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Clinton Community College: Offering education for students of all ages

PLATTSBURGH Higher education isn't just for those right out of high school and the Department of Continuing Education at Clinton Community College is evidence of that. According to department chairperson Peter A. Grosskopf, the Department of Continuing Education is the public point of contact of all age groups, providing a communication conduit between business and industry and college faculty. When regional businesses and organizations identify an educational need, they most often contact our office because we are the one of greatest training providers in the area, said Grosskopf. We consult with relevant college faculty, who are the content experts, regarding these needs and decide on the best approach to provide the requested instruction. Department staff, explained Grosskopf, meets with potential students interested in eight academic programs in addition to all workforce development training and credit-free instruction. Programs range from CCCs College Advancement Program (CAP) to its College Track GED/ATB Program, and various Adult Learner Programs CCC has developed a wide range of educational programs in response to identified needs of traditional, non-traditional, and mature members of the community, said Grosskopf. Although some programs were created to remove obstacles for individuals to continue his or her education, all of our programs are available to all age groups. The continuation of education, for most, means the key to a higher income level and an improved quality of life, said Grosskopf. By continuing your education you are investing in yourself, he said. Technical skill development or personal enrichment will result in a return on your investment. Through discussions with 66 community industry partners, Continuing Education staff is working with the CCC Business and Technology faculty to create Clinton Industrial Institute. The concept is to create an afternoon and evening schedule of the colleges most requested technical courses and offer seats to workers through local employers. The college is also collaborating with the Workforce Investment Board and North Country Community College to develop a one-credit hour Work Success Seminar in conjunction with the recently introduced Workforce Readiness Certificate. The focus of this course, said Grosskopf, is soft-skills preparation of students for success in the workplace upon graduation at the high school and college level. Grosskopf, who joined the CCC faculty in October 2001, was appointed to his position as department chairperson earlier this year. He serves as an example of how education can continue even after finding successful employment. When he joined the college faculty, he served as a non-teaching professional responsible for coordinating student intern placements and assisting in credit-free workshop delivery. Soon after, he began teaching evening physics courses and became very involved in student activities on campus. He later created and instructed 18 credit-free workshops on a variety of topics including guitar, custom picture framing, and employment success skills. Grosskopf continues to teach the lecture component of the business practicum course, preparing graduates for the real world of employment. He does all this while being a continuing education student himself, studying French at the college. We never stop learning and there is no better time to learn about something of interest than the present, said Grosskopf. In addition to Grosskopf, the Department of Continuing Education consists of Carl C. Chilson, Angela M. Kelly, Wendy K. Stringham, Cindy A. Casler and Willow B. Nolland. The department, said Grosskopf, is ready to serve you. For more information about pursuing studies through the Department of Continuing Education at Clinton Community College, call 562-4143 or visit the department Web site at www.clinton.edu/continuingeducation.

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