Kenai Peninsula College ushered in the new year and a new semester Thursday with its second annual open house.
Hundreds of people visited the central peninsula campus for a fun and informative day. The college served up refreshments, plus presentations and demonstrations on an array of helpful topics.
"This year, we tried to make things more open," said Jerry McDonnell, the school's Career Center coordinator.
Faculty and staff were on hand to greet visitors, guide them to rooms and answer questions about college programs. They even offered a free three-credit class as a door prize.
Students and community well-wishers were able to sample Japanese cuisine, listen to guitar picking, watch a tai chi demonstration or admire works from art classes. Lecturers presented highlights and opportunities from classes plus useful tips on subjects ranging from overcoming depression to buying a personal computer.
Only a few hours into the open house, McDonnell estimated that several hundred people already had passed through.
The event ties in with general registration, which began Thursday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Spring semester classes begin Monday. Late registration will continue through Jan. 22.
The college is offering 11 new classes this semester. They include ceramics, appreciating opera, creative writing, administrative law, natural resource policy, tai chi and process technology II.
KPC offers services to the public that go beyond traditional class instruction.
The KPC Learning Center helps people prepare for college. Its Adult Basic Education (ABE) program offers free, individual coaching in math and English skills.
The center also offers instruction for earning high school equivalency diplomas and information on telecourses, correspondence courses, Elderhostel and family reading.
The Career Center at KPC offers professional help in career exploration, resume writing, interviewing skills and labor market information.
People need not be enrolled at KPC to take advantage of those services.
The college also offers discounted tuition to high school seniors. They may take up to six credits each semester, pay $20 rather than $77 per credit, and earn dual credit for high school and the University of Alaska.
KPC is a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage. It offers two-year degrees, vocational certifications and courses that lead to four-year degrees through UAA.
The available majors are anthropology, psychology, business administration, education and fine arts.
The campus is located at the intersection of College Drive and East Poppy Lane off Kalifornsky Beach Road between Kenai and Soldotna.
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