Is This the Death of Community Education?

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Enrichment courses on campus and online were once provided by Community Education also known as “Community Services” at Chabot College. In previous years this was a program that invited community members to register for classes that offered non-college credit courses at an affordable cost.

Business courses trained individuals in Accounting Fundamentals, Administrative Assistant Fundamentals, Managing in Customer Service and even Principles of Sales Management.

These classes were taught by community members, experts in their field, or Chabot College faculty members. Registering for classes was easy. To register online, all you had to do was go to chabotcollege.edu/comed and then go to “courses.”

Dr. Matt Kritscher, Vice President of Student Services stated, “We tried to respond to the recession, with more workforce training programs to try to make training that was relevant to dislocated workers.”

Also during this time individuals running the workforce training program had access to Dislocated Workers and the funds for that training came with them. Being a dislocated worker means that you are someone who is eligible for or receiving unemployment benefits (or who has exhausted eligibility for unemployment) because he/she lost their job.  

As Dean of Counseling at the time, Dr. Kritscher was asked to take on Community Education. However, the recession had resulted in lower enrollment. According to Dr. Kritscher, “This last year, was one of those years where it went to about $50,000 over budget because there were not enough enrollments. Basically, we had to decide to hold off on producing a schedule and putting it out to the community. Once we do that it’s about $15,000 in printing and mailing, and we had to know if that cost would be covered by people signing up for the classes.”

Kritscher said, “We weren’t getting more than 5-6 people to sign up a class, when we really needed like 10, 15 or 20 for it to pay for itself.” Dr. Kritscher explained that the program itself heavily relied on registration fees to pay for all cost associated with these classes.

Kim Bononcini who had worked as Administrative Assistant II for the program from 2005 to 2015 cherished moments she said, “planning and working in the Kids on Campus program each summer I’ve never worked so hard, before or since, but it was very rewarding, and I miss it a lot.”

Currently, the entire program consists of two courses split between The Arts and Business. One Line Dancing class offered this Fall by instructor Roslie Woergoetter; twice a week for twelve sessions and a few career preparation courses in Business.

Dr. Kritscher is hoping to put out a catalog next Fall where every single thing in there is free and they lead toward college preparation or toward a career development certificate.

Image courtesy of Community Education
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