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HCC classes offered at mall

March 29, 2001

HCC classes offered at mall



By SCOTT BUTKI / scottb@herald-mail.com

The Valley Mall is more than a place to shop, it's also a place to take Hagerstown Community College continuing education classes, said Ann Shipway, HCC's director of continuing education and training.

The number of people enrolled and the number of classes offered will continue to increase at the Hagerstown Community College Valley Mall Training Center at a new site at the mall, Shipway said.

The 6,400-square-foot center is near The Bon-Ton and has its own mall entrance. The center opened in January but the ribbon-cutting ceremony was Thursday.

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More than 100 classes are offered at the center and that number will increase to 600 by June and eventually will grow to 800, Shipway said.

During the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the center will have served 9,000 students, she said. Usually 40 percent of students return to take other classes, she said.

The number of students at the center will increase to 10,000 in the near future, according to Shipway.

Students say the mall location is one of the main reasons they take classes there instead of at other sites where continuing education is offered, she said.

Family members can shop or go to the movies while students takes classes.

A grand opening ceremony is slated for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with displays and demonstration's from the college's Center for Continuing Education, live music, prize drawings, refreshments and registration.

At least 500 people are expected to attend, Shipway said.

The average age of continuing education students at the college is 45, she said. About 60 percent of people taking continuing education classes are there for job training while about 40 percent are there to learn for their own interests, she said.

Class length ranges from one day to six or eight weeks. While many classes relate to computers or nursing, they also offer classes on topics as varied as business leadership, organic gardening and customer service and training, she said.

The center has six classrooms with 28 computers but has the capacity to increase the number of computers to 200, she said.

For information on the center, call 790-2800, ext. 236.

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