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Continuing education continues to grow at HJC

January 07, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

Considering a career change, Hagerstown resident Donald Summers said he decided to enroll last fall in the "Principles of HVAC, Part I" class offered by Hagerstown Junior College.

On Monday evening, Summers was back at the college's main campus to sign up for the second part.

"I'm quite pleased with it," said Summers, 45, a truck driver, who sees growing opportunity in the heating and air-conditioning field.

He said the 12-week class, held Monday evenings at the Washington County Career Studies Center, is a convenient way to gain the training he needs.

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The HVAC class is one of more than 200 non-credit classes being offered through the college's Center for Continuing Education during the spring semester, which starts Monday, Jan. 13.

Registration for both credit and non-credit students runs through Friday, said HJC spokeswoman Patricia Churchey. Late registration, requiring an additional fee, will be available through Jan. 17.

Students interested in non-credit classes - which start at different times during the semester - have until the first day of the class to sign up, provided the class isn't full, she said.

Like Summers, others are looking to HJC for short-term training programs, classes and workshops that will gain them entry or an edge in today's job market, Churchey said.

To meet the growing need, the college keeps expanding its business-related continuing education offerings, she said.

"We are really working to train people quickly," said Churchey, who said the demand is especially high for computer-related classes.

To determine what it will offer, the college surveys community needs and interests, she said.

New business-related offerings this semester include a computer animation class and several management classes, Churchey said.

The college has also added several "personal interest" classes for adults, including "The Art of Meditation," "Attracting Birds to Your Garden," "Sports Officiating for Baseball and Softball," and "Federal Income Tax for Individuals" - as well as the new Kids Korner program, aimed mainly at middle school students, she said.

The number of people enrolled in non-credit classes has grown steadily in recent years, said Robin Spaid, associate dean of continuing education and economic development.

In fiscal 1993, there were 6,104 enrollments, Spaid said.

The number increased to 6,144 enrollments in fiscal 1994, then jumped to 7,640 enrollments in fiscal 1995, she said.

Spaid said she expects she'll have at least 8,000 enrollments in continuing education courses for fiscal 1996.

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