HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE
CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721
CONTACT: DEBRA DAVIS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HCC DISTANCE EDUCATION ENROLLMENT ON THE RISE
Haywood Community College’s telecourse and Internet course enrollments show a 34% growth over last Spring Semester.This Spring 174 students are enrolled in Telecourses and 51 are enrolled in Internet courses.
The popularity of these classes continues to grow. Ginger Jackson, a ’99 HCC College Transfer graduate says, "I am working full-time, have two children, and just do not have time for traditional classes. Right now, this is the ONLY way I can continue to work toward my Bachelor’s degree."
Many of HCC’s students have full-time jobs and are using the courses to continue their education despite busy schedules. However, some students enrolled in a full-time curriculum are also finding the distance education courses helpful as a way to get caught up or get ahead. They are using a combination of traditional classroom time and telecourses or Internet courses to fulfill their degree requirements.
Teresa Melton, a full-time working mother and secretary to HCC’s president, has taken several telecourse and is currently taking her first Internet course. Last semester she took a telecourse in Art History taught by Jean Penland. Penland kept in constant contact with her students by sending out art print postcards once a week. Students had to identify the art work and answer questions also on the postcards.The prints and questions were later used as the basis of a test. Melton says, "The course was very informative. I learned as much as I would have in a traditional classroom setting. The quality of the teaching was excellent." Melton is using distance education courses to pursue a degree in General Education and to help further her career at HCC. She says, "It can be time consuming so you must be motivated."
Rick Lindsay, an HCC instructor, is teaching a dendrology telecourse this semester. Even though dendrology is an area where students must do a lot of field work, Lindsay says that, for the right student, a telecourse is just as effective as the traditional classroom, "A person must be career-oriented, self-motivated and mature to do well in a telecourse. Because of these qualities my telecourse students often go far beyond what I expect of them. They really excel." The telecourse dendrology students do field work on their own—they must submit leaf and twig collections and make a trip to a local lumberyard. Because of the unique nature of this course, Lindsay has had students enrolled in other community college’s degree programs who use this telecourse to help them meet their degree requirements.
This spring HCC is offering twelve telecourses and three Internet courses. Hal Lander, HCC Coordinator of Distance Education, says that he expects the selection of online courses to grow as more teachers acquire the necessary skills to develop and teach the classes. According to Lander, it takes from 300 to 500 hours of teacher input to develop an Internet class. On the state level, a team of community college teachers and leaders are working on a standardized plan to make the development of an Internet course easier. Eventually, a library of such courses should be available for individual teachers to adapt for use at their prospective colleges. According to Lander, students choices of online courses should continue to grow steadily.
A lot of instructors are developing tele-web courses which incorporate both video and Internet instruction. Several teachers already combine traditional classroom teaching with Internet assignments. Lander teaches traditional courses, telecourses and teaches one Internet course. His Internet students are required to take part in a discussion forum and must post their thoughts three times a week. Lander sends e-mails to all the students at least once or twice a week.
For more information about Haywood Community College’s distance education courses, call (828)627-4500 or visit the web site: potemkin.haywood.cc.nc.us/gened/disted/
Hal Lander, HCC’s Coordinator of Distance Education, spends time online checking student assignments and responding to questions via e-mail.