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FSC weekend college program expands in scope

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

Fairmont State Community and Technical College is broadening its weekend college program to include courses in criminal justice, entrepreneurial studies and human resource management. The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon.

The weekend college program is designed for working adults and non-traditional students who want to earn a degree by attending classes on Saturdays, said Dr. Vicki Riley, provost.

The weekend college program was founded in 1994 at Fairmont State. "We decided to find a way that adults, who have other challenges to deal with such as work and family life, can complete a college education," said Janice Main, program coordinator for weekend college. "Weekend college is a way to do this."

Students can choose from several degree programs: Associate of applied science in business administration specializing in either accounting or general business; an associate of applied science in criminal justice; associate of arts in general studies; and a bachelor of science in business administration emphasizing either entrepreneurial studies or human resource management.

The program is open to new students wanting to earn a degree or those who already have college credits. Applicants follow the same admissions process as traditional students, and may be eligible for financial aid.

Weekend course terms are for eight consecutive weeks, and offer an accelerated pace, Main said. "You can actually be a full-time student by attending classes part time," she said.

Weekend class times are from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and afternoon classes are from 1:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Penny Brown of Elkins has been in the program since it began in 1994. She has completed her associate degree and will graduate this May with a bachelor of science.

"I couldn't have obtained my degree any other way," Brown said. "When you have a family and work full time it's hard enough to juggle night classes, but I couldn't have completed even an associate degree by attending night classes. I was able to do it in six years."

Bob Hartzell decided he needed more education to increase his opportunities and found the weekend program suited his needs. Hartzell, an employee at Fairmont General Hospital, has been pleased with the program.

"At first, I didn't want to give up that Saturday. But I tried it for one semester, and now I've been here almost two years," he said.

"I love weekend college," said Carmela Irwin, an employee at Allegheny Power and mother of four.

"It is a degree that's attainable, and it's not going to take me a whole lot longer than it normally would if I were to attend college Monday through Friday. I can still focus on work Monday through Friday and focus on my college education on the weekends," she said.

For more information on enrolling in the college weekend program, contact Janice Main at (304) 367-4503 or by e-mail at jmain1@mail.fscwv.edu.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1443.

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