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One year after its launch, St. Catharine College’s Continuing and Community Education program is ready to enter its second year. With any new venture, there is a learning curve, but it is all part of the process to determine the needs and wants of the community. As registration opens for the Spring 2012 session, the program’s director, Sr. Barbara Rapp, is optimistic about the future.
“We’ve learned so much in the first year of the Continuing and Community Education program,” said Rapp. “Many people in our community, from younger students up to senior citizens, are eager to learn new things, stretching them beyond what they thought they could do. That, in essence, is what St. Catharine is all about - expanding ones knowledge and furthering education.”
There is a wide variety to the courses offered, from hobbies, arts and crafts, to professional training and services.
“We try to offer something for everybody,” Rapp said. “Not everyone wants something intense, so we offer casual courses for people who just want to learn a new hobby and so forth. We are often surprised by the classes that attract the most participants. Classes in cake decorating and digital photography are usually the first to fill up.”
The short, accelerated classes allow students to get hands-on experience right from the start. One example is the radio broadcasting course, which allows students to enter and work in a professional broadcasting studio in the very first week.
“People learn better when they can be hands-on and experience the learning process up close,” Rapp said. “Broadcasting, pottery and painting classes literally involve the whole person in producing exciting outcomes. Learning from a book is good, but it takes on a whole different meaning when you create something yourself.”
Rapp also said the program allows SCC to use not only its main campus in Springfield, but also its learning centers in Lebanon and Bardstown.
“St. Catharine College has always had a presence in Nelson and Marion counties in addition to Washington County,” she said. “Offering classes and opportunities for study to the broader community is one way the college is extending this presence.”
While some courses may be more popular than others, Sr. Barbara said it is really up to the community to determine what classes are offered.
“We are always looking for new ideas for classes and different instructors from the community,” she said. “Let us know if you have suggestions for classes or if you know of instructors who might be willing to teach in our programs.”
If you have any questions about the Continuing and Community Education program at St. Catharine College or would like a catalog of offerings, please contact Sr. Barbara Rapp at (270) 699-2157.