Northeast Technology Center in Claremore will release their fall catalogue later this month, including, for the first time, a section of virtual and blended courses.
Claremore Campus Director Liberty Shere said, “We want to have a virtual option and an in-person option for as many of our classes as we can.”
“We’re giving people options because we aren’t sure how comfortable they’ll be coming to class in person as things continue to progress,” Shere said. “We want to give everyone options to be engaged.”
Some of the online offerings include job safety training, exercise classes,
Most virtual classes will have a live feed of the in-person lectures, so students can take the class online or in person at the same time, and both groups can actively participate in class discussion.
Classes with a hands-on component will offer a blend approach where students can do course-work online and come in to do lab-work in person.
“Some of our courses are so hands-on, that we’re never going to get away from that, but we can supplement it and give people different options,” Shere said.
NTC also wants to continue person-to-person interaction, even when it’s virtual, for the socialization and mental health of students, Shere said.
“From everything we’re hearing in continuing education, and nationally, online education is going to take off,” Shere said. “We’re putting resources into that, and working with our adjunct instructors to gear up, so they have the tools they need to be able to offer things online.”
All of Claremore NTC’s instructors have chosen to take advantage of a free training taught by three instructional coordinators on how to design a course for students learning online and put curriculum in an online learning management system.
“A lot of our instructors come straight from industry and curriculum development isn’t their area of expertise, they are really experts in the technical side,” Shere said. “They’ve been really receptive to this training.”
Enrollment across campus has not yet started. However, NTC’s Licensed Practical Nursing Program is full at every campus, with a waiting list of students hoping to enroll.
“It’s encouraging, especially with everything going on in the health care arena, that people are still interested and willing to go into that,” Shere said.
The first in-person adult education and special interest courses since spring break started last week.
“This fall semester, we will be trying all kinds of different things and seeing what sticks and what works for people,” Shere said. “There is a lot of diversity in what we offer and a lot of diversity in the people that take our classes, so we want to make the options for them to consume these classes more diverse than we have in the past.”
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to find new ways to get good instruction out to our folks, and be creative in how we do that,” Shere said. “We’re hoping we can offer it in enough different ways that whatever the individual’s situation is, they will still be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”