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KC’s Nashville Education Center Packs a Multitude of Services into a Small Space

The Kaskaskia College Nashville Education Center may be small, but the services it offers to residents and students are huge.
 
Built upon Kaskaskia College’s philosophy of “bringing education to the times and places convenient to the learner,” the Nashville Center has expanded the services and classes it offers to the communities of Washington County.  The Nashville Education Center opened its doors in August, 2003 and has continued to thrive ever since. It houses four education classrooms and a ten station up-to-date computer lab and is open to the public 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.
 
Originally built as an experiment to see if there was sufficient demand for a Kaskaskia College facility in Washington County, the Nashville Center has continued to expand its class offerings and community services in its cramped space on Kaskaskia Street in Nashville.  Recent Community Engagement and Board of Trustees meetings at the Center overfilled the largest meeting space available, highlighting the need for a larger space with more classrooms and laboratories to accommodate an ever-growing selection of classes and events at the Center.
 
Expansion of the Nashville Education Center is sorely needed, and is currently being addressed by the College, which has located a suitable site on Rt. 127 north of Nashville for a new, state of the art building.  The campaign for fundraising and design of the new space is expected to be underway later this year.
 
Under an agreement signed earlier this year, Kaskaskia College is now able to offer full degree programs at each of its Education Centers, where before only half of the credit hours needed for a degree could be earned off campus.  With the advent of online classes, in which students need only computer and internet access to attend classes, and distance learning classes through the College’s network of distance learning classrooms, Nashville, as well as other Education Centers, can now offer much more programming than what was available when every class meant a rigid schedule of face-to-face class meetings.
 
The Nashville Center uses the College’s PolyCom system that allows one-on-one interaction between the Center and the main campus for tutoring, counseling, and other services to take place without the need for local students to travel for these services.
Utilizing its distance learning classroom, the Nashville Center can make available classes that are taught at any of the campuses or other extension centers.  This is not only convenient for the students who do not have to travel to attend a class; it allows for a few students from several different locations to use the technology to make a class viable.
 
The Nashville Center is also part of the initiative called Weekend College, in which students who work full time can take classes that meet on Friday evenings and Saturdays breaking the mold of classes that are held mornings and afternoons through the week.  This allows students with inflexible schedules to also attend classes at KC.
 
In response to the College’s Community Engagement and Advisory Board meetings, Kaskaskia College is seeking to fill the needs of the communities it serves by expanding courses at the Education Centers. 
 
Another service offered at the Nashville Center is Community Education classes.  These credit and non-credit classes cover topics of interest from getting the most use from an iPad or iPhone, to basic and intermediate computer classes, to hobbies such as writing your life’s story to genealogy and jewelry making.  As a service to the senior citizens of the area, these classes are offered for free or a reduced amount to persons 60 years of age or over.
 
The Nashville Center has entered into an agreement with the South Central Transit line.  Utilizing the SCT, students can travel to and from the Nashville Center from locations such as Centralia, including KC’s main campus, for a few dollars per trip.  For more information on the SCT, please visit their website at www.southcentraltransit.org.
 
The Nashville Education Center is a growing, vibrant part of Kaskaskia College’s educational network, and the staff looks forward to serving the ever expanding educational and community needs of the Nashville and Washington County area.  For more information on the Nashville Center, please call the Center at 327-9136 or 545-3485 or email the Director, Ruth Barczewski, at rbarczewski@kaskaskia.edu.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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