laid off? Looking for a career change?
Local college cooperative offers options
Rumsey, Staff Writer
The current economic downturn has many wondering about the future.
Several businesses are cutting back on employee hours and laying
off workers in order to stay afloat. While some people will find
a job quickly, many others may find that their skills need to
be refreshed to be competitive in the job market. Those who are
employed may even consider a career change or improve job skills
to increase their pay scale.
According to Mary Ellen Woolum, Associate Coordinator for the
College Cooperative Southeast, the CCS provides learning opportunities
for post-secondary after high school education for people in Southeast
Indiana who are not going away to college. This includes students
just finishing high school and working a job or adults who want
to earn a degree as they pursue their careers or raise children.
There are actually almost 130 different degree programs
available, said Woolum. The CCS works with universities
across the state such as Ball State, Indiana University, Vincennes,
St. Mary of the Woods, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Woolum
noted that students can choose from over 2000 courses per semester.
We are also able to provide classes to college students
in the summer, said Woolum, or high school juniors
and seniors who want to earn dual or college credits. Brush-up
courses are available to those who need to prepare for courses
on the college level.
Courses are offered in a variety of ways. For Internet classes,
the student can access their assignments on-line, as well as test
taking. CCS provides a computer for students without access
to the Internet, noted Woolum.
Students may also take courses via two-way video conferencing
with assignments and tests sent by email or fax; hybrid classes
with students attending class on location once a week and another
day by Internet or video conference; and finally, some offered
face-to-face if enough students are signed up for
CCS offers test proctoring. Proctoring is when an instructor emails
or faxes a students test to the CCS coordinator. The student
then takes the test under the coordinators supervision.
This is obviously necessary if you are taking an Internet
course, but it is convenient for students taking courses elsewhere,
The cost of distance education varies from school to school, according
to Woolum. For instance, Ivy Tech charges $95 per credit hour,
with most courses consisting of three credit hours. St. Mary of
the Woods, on the other hand, charges $370 per credit hour. But,
Woolum assures that financial aid is available for those who do
not have the means to pay for classes.
A financial aid workshop will be held on Tuesday, February 10
starting at 7 p.m. at the Southeastern Career Center. Here, high
school students and adults who are interested in taking college
courses will learn how to complete the Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA).
For more information on the workshop or degree programs available,
contact the CCS at 812-689-5253, ext. 275. Hours are Monday evenings
from 6-9 p.m.; Wednesdays from 1-10 p.m. and Thursdays from 9
a.m. to 2 p.m.