COMMUNITY EDUCATION STRATEGIC TASK FORCE FINDINGS
The Community Education Strategic Task Force makes the following report to the Fairmont State Strategic Planning Steering Council.
Members: Veronica Gallo, Maggy Helwig, Geneva Hines, chair, Ruby Losh, Paul Schreffler, Kevin Smith, Mary Stewart
When we first set out, our immediate goal was to identify programs currently in place that might come under the umbrella of Community Education and, hence, ran into our first challenge. What should constitute Community Education? Should it be those events/offerings provided only through Community Education?
After compiling lists of offerings, we divided these into Gear Up Programs, Substantive Education, Arts, Personal Enrichment, Events, Camps and Health & Wellness. It became evident that we do offer a wide variety of events through Community Education and, perhaps, advertisement and marketing are what’s missing. This is true more so of the immediate area than our surrounding counties that we service.
In gathering of information, we looked at inquiries made to chairs of departments, archived evaluations of past offerings, informal questionnaires sent to residents in our service counties, demographics of our service area through Region VI Planning & Development Council, and solicited response from faculty, students and community members.
Our findings were as follows.
- We found that the majority of our citizens are not aware of the offerings we do have. Many did not realize that we offered classes in our surrounding counties.
- We seem to lack a centralized location for the dispersal of information on our offerings. It was very difficult for us to put together a complete list. Events are happening all over with no centralization.
- Offerings aimed at our seniors were the most requested. With the growth of that population, it was evident that we need offerings to cater to that group.
- After school and summer programs were also highly requested. We feel this need is the result of both parents working. Children need educational activities during their down time.
- Computer-related offerings were also highly requested.