HCC brews an eclectic collection of classes

College adds dozens of noncredit courses to its catalog for fall

August 10, 2007|By Jessica Dexheimer | Jessica Dexheimer,Sun reporter

Howard Community College is offering a class this fall called Beer Appreciation, during which students can sample microbrews and imports while learning a history lesson.

The unconventional class for those who are at least 21 years old -- and can prove it -- is one of the dozens of noncredit courses that the college has added to its continuing education lineup. Other new lifestyle and leisure courses include Creative Gift Wrapping and Femme Football, a class for women who feel out of the loop come football season.

Local would-be beer aficionados may be happy to hear that continuing education classes are open to everyone, not just HCC students, and there is no application process.

Some of the classes meet once a week for several months. Others gather less frequently. The beer appreciation class meets once in October for three hours. Students are asked to bring a glass, a bottle of water, crackers and paper towels to class.

More than 14,000 students were enrolled in noncredit classes in 2006, and the college expects another high turnout this year, said Joanne L. Erickson, HCC's continuing education coordinator of marketing.

"We run the gamut when it comes to ages and personalities," she said "We serve all the residents of Howard County, from [age] 7 on up."

Kids on Campus is a collection of noncredit classes for students ages 7 to 17. This year's offerings include Photoshop Phun; Art with Found Objects; and Kids' Corral, a course for budding horse enthusiasts.

There are also courses created especially for senior citizens, such as I'm Retired: Now What? and Music and the Sea.

For those interested in learning a language, classes have been added in Elementary Conversational Arabic, Speaking Czech and Beginning Hindi. People in the business world can take courses on topics ranging from How to Turn Around Difficult Employees to a Crash Course in Event Planning. HCC also offers specialized classes for electricians, builders, health care professionals and those in information technology fields.

The Continuing Education Department brainstorms ideas for new classes, which sometimes results in the slightly unconventional courses.

"We hope that we have a variety that appeals to the greatest number of community members," said Marge Cangiano, coordinator of lifelong education for the college.

She said that the greatest number of ideas come from Howard County residents who call with ideas for classes that they would like to attend or teach.

"So many people love to teach, even if it's not their profession," Cangiano said. "Especially here, where you're teaching adults who are here because they want to be."

Erickson said the bookstore's hot sellers, as well as magazine articles, clue them in as to what the community may want to learn more about.

Both administrators say the classes are well worth the time and fees, which vary by course.

"If something interests you, go for it," Cangiano said. "Our classes are very highly rated and we always offer a 100 percent guarantee" that students will enjoy the classes or they can get their money back.

jessi.dexheimer@baltsun.com

Howard Community College is mailing course catalogs to all county residents this month. Information or to sign up online: www.howardcc.edu

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