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(Close to) home schooling

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 7th, 2013

photo by Jon Stinnett Tove Gilbert-Morgan offers instruction in CPR to students in a first-aid class Monday. Students say taking beginning-level classes in Cottage Grove is a lot more economical and less scary than traveling to LCC's Eugene campus.

Most local residents would gladly skip the drive to Eugene for something they could get right here in Cottage Grove. This fall, Lane Community College will try to help its students from the Cottage Grove area do just that.

Jenette Kane, who has served as dean of LCC’s Cottage Grove campus for two years, said that with the start of the upcoming school year this fall, the college is attempting to offer all of the classes in Cottage Grove that a student would need to complete the first year of a two-year Associate of Arts, Oregon Transfer degree.

“We’re trying to offer as many developmental first-year classes as we can in Cottage Grove so that students can be successful in a college setting before we send them to the main campus,” Kane said. “It’s a work in progress to see what classes can be added here.”

For some students, commuting to Eugene for class is a big problem. Others find the large class sizes and campus at LCC in Eugene daunting.

“The price of gas is a big factor,” one student said Monday.

“The bus doesn’t run on an ideal schedule to LCC,” said another.

“I started here because this campus was less scary than the big campus,” one woman stated. “Plus, it’s smaller and there are less people.”

Instructor Tove Gilbert-Morgan said the small class sizes at LCC in Cottage Grove allow her to interact more with her students.

“I know all the students’ names and have a better understanding of what’s going on in the class,” she said. “I know the personality of the group academically and can teach accordingly.”

For Kane, offering more early-level classes in Cottage Grove is part of defining the role of LCC here.

“We are trying to differ from the main campus as more of a starter campus,” she said. “We’re in the process of redefining who we are and what we should be offering our students.”

Kane said that one of her early encounters in Cottage Grove was with the Cottage Grove Vision Keepers and the group’s founding document, in which many local residents stated that making LCC in Cottage Grove a hub for service and tech-related learning in the community was one of its primary goals for the future. Kane said offering such classes to students seeking a skill and not necessarily a two-year degree could be a way to entice those students to continue their schooling.

For the complete article see the 08-07-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-07-2013 paper.

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