College courses brought to Morgan County
by Jazz Clark
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College of Martinsburg, West Virginia, sought feedback from the Berkeley Springs business community about college classes for adults at the May 9 Chamber of Commerce meeting.
“We’re looking for some non-credit career courses we could bring to the area, “ said Cindi Hull, director of Continuing Education for Blue Ridge. “Our focus right now is short term career offerings here.”
What Hull and others at Blue Ridge want is feedback on what courses should be offered.
“We basically have fast-track programs, certificates and we have associate degree programs,” said Brenda Neal, director of Access. “You’re able to come in and take some quick, down and dirty classes to learn computers or whatever it might be.”
It’s all about giving people access to employment, said Neal.
Location for each class is in Berkeley Springs, but the exact venue can be changed depending on how many people sign up, said Carol Rothstein.
Blue Ridge is currently exploring the option of a permanent off-site location in Morgan County.
“It is our hope that Morgan County residents will be able to further their career, obtain college credits and earn a degree in a location that is convenient for them,” Rothstein said.
Though still in the beginning phases, Rothstein hopes to offer college classes and career advancement opportunities for county residents.
Blue Ridge is working closely with Morgan County Commissioner Brad Close in finding the off-site location.
“We’ve been working on this ever since I came into office,” said Close. “It is absolutely crucial that we provide access to education for the citizens of Morgan County.”
Though there’s nothing in writing at this point, Close and the Blue Ridge crew are looking into the old hospital building as a permanent space. Exact location and price of the lease are being discussed by the Morgan County Commission.
“It’s a good partnership,” Close said. “If work force people can be trained to be more efficient, it helps current employers as well.”
On Thursday, May 17, the Morgan County Commission will discuss a contract lease agreement with Blue Ridge, and possibly make an official announcement on higher education in Morgan County.
Courses to be offered
Courses on real estate and bartending will be held in June.
A course on “Grid Tie-in for Solar Electric Systems” is offered free to anyone who completes the application. It is funded through a grant from the WV GREEN-UP Project. Students will learn the principles and practices for connecting solar systems and must live or work in the Eastern Panhandle.
An Animal Care Nursing Assistant course is expected in Spring 2013.
For more information about Blue Ridge Community & Technical College, call Cindi Hull at 304-260-4380 ext. 2405.