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CCNS website shows an ever-changing list of options, with classes for both adults and kids, as their tagline “Providing lifelong learning for ages 9-91” attests. Even your canine bestie can get in on the night school action with Puppy Kindergarten or Agility Training for Dogs. [Editor’s note: I identified four courses I’d take in the first three minutes of researching and writing this article— including a Whipcracking class.] The popularity of the various class offerings ebbs and flows, according to Jill. Indeed, it is also a fascinating reflection of (and commentary on) societal norms and issues of the day. “Class popularity is many times linked to current events,” she said. “For example, after 9/11, our language classes diminished, since people weren't traveling as much, and our crafts and cooking classes soared, as people preferred to find their entertainment at home.” As the internet has evolved, she noted, the school’s social media classes became a hot ticket. Television has also had an impact on the school’s offerings. “When the TV show Dancing with the Stars

first started, we had to turn people away from our dance classes, as well as our singing classes with the popularity of American Idol.”

We try to offer at least 30% new classes each semester to keep our catalog interesting and lively. Some classes, though, have stood the test of time, and become perennial student favorites. Among those, according to Jill, are gardening, Spanish, ballroom dance, tennis, Reiki, watercolor, drawing, and even basketball. “We’re so proud of the depth and breadth of our offerings,” Jill told us. With an operation of that size, gone are the days of brainstorming in a garage, as the CCNS team works with their board of directors and the community to develop new course offer-

ings and the instructors to teach them. “There are several ways that we solicit new courses and instructors,” Jill told us. “In our catalog and on our website, we ask for new class ideas and/or teacher recommendations. Many times, new course suggestions will come from our students. Other times, teachers will reach out to us with a course suggestion. We have a curriculum committee who reviews each course proposal to determine if the subject is unique to our program and one that might generate interest. The majority of our classes are found by our staff and board, and they do it by watching current trends and determining subjects that are unique and inspiring.” They take their cues from both within and outside the Chester County area. “We also look at community education programs all across the country; we’re a member of a national organization called LERN (Lifelong Education Resource Network), which offers class suggestions and trends. We try to offer at least 30% new classes each semester to keep our catalog interesting and lively.”

MAY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM

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Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Education Issue - May 2019  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Education Issue - May 2019  

Voice of the Borough