As school children and teachers head back to class this week, it also is time for area college students to get ready for school.
Kenai Peninsula College walk-in registration begins Tuesday and continues through the week.
The campus in Soldotna is offering new courses and expanded programs this year, said College Director Ginger Steffy.
The classes will include the first designed for a new, four-year degree offering from the University of Alaska Anchorage: a bachelor of liberal arts.
The program will train students in a broad foundation of higher educational skills such as communications and cultural awareness. Employers, graduate schools and professional programs are telling universities that people with that type of education fare better in the long run, Steffy said.
"They are looking more and more favorably on something like a bachelor of liberal arts," she said.
The UAA program will feature an array of interdisciplinary courses in addition to traditional core subjects.
The first one will be a one-credit class called "Discoveries in Science," which consists of a series of evening lectures covering famous scientists and their discoveries in the context of their times. History professor Cathryn Pearce will organize scientists from diverse disciplines to speak and lead discussions.
Fans of popular anthropology professor Alan Boraas are in for a treat this semester, Steffy said.
Boraas will offer a new, three-credit class called "Athabaskan adaptations," which will examine the traditional and contemporary ways the boreal Athabaskans adapt to the environment, interact with other peoples, pattern their culture and change over time.
"It should be an interesting course," Steffy said.
Another class that intrigues her is a workshop for women on writing autobiographies. It will meet on Monday and Wednesday mornings with instructor Barbara Christian.
Other new courses this fall include:
Forensic accounting for crime investigation,
Recreational therapeutic horsemanship,
Herbal and nutritional studies,
Cisco Academy network,
Selected topics in electronic technology -- computer architecture, operating systems,
Floral design I,
Introduction to mass communication,
Country western workout,
Process technology III -- operations,
Process troubleshooting, and
Quality concepts for the process industry.
KPC is working this year with UAA on starting up the new bachelor of arts program in elementary education. The course work will overlap substantially with that required for the bachelor of liberal arts. Legislative funding levels will determine whether the full four-year program can be offered on the Kenai Peninsula, Steffy said.
Successful, recent programs such as the licensed practical nurse (LPN) courses from Weber State University and the industry-university partnership process technology program, will continue this fall. In December, the two-year process technology program will produce its first graduates, she said.
The first day of classes will be Aug. 27.
Course tuition per credit is $79 for residents and $248 for nonresidents for lower division courses and $90 for residents and $259 for nonresidents for upper division courses. Graduate level courses cost more and the fees for professional development courses vary. Nonresident students who restrict their enrollment to no more than three credits per semester pay only resident tuition.
Registration via phone on the WolfLine system has been open since July. Payment for WolfLine courses is due by 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Walk-in registration for admitted degree or certificate students will be today and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
New students who have not already done so should attend an orientation session Wednesday. Before attending, call 262-0327 and arrange to take the ASSET assessment, available daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday's orientation sessions will begin at 5 and 7 p.m.
Rebecca Olson prints her class schedule from a computer kiosk in the commons.
Photo by M. SCOTT MOON
The college offers a variety of services to the community beyond classes. These include:
Career Center: Career counseling, workshops on job search skills, college searches and the Alaska Career Information System, interest inventories and Internet research on careers.
Learning Center: Academic support programs include free Adult Basic Education courses, English as a Second Language instruction, peer tutoring, the Foster Grandparents Program, testing, telecourses, literacy programs and preparation for earning general equivalency diplomas.
Arts groups: Writers and visual artists are encouraged to submit works for "Driftwood," the KPC literary and art magazine; singers are welcome to join the madrigals, and aspiring thespians can get involved in the "old time radio" readers' theater based on real radio scripts from the 1930s and '40s.
Community performances: The Sunday Showcase series offers performances and lectures highlighting the best of KPC; the Multicultural Consortium sponsors events and discussions based on the humanities and cultural diversity; and Thursday Night at the Movies will return this year with free, thought-provoking movies unlikely to appear at area cinemas.
Library: More than 26,000 books, other publications and computers are available for public access.
Kenai Peninsula College's Soldotna campus is at the intersection of College Road and Poppy Lane off Kalifornsky Beach Road. It also has a Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer. It is a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska system.
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