CCE gets new home, reduced classes

Over the past six months, the Guilford College administration has rolled out groundbreaking changes to the Center for Continuing Education program due to budget cuts.

One of the biggest changes has involved the adult student lounge. The administration has moved it from Hendricks Hall to the basement of Mary Hobbs Hall. Mixed opinions have resulted.

“Everything in Hendricks was geared toward CCE,” said Monica Jones, president of the CCE Student Government Association and senior. “That was the CCE building. Our advisors were there. Once a week, financial aid was there. There was nothing that you couldn’t do in Hendricks. You just leave it to Hendricks and life was good.

“Now, since we’ve moved here, all our resources are scattered. For example, our advisors and staff are not in the same building anymore.”

For some people, the change is a good thing.

“There are computers,” said Marlee Holt, director of the CCE program. “There are laptops. It has the same services (as Hendricks Hall). Probably even more. There is a nice storage area, for example.”

Furthermore, the small veterans’ lounge, a specialized room built inside the regular adult lounge, was recreated and improved from its poor condition at Hendricks Hall.

“They have plugs there (for the Internet),” said CCE SGA representative and junior Jeffrey Ray.” “We’ve tried to look for everything for (the veterans). They have a window now. The old place didn’t have a window. (The changes) seem to be received well.”

Another major alteration has been the reduced number of classes offered to adult students.

“They cut a lot of classes, (including) most summer classes (and) 20 percent of the fall classes,” said Jones.

“What are CCE students supposed to do? We already have a limited number of classes.”

But according to the Guilford administration, this is not a very significant cut.

“There are often courses that are cancelled,” said Holt. “That’s normal. I don’t think this is going to have a major impact on anything.”

The administration is looking into supplementing the downsized courses with those offered through the Internet.

“We’re looking on developing more online and hybrid classes that would be appealing to adult students,” said Beth Rushing, dean of academic affairs.

“We already offer some classes called intensive classes. The notion of (this type of courses) is that it’s partially face-to-face and partially outside of class. We’re working toward making this outside part online and eventually for the entire course to be online.”

One of the broader transformations has been removing the divide between traditional and adult students.

“The CCE doesn’t technically exist anymore,” said Ray. “(There) is (the) adult education program and (the) traditional education program, which are enrolled into the same group of people. There is only one (overseer) of enrollment for all students, as opposed to two last year.”

For the Guilford administration, the merger has lessened the workload and stress on the budget.

“The emphasis was to try to get the CCE activities, like admission and recruitment, associated with the other student admission and advising activities,” said Rushing. “I think that was a smart decision because it helps having everybody together.”

Most students like the new lounge but do not seem to be affected by the prohrammatic changes.

“The amount of work that has been done to make a working environment (is clear),” said first-year traditional student Steven Kerr.

The future of the CCE program is hard to qualify but, according to one person, more changes may be coming.

“I don’t think in the very near future (the new lounge) will exist,” said Ray.

“I honestly believe (adult students) will be enrolled into the same category as traditional students.”