By Alice Meyering, , Program Coordinator of Community & Contract Education

Running a program like SMC Community Ed – a college-with-a-college – is both an art and a science. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Take, for instance, our Glass Fusing classes. The course is so popular that faithful students will find out what the first day of registration is and stay up until midnight on that day so they can get a seat in the class the minute registration begins online. The result, year after year, has been a long wait list of prospective student who have grown frustrated at not getting into the class.

I added a second session, but the same thing happened. The level of demand and frustration just continued to grow.

And so, I came up last spring with what I believe is a creative solution that has been successful in accommodating prospective students who, year after year, have been left out.

I added a third session, but with a twist. It’s not listed on our website or in our class schedule. Instead, I send out emails to those who have been wait listed and extend an invitation to personally enroll them in the class. I go down the list until the class is full.

This takes up a good deal of time, but I do this because I believe strongly that we are here to serve our community as best we can. In other words, despite our limited resources, we at Community Ed try to be mindful of community needs and to find creative ways to meet those needs.

I encourage all of you to take a look at our fall class offerings and, if you haven’t yet, sign up for one or more of our courses. We have a wide variety of offerings for both personal enrichment and professional advancement. Thank you!

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