The Department of Outreach and Community Engagement launched its first community education courses last week. A variety of classes, ranging from small business seminars to cake decorating, will be offered weekly through the end of the semester, some of which are free.
Lawana Hawkins, the community education/non-credit coordinator, said these courses act as a bridge between the community and the university.
The Outreach Department offers different courses each semester.
“We try to bring a new spice each time,” Hawkins said, “That way it’s not the same old, same old. Courses that are pretty popular, we continue to bring them back because there is still such a demand for them.”
Among the new courses offered this semester are beginner and intermediate hula hoop dance classes.
Hawkins said hoop dance is being offered to attract more students and because “right now the trend is in exercising.”
Belly dance and yoga are two other exercise options the department offers that are popular with students.
Community Education Assistant Chandler Gaines was optimistic about the courses offered.
“I would definitely suggest these to people,” Gaines said. “’m just very interested in the opportunity to learn things for not a very high fee and this, I think, is a good method to do that.”
Hawkins said the department is also trying to reach out to senior citizens. Two of the free courses offered that target senior citizens are Medicare 101 and Social Security Planning.
The fall Outreach catalogue also advertises foreign language and music classes that can be enrolled in through the UCA Community Language School or Community School of Music.
Online training is also advertised in the catalogue and registration information that can be found on the online section of the UCA Outreach’s website.
Information about the classes offered can be found in the Outreach catalogue in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center. Some changes to the printed catalogue have been updated online, including the cancelation of the two poetry workshops.
Registration for the community education courses is open online or over the phone at (501) 450-3429. UCA students, faculty, retirees and paid alumni members receive a 50 percent discount on the course fees.
Course fees don’t have to be paid at time of registration, but should be paid a week before the course starts or on the first night of the class.
Many students don’t know UCA offers these non-credit classes.
Gaines said, “I didn’t even know this department existed when I was a student.”
Hawkins said the department sent out 1,800 catalogue books in student mailboxes to boost student attendance and combat awareness.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2015 print edition of The Echo.
image via www.uca.edu