College adds education, weekend classes

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By Nathan L. McBroom

Becoming a teacher just got a little bit easier for local students.

Starting this fall, the Jefferson Community and Technical College Shelby County campus will offer courses in education instruction.

Dr. John Wieland, campus director, said the campus added the classes in order to give students more options on their path to becoming a classroom teacher.

"The fact that we are offering this opportunity will allow some folks in the community to pursue a career as a teacher," he said.

These courses will help "jump start" the students' credit hours, he said.

Currently, students can earn up to 60 hours of credit and an associate's degree from the local college.

Wieland said these credits could be transferred to any state college where the student can finish a bachelor's degree.

For students wanting to be a teacher, these classes could allow them to postpone transferring to a 4-year college by up to six months.

Along with the added courses in education, the college will also off Saturday classes this fall.

Wieland said for people who work a 9-to-5 job, weekday classes are not a viable option.

"To really serve the needs of adults requires flexible scheduling," he said.

He said the addition of the education and Saturday courses are an effort to be responsive to the needs of the community.

There are close to 1,000 students registered for classes at the college for the fall semester.

Currently the college offers classes in seven main areas. Three are in technical education. They are machine tool, office systems, and practical nursing.

Other degrees offered include an associate's degree in arts and science. The school also offers training in fire rescue and adult education.