MCC to bring classes to Harvard
By KRISTIN KOJZAREK
Published:, 06/04/2012 | 600 words
Published:, 06/04/2012 | 600 words
Harvard residents who normally travel to Crystal Lake to take affordable prerequisite college courses will soon have the option of earning college credit closer to home. McHenry County College will bring some of its most popular classes to the Harvard community for the first time this fall semester to help reduce students’ commuting time and costs.
MCC will offer a few of its highly demanded courses — Psychology, Computer Information Systems, English Composition and Intro to Speech — inside the meeting room of the Harvard-Diggins Public Library, 900 East McKinley Street, as well as the Harvard Community Unit School District 50 administrative building, 401 N. Division Street. Classes begin the week of August 21 and will take place in the mornings and afternoons.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the district 50 board, the library and Mayor Jay Nolan to help reduce barriers to higher education,” MCC Associate Dean Loreen Keller said. “As the prices of gas continue to rise, we’re excited to do anything we can to help increase access to post-secondary education.”
Harvard is the furthest community the college serves, yet MCC draws a large percentage of its students from that area, Keller said.
This is not MCC’s first time collaborating with the Harvard community. In the past, MCC has partnered with Harvard Junior High School to hone students’ writing and technology skills by providing a digital storytelling program, and the college offers GED classes as well as Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language services at Harvard High School, 1103 N. Jefferson Street. Keller cites D-50 Superintendent Dr. Lauri Tobias’s increased involvement with MCC as one of the key reasons for MCC’s education partnership with Harvard, and D-50 frequently opens its buildings’ doors for community activities throughout the year.
“We’ve used the (D-50) administrative offices for a variety of activities during the summer over the years, but having MCC classes here this fall is going to be a tremendous new opportunity for students to take classes toward earning a college degree,” said D-50 Activities and Athletic Director Scott Striegal. “It will be a great outreach to the community and a great asset once students start using it,” he added.
The administrative space will accommodate about 25-30 students and will offer computer lab access; the Harvard-Diggins Library will accommodate about 30 students.
“Having classes at our library will not only help students save money, but will also help raise awareness of the library in the community,” said Harvard-Diggins Library Director Karen Sutera. “We’re hoping students will browse the library while they’re here and see what we have to offer.”
Keller and Sutera both agreed last February that the Harvard-Diggins Library would be a practical place to hold classes, partly because the library’s meeting room is soundproof and usually available during daytime hours. In addition, the library provides a non-crowded environment, ample parking and handicap access.
The MCC administration expects that students from Harvard’s surrounding areas will take advantage of the new classes as well. If local classes acquire a high enrollment rate, the college will continue to offer courses in Harvard and possibly expand their selection. The MCC administration has a positive outlook.
“We’re already making a short list of courses for Harvard in preparation for the spring semester,” Keller said.
For more information about upcoming MCC classes visit www.mchenry.edu or call (815) 455-8588.