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Education as a Lifelong Pursuit

My family thinks I’m crazy, but I swear, when I win the lottery (and I am going to win) I plan to go to school for the rest of my life. I believe learning should be a lifetime pursuit.

I see people who agree with me all the time. I teach English part-time at Cape Fear Community College, and see, peppered amongst the kids right out of high school, folks my age and older, back at school and ready to learn. Their reasons are myriad: some are trying to complete a degree they started a decade ago, some want to get a better job, some want out of their current job—but they all share a common desire to enhance their lives through the pursuit of higher learning.

It’s never too soon or too late for learning, for experiencing new ideas and skills. I believe most people agree with this statement; at the same time, they might also say to me: But who has the time?

Continuing Education programs are designed to help people with tight schedules (and budgets) find ways to become lifetime learners. In the North Brunswick County area there are three avenues for Continuing Education: Brunswick Community College (BCC), Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW).

What Can I Learn and When Can I Find the Time?

BCC, CFCC, and UNCW all offer a diverse array of Continuing Education courses at convenient times, including weekends, nights, as well as “at-home” options like online classes. This flexibility makes their Continuing Education programs workable for adults who have to balance lifetime learning with the management of fulltime jobs and families.

Brunswick Community College (BCC)

The Brunswick Community College main campus is located in Supply, but the college also has centers in Leland and Southport. Continuing Education courses at Brunswick Community College include: CPR Certification, Certified Nursing Assistant (1&2), Painting, Pottery and multiple courses dealing with the ins and outs of Real Estate (example: Provisional Brokers, Contracts and Closings). In addition, BCC offers a variety of computer courses, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access), Introduction to the Personal Computer, QuickBooks and Adobe Photoshop. A high school diploma is not needed to register for computer classes. Classes are offered on weeknights and Saturdays. The cost of Continuing Education courses ranges from $50 (CPR) to $211 (Certified Nursing Assistant 1&2). Check the Continuing Education website (http://www.brunswick.cc.nc.us/CONED/CE.htm) for up-to-date information. To preregister for classes call 910-755-7380 or 1-800 754-1050 ext. 380.

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC)

Cape Fear Community College has two campuses, the Main Campus located in downtown Wilmington, and a North Campus located in Castle Hayne. Most classes prepare individuals for employment or upgrade the skills of workers already employed. Call 910-362-7170 for a complete Continuing Education schedule or visit the website athttp://cfcc.edu/ce/index.html. Continuing Education courses at Cape Fear Community College include: Basic Skills: including Adult High School, ESL, Compensatory Education, and GED/Adult Basic Education. All classes are free of charge. For more information visit the first floor of the McLeod (S) building on the Wilmington Campus.

Community Service and Self-Supporting Classes:

including Auto Safety, HVAC-CFC Certification, Aviation Ground School, Notary Public, Marine Captains Course/Exam, Pottery, and Concealed Handgun. For a complete course schedule call 910-362-7189 or visit the website at http://cfcc.edu/ce/commservice.html.

Ed2Go Online: offers a variety of non-credit, instructor-led classes over the Internet including: Internet, Computer, Certification Prep, Writing, Personal Enrichment, Business Administration, and Legal Courses. Each course runs for six weeks and consists of 12 lessons, supplemented by interactive quizzes, assignments, tutorials and online discussions. For a complete course schedule call 910-362-7196 or 910-362-7170 or visit the website at http://cfcc.edu/ce/online.htm.

Fire and Rescue Training: including NC Firefighter Certification (through the NC Fire & Rescue Commission), courses for re-certifications and courses on the latest technology. Firefighter I & II and Rescue Technician Academies are held semi-annually. For a complete course schedule call 910-259-4966 or 910-675-1439 or visit the website at: http://cfcc.edu/ce/fireseminars.html.

Public Health and Safety: including Nurse Aide Level I and II, Nurse Aide Refresher, EMT, Law Enforcement Training, Basic Motorcycle Rider and Motor Vehicle Dealer License Renewal. Visit the website at http://cfcc.edu/ce/phs.htmfor class times and registration information.

Continuing Education for Teachers and Paraprofessionals: Teachers and paraprofessionals from counties outside New Hanover and Pender must get prior approval from central office professional development administrators. To register for classes and for more information call 910-362-7199. The cost of Continuing Education courses ranges from $55 to $95, although some classes require additional fees for certification. Basic Skills courses are free of charge. To register for a Continuing Education class at CFCC you must first pre-register. To download a preregistration form and for additional registration instructions call 910-362-7196, or visit the website athttp://cfcc.edu/ce/cereg.htm.

University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW)

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers a series of unique opportunities for Continuing Education through its Division for Public Service and Continuing Studies. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers adultnon-credit courses with an emphasis on personal growth and community involvement. Part of the institute is the Adult Scholar Leadership Program, which boasts alumni from Brunswick County. According to the program’s website ( www.uncw.edu/dpscs/lifelong-asLeadership.htm) the program “engages seniors with community leaders, experts and policy makers to proactively explore, learn and participate in solutions to our regional challenges.” Tuition includes breakfast, snack and lunch each day, notebook/handouts, and graduation ceremony. For the February 7 – March 27 session the cost is $319 plus a $10 registration fee. Limited tuition grants are available. To apply for a tuition grant, include a one-page statement of need when submitting your application on or before Dec. 1, 2007. Visit the website athttp://www.uncw.edu/dpscs/lifelong-asLeadership.htm for more information.

WebU

WebU gives students living in North Brunswick County the option to take UNCW Continuing Education classes online. A sample of the courses offered online are: Basic Computer Literacy, Computer Applications, Graphic Design, Web Page Design, Web Graphics & Multimedia, Web & Computer Programming, Database Management & Programming, PC Troubleshooting, Networking, & Security, Certification Prep, Digital Photography & Digital Video and Art, History, Psychology and Literature courses. Most courses are self-paced, though students are expected to work through lessons in a timely manner. The cost of online Continuing Education courses ranges from $55 to $99, although some classes require additional fees for certification. For a complete schedule of classes and registration information, visit the website at http://www.ed2go.com/webu/.

Professional Development and Certificate Programs UNCW also offers Professional Development and Certificate Programs. Course offerings for the Fall 2007/Spring 2008 semester include: The Legal Environment of Insurance, Financial Services Institutions, and Business and Financial Analysis for Risk Management and Insurance Professionals. Classes are held once a week at night. The cost of Professional Development and Certificate Programs courses includes the cost of tuition ($295), course materials, (about $169) and occasionally exam fees. For more information including a course schedule, specific fees and registration information, contact the coordinator, Allison Rankin, at 910-962-7194 or visit the website at http://www.uncw.edu/dpscs/pro.htm.

Can I Get Assistance Finding a Job?

Brunswick Community College (BCC)

BCC offers The Career Information & Assessment Center for both job seekers and employers. Job placement services will be offered through the coordinated efforts of Brunswick Community College, the Employment Security Commission, Work First Family Assistance, School-to-Work/Job Ready, and Vocational Rehabilitation. Access to America’s Job Bank, Talent Bank and other Internet job lines will be available.

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC)

CFCC’s Career Connection is a free job placement service for Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) students and graduates. It includes a database of job openings in the Greater Wilmington and surrounding areas.

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