Flexible Scheduling for Entrepreneurs at Community College
Today’s entrepreneurs need to have a presence on the web, but often have little time for “teaching themselves” and a small budget for “hiring to have it done.” Parkland Community College offers web design coursework that has been modularized to provide more flexible scheduling options for busy entrepreneurs.
As an instructor in the web design program at Parkland Community College, I am involved in entrepreneurship education from many different angles: teaching entrepreneurial tools like how to create a website, nurturing students to think creatively, and constantly exploring new ideas in curriculum development.
With all of this entrepreneurial energy around, flexible course delivery options are vital. The diverse population at a community college often includes adults who are working full-time and unable to devote enough time to complete the projects involved in a 3-hour course. To make learning course content more flexible, I took the content of the introductory 3-hour web design course and created three, 1-hour courses that cover the same material so busy students can learn the material over the course of more than one semester. It is possible to enroll in the 1-hour courses anytime before midterm of the semester. To accommodate online students needing the opportunity to occasionally meet in person, an open classroom time is available a few hours each week when students can “walk in” and get individualized help from the instructor in a lab environment. When space is available, interested students are also invited to attend lecture sessions that are scheduled in the campus sections of the 3-hour course. In the spring semester of this school year, more options are being added with the possibility of 3-4 hour blocks of lecture material being presented several times during the semester in a lab environment that allows hands-on activity. Handouts and details of implementing this method will be given.
Ruthann Whobrey, Associate Professor, Parkland College, IL