Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Semester started Monday night
A round-table configuration so that we can enhance small group discussions.
Students work on their interview skills while developing information for an introductory speech.
The program where I became introduced to real college teaching was Coker's night program and that was back in the late 1980s when I was an adjunct teaching public speaking when the need arose in the evening programs. From the start I have enjoyed being part of what we call the non-traditional degree program.
Nowadays, we call this the Coker ALPHA program and we have sites for non-traditional learners in Marion/Mullins, Lake City and Hartsville. This term I am at the Marion site teaching public speaking and we had some really good opening-class discussions on Monday. There were 13 students in class and I think there will be two to three more who will be joining us at the second class.
ALPHA learning is a challenge because more than 90% and probably close to 100% of the students have jobs and then they attend Coker two nights a week, most of them in two classes. The classes are 5:30 to 8:00 and then 8:05 to 10:30. This makes for a long day but these students are investing their time and money because they know they will find a payoff. And, most of them do comment that they find the payoff almost weekly as they expand their worlds in these college classes.
It is a challenge and it is a great deal of work. For example, I have the same number and same type of assignments for the night classes that I have for the day classes. The night classes do in eight weeks what we take a full semester to do in the day. The difference for the students that instead of five classes they are focusing on two at a time.