Community Education Redesign

Doña Ana Community College (DACC) is in the process of redesigning community education (CE) courses, keeping them sustainable and relevant to meet the needs of community members interested in continuing their education.

CE offers a wide variety of short, non-credit courses for all ages. In recent years face-to-face course offered by CE have declining enrollment, from 1,245 in 2013-2014 school year to 846 in 2015-2016.

“We are looking to improve our programs and gain efficiencies across the college,” DACC President Renay Scott said. “Gaining efficiencies has become even more important as state revenues to the college decline,” said Scott. “There are several programs within CE that are growing in popularity and will continue, including on-line courses because the number of people selecting on-line CE courses is increasing. The Academy of Learning in Retirement and Kids Kollege, are consistently popular and the college will continue to offer this face-to-face programming,” she added.

On-line courses for community members have grown in popularity and DACC continues to offer a robust array of online courses. These courses are listed in an electronic catalog that will be available on the DACC website and will meet the needs of the community who increasingly expect flexible, on-demand learning experiences.

In addition, the Kids Kollege will continue to be held in the summer. Kids Kollege provided at least one educational and fun course for more than 200 children last summer.  Classes and activities reflect the regular programs offered by the various departments at the community college. It is anticipated this program will continue to grow and that it will be a financially self-sustaining part of CE.

The Academy for Learning in Retirement (ALR) will also be affiliated with the CE department. The ALR is a scholarly program for participants age 50 or older. All courses and programs are open to the public and are offered each month during the fall and spring semesters. For example, this fall, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, artist Bob Diven, former U.S. Ambassador Delano Lewis and NMSU historian Dr. Jon Hunner are presenting programs.

Community education programs around the nation have decreasing attendance in live courses. The face-to-face courses at DACC will be phased out in the upcoming spring 2017 semester.  This effort will also help focus staff attention on serving existing Doña Ana County businesses and workforce development through the customized training department.