St Clair County Community College is working hard to make sure college is an obtainable goal.
In an effort to make an associate degree more accessible to everyone, St. Clair County Community College (SC4) will be expanding its online course offerings this fall.
The community college will offer several associate degrees entirely online for the first time including programs in accounting, business, computer information systems, computer programming, management, and marketing.
There are also classes already offered online that will count toward the Michigan Transfer Agreement, including courses in Online courses give college students flexibility.English, math, science, humanities, and social sciences.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer these courses," says SC4 Dean of Occupational Studies Tamara Kenny. "We delight in students being able to complete degrees as quickly as they possibly can and either enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution."
The need for more online classes is the direct result of customer demand for more flexible options, according to Kenny.
"The last several semesters, online classes were at max enrollment and we had to keep adding sections," says Kenny. "It made the most sense to offer entire degrees online."
Anne Culling is pursuing an accounting degree and says online courses will help her complete assignments on her own time.
"Online courses provide the opportunity to study and complete homework and exams on your own timeline (within parameters, of course). I completed my Accounting 211 final exam this morning!" she says.
Culling was laid off from her job after 18 years of employment in February and after a bit of job searching, realized she needed to learn how to make herself more marketable, despite already holding associate and bachelor's degrees.
"Online courses provide the opportunity to study and complete homework and exams on your own timeline." SC4 Student Anne Culling
Bonnie DiNardo, SC4 director of community and alumni relations, recommended Culling attend an event called Degrees and Donuts to learn more about the programs available.
'That's when I spoke with [Professor] Terry Langan," she says. "He encouraged me to pursue [accounting] classes."
She says that she did miss the face-to-face time with the professor a little, but that the "Ask the Professor" and discussion board options made it similar to in-person communication.
"Plus my instructor, Terry Langan, was almost immediate in his responses to questions/issues," she says.
Classes that have intermittently been available online but are now available full-time online include Principles of Business, Principles of Marketing, Macro and Micro Economics, and more. "The Business Law class is very popular," says Kenny.
SC4 online courses also make sense for those hoping to transfer to a four-year institution.
"For the business and accounting curriculum, cost accounting, payroll, and tax classes are offered."
Kenny also says that with the number of people in the workforce and with unemployment so low, they needed a way to "deliver education to students."
By taking classes online, students have more time for busy life schedules.
"Our student body is diverse," says Kenny. "These classes make sense for our many traditional students, students who are dual enrolled in high school or in the Blue Water Middle College Academy, and nontraditional students who are adults returning to pursue their education."
Thanks to more online options, students can arrange their classes around their schedules and complete homework when it is convenient for them.
"It allows students to take classes wherever they are located from the comfort of their homes or at their location of choosing," says Kenny.
She says it is also nice that some online classes are offered in eight-week segments instead of 16 weeks.
Culling says potential students should look into pursuing these online degrees at SC4 because "Port Huron is lucky to have a college of SC4's caliber in our backyard. Not everyone can say that."
SC4 was founded in 1923 in the heart of downtown Port Huron. Its mission is to maximize student success and its vision is to create an academic and cultural environment that empowers students to succeed.
For more information or to register for online courses, visit sc4.edu/start-here or call the college at 810-989-5571.