Kids are our most valuable resource. They are our future with the possibility of becoming our next generation of city leaders, teachers and professionals in the work place. They deserve our best in preparing them for these roles. At Hill College, we have some new initiatives that target not only kids, but also, adult learners as well.
During the summer break, students can experience a loss in knowledge and skills. At Hill College, we are getting ahead of the dreaded “I’m bored,” with enrichment programs for kids. Summer enrichment programs have benefits such as: increased motivation to learn, increased self-confidence, discovery of personal talents, enhanced interpersonal skills, and much more.
In 2011, the RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, and sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, which seeks to support and share effective ideas and practices to improved learning and enrichment opportunities for children produced research titled, “Making Summer Count, How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning.”
The research found that during summer vacation, many students lose knowledge and skills. By the end of the summer students perform, on average, a month behind where they left off in the spring. Of course, not all students experience “average” losses. Summer learning loss disproportionately affects low-income students. While all students lose some ground in math over the summer, low-income student lose more ground in reading while their higher-income peers may even gain. Most disturbing is that summer learning loss is cumulative; over time, the difference between the summer learning rates of low-income and higher-income students contributes substantially to the achievement gap.
The study suggests that because many students lose learning over the summer and some students need more time on task to master content, participating in summer learning programs should mitigate learning loss and could even produce achievement gains. In response, Hill College has made it a priority to offer vibrant summer enrichment programs targeted to kids. We began this target to kids campaign last year at the Johnson County Campus by offering a kids “Career College,” comprised of course offerings to help students ages seventh to ninth grades learn about specific career fields. This year, our summer enrichment program, Kids Kollege, offered on the Hill County Campus in Hillsboro on June 25-29, targets students first through eighth grades in the fall.
The research also suggests that cost is one of the main barriers to implementing summer learning programs. The program we have developed allows students to be able to attend all-day, or just in the morning or afternoon sessions. The most affordable option we have created is only $45 for the morning or afternoon session or $80 for all-day which includes lunch.
Class offerings include art, beadwork, career exploration, etiquette, science in the kitchen and learning to make snacks, history at the Texas Heritage Museum, math, reading, and writing as well as basics in athletic sports including baseball, basketball, softball, tennis and rodeo. Registration is only open until Monday. For class descriptions and registration information, please visit www.hillcollege.edu/KidsKollege.
A second intentional offering is working with area ISD eighth grade career readiness programs. College officials began this pilot this spring by bringing eighth grade students on the Johnson County Campus, giving tours, discussing programs, careers, and entry into dual credit courses.
As for adults, there is always an opportunity to further your education and/or career through our Continuing Education (CE) program, non-credit programs, whose mission is to “advance individual, community, and workforce development through curriculum and training which result in personal and professional enrichment.” CE offers courses in a variety of areas, including: health careers, archery, art, basic job skills, business, business finance, cake decorating, child care and development, computer classes, computer information systems, criminal justice, dance, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, industrial maintenance, nutrition, office administration, safety and welding.
A 2012 study titled, “Is lifelong learning making a difference? Research-based evidence on the impact of adult learning,” the evidence is, on balance, persuasive. Adult learning influences people’s income and employability, as well the attitudes and behaviors that affect people’s mental well-being.
With this being said, Hill College Continuing Education (CE) Department is excited to announce a restructuring of the Department and hiring of a new Dean of Continuing Education, Mr. Stephen Pape, who is working to offer not only the summer enrichment programs for kids, but also a wide variety of courses for adults in Hillsboro and Cleburne ranging from Pharmacy Technician to Customer Service and Introduction to Computers to Forklift Operating, and Massage Therapy to Ballroom Dancing, to name a few.
Hill College has an “open door” admissions policy, which ensures that everyone who can profit from a college education has an opportunity to enroll. Registration for CE courses only requires a completed registration form and a minimal fee for the courses.
The Continuing Education class schedule and registration requirements are located at www.hillcollege.edu/ce. Registration can also be completed by visiting the Johnson County Campus at 2112 Mayfield Parkway, in Cleburne, or by visiting the Hill County Campus at 112 Lamar Drive in Hillsboro. For more information, please reach out to Stephen Pape or Tammy Logan in our CE Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 817-760-5820.
In fulfilling our vision to be the “College of Choice,” we are intentional to have attractive course offerings for all ages. I encourage you to visit our website, as well as “like us” on our Facebook page to see all of the happenings at Hill College.
Dr. Pam Boehm is president Hill College