week sessions, students will attend two on-line classes at their convenience each week. All course work, tests and instructor feedback will be via the Internet and/or e-mail. All that is required of the student is Internet access and an e-mail address.
The six-week sessions are staggered, with beginning dates of January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21 and May 19. The courses are available to the general public.
According to Community Education Director Dawn Gibson, once people discover that these courses are available online, "they take them repetitively." Some potential students are hesitant to enroll "because they think it will be difficult, and yet the process is really simple," Gibson said.
She speaks from experience. Gibson enrolled in a course on how to improve her Community Education catalog.
She said students enrolled in these on-line courses can e-mail their instructors with questions anytime. While it may be convenient for one student to sit down at the computer for a lesson at noon, another may choose to begin a session at midnight. It works anytime, Gibson said.
"These subjects are the things that feed your soul. They’re the things that let you wind down. They’re things that you’ve always wanted to learn about but never really had the time," said Gibson.
Course offerings are grouped into four categories:
**Writing Classes -- Adventures in Writing, Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published, The Craft of Magazine Writing, Crafting Your Short Fiction, eBook Publishing Essentials, Fundamentals of Technical Writing, History of Women Writers, Introduction to Internet Writing Markets, Keys to Effective Editing, Pleasures of Poetry, Song Writing Success, Travel Writing, Write Like a Pro, Write Your Life Story, Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers, You Can Write for Television, and Your Screenwriting Career;
**Computer Classes -- The Classroom Computer, Creating Documents for Palm OS Handhelds, Digital Photography Output, Discover the Pocket PC, Introduction to PC Troubleshooting, Introduction to Turbo Tax, Introduction to the Game Industry, Keyboarding, Navigating Your Palm Pilot, and Windows File and Disk Management;
**Test Prep Classes -- SAT/ACT Preparation 1 and 2;
**Personal Enrichment Classes -- There currently are 51 offerings in this category. Courses include instruction on grant writing, dealing with divorce, stress management, Braille, buying cars, genealogy, natural healing, hypnosis, eBay, photography, finance, Alzheimer’s disease, wine appreciation and a wide variety others. For a course list and instructor information, visit www.ed2go.com/rlc.
Gibson said these recreational and hobby classes generally attract an audience of women ranging in age from 25 to 60 years old. However, since many Community Education classes became available on-line about two years ago, more men are enrolling, she said.
"Americans are working longer hours today. The more demands these types of things make on people’s time, the harder it is for them," Gibson said. Therefore, it is beneficial to the students to have the flexibility to learn from their own homes at times which are convenient for them.