Here’s a common scenario:
You’ve been out of school for a couple of years or more, you’re working and maybe even have a child or two.
You want to continue your education because you know that, long-term, it’s going to help you get better jobs and raise your income. But, it’s just so hard to make classes fit into a busy work and family schedule.
“That ’s so typical of community college students today,” said Eastern Iowa Community Colleges Assistant Director for Admissions Tishly Herrington. “They’re juggling a lot of balls in the air… classes, work, family… and it’s hard to keep them all in the air at the same time.
“I especially see adults who know they need to continue their education in order to make a better life for themselves and their family, and they really want to do that, but it’s hard,” she said. “One thing I encourage them to do is to just take it a step at a time.”
She explained students often become overwhelmed, thinking about all the classes they need to finish in order to earn their degree. Instead, she advises students to think about what they can do now.
“If a student feels they have the time and can take three or four classes at once, then by all means, they should do that,” Herrington said. “But if they can only fit one class into their schedule, there’s nothing wrong with that. Each class they complete gets them one step closer to their goal.”
She also pointed out the benefit that provides in the job search.
“Even if you haven’t yet completed your degree, when you have more college classes on your resume than the others applying for that same job, it really gives you a leg up,” she said.
To help people fit classes into busy schedules, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges has introduced a new Degree Plan for Working Adults. Its Flexclass delivery makes it possible for students to earn their degree on their time.
Flexclass combines classroom-based instruction with online studies students complete at home. They attend class just once a week and then complete additional work at home, online, when it works with their schedule.
That combines the best of both worlds. Students still get time in a classroom with fellow students, but it only requires them to be there once a week, not multiple times. The online work provides the “flex” to arrange the additional classwork when it best fits them.
As an added benefit, new students get their first evening class at half-off tuition. Learn more about the program at a special December 6 information session beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information go to eicc.edu/adultplan or call 1-888-336-3907