September 25, 2007

SIUC offers classes at Shawnee Community College

by K.C. Jaehnig


CARBONDALE, Ill. — Students enrolled in Shawnee Community College in Ullin can begin taking courses in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Workforce Education and Development before they even finish their associate degrees.

Those planning to major in the education, training and development specialization began taking the first two courses in the 30-hour professional sequence this semester. They will take the next two courses in the spring, transferring to finish the remaining departmental and University requirements next fall.

"The idea was to smooth the transition from the associate degree into our bachelor's degree program," said C. Keith Waugh, who heads the department in SIUC's College of Education and Human Services.

"Because that specialization applies credit to technical and professional training and to work experience, conceivably they could finish their bachelor's in 12 to 18 additional months. It's very appealing to working adults."

Ongoing discussions with senior administrators at John A. Logan College, Lakeland Community College, Rend Lake Community College and Southeastern Illinois College may allow students in those schools to do the same thing.

"There are still some hoops we have to jump through, but the plan is to begin offering our program at John A. (Logan) in the spring and perhaps even at Lakeland, if we can get that one up and running by then," Waugh said.

SIUC instructors teach the classes at Shawnee, Waugh emphasized.

"The program off campus is the same as the one we offer here — there isn't any difference," he said.

"We're just going to them instead of them coming to us. For many students, it's a more comfortable environment. They've been going to school there, they know where the classrooms are, and they know where to park."

Graduates of the bachelor's program can work for corporations, private companies, government agencies, volunteer organizations or the military as training specialists, curriculum developers, supervisors and managers. Those with master's degrees can work at community colleges as instructors, and those with doctorates can become administrators.

"This program itself can be kind of a transition into graduate work," Waugh said.

In offering the program, the department is following SIU President Glenn Poshard's lead in trying to do a better job serving the Southern Illinois region, Waugh said.

"Our discipline is all about preparing people for work and improving the training that results in greater skills," he noted.

"This all plays into enhancing economic development in the area because when prospective employers look at a region, one thing they like to see is a skilled, educated workforce. That's a goal we have with both the program and the department — to increase the marketability of our area."

For more detailed information on the specialization, visit SIUC on the Web at