OC program ‘opens the door’ to students who can’t attend class during work day

BREMERTON — Olympic College is keeping its doors open late on Tuesdays this coming semester for students who may not be able to come to class during the day, who still want to complete their associate’s degree in just two years.

Beginning in the fall 2017 quarter — which officially stars Sept. 25 — three classes will kick off a new hybrid in class-and-online program designed to help students earn their transferrable degrees efficiently.

“Community college students often face many obstacles to earning a degree, be it work, family, income or other circumstances,” said Olympic College Director of Marketing Shawn Devine. “By offering this program at night, we hope it will open the door for those who may not be able to attend by day.”

The two-year program has all its classes already mapped out and planned, so that students can just follow along and earn the credits necessary for an associate’s in arts degree. Fall 2017 classes include music appreciation (humanities credit), geological hazards (natural sciences) and general psychology (social sciences). To view the entire schedule through completion, visit www.olympic.edu/evening-associate-arts-program.

“Some classes meet in person, just as they would during the day,” Devine said. “Others are hybrid online, which is also common.

“Ultimately, we are trying to provide an experience that is consistent with what a student would expect when attending by day, which is why we are planning to make student services available as well.”

The full schedule has already been planned for students participating “so students can have a reasonable expectation of what the schedule is. Also, to ensure the program meets all of the academic requirements of the transfer associate degree, it was important to map out the entire pathway.”

Devine added that, if a student fails to pass or take one of the offered classes at their planned time, “they would likely need to find an alternative to meet the AA and (transferrable associate’s degree) requirements,” such as an online course.

He said that over time, if the program grows, more classes can be added to the schedule.

Students are already enrolling in the program: the music appreciation class, 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays, has three students; the geological hazards class meets online and is currently full with 24 students, though Devine said another class is being added; and the general psychology class, which meets 7:25-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, has 15 students currently enrolled.

“As a community college, we are committed to making sure our programs are available to all we serve,” Devine said.

For more information about this program, visit olympic.edu/evening-associate-arts-program. An informational meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 12, in room 218 of the humanities and student services building.

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.