By Stacy Martin
The OKC Downtown College brings its subjects to life for its students with inter-active experiences outside the classroom, educators say.
Students learning Native American Indian History are surrounded by its rich history, culture and artifacts in classes meeting at the Red Earth Museum. The college transports its other students into the world of fine art and behind-the-scenes secrets at the new, OKC Art Museum of Art.
And of course performing arts appreciation is more easily appreciated where it all happens – in the Civic Center Music Hall. There, students take in the college’s “OKC Arts Alive!” class which has been popular each fall since 2005.
There’s even a class in Storytelling that meets in conjunction with the OKC Storytelling Festival put on by the Arts Council of OKC.
Welcome to the inter-active learning experience that at the heart of the college’s teaching practices and a hit with students.
“We have a very good response to these classes,” said Dr. Gus Pekara. “Whether it’s for credit, or for enrichment. They draw all kinds of people – professional people, museum members, people, people doing it for personal enjoyment, traditional college students for credit, and people within the community. The classes are unique – students can go behind the scenes and learn the operations. They really learn a lot.”
The OKC Downtown College is a fairly new concept, but behind it is a consortium of venerable higher education institutions: University of Central Oklahoma, Rose State College, Oklahoma State University, Redlands Community College and Oklahoma City Community College.
The schools bring their strength and experience to bear to make education more accessible to downtown workers. OKC Downtown College embraces its location and its calling.
“We like to think of downtown as a campus where we access resources available,” said Dr. Pekara. The students get experiences that far exceed what they would get just in the classroom. We’ve done this for a number of years and we always get a very good response.
For communicators, this fall has it all. Aspiring writers can learn to compose horror/paranormal stories. Readers can study science fiction/fantasy genres. Orators can learn storytelling. And travelers can learn Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.
Does the college offer foreign language studies?
Learn Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese during the fall semester.
Also this fall, folks of more active persuasions will find something to love at the college too. For them, it offers plenty of Pilates and Zumba (copyright registered symbol) fitness courses.
The college is also a great place for professional development. Emergency Medical Services Technicians are getting their getting their training to becaome paramedics at the Downtown College. regularly attend the downtown college.
Students may obtain books and related materials, as well as financial aid consultation at one of the consortium institutions.
Classes are held during the day, at lunch-time, and during evenings and even Sunday afternoons. Parking is inexpensive and easily accessible by day, and free at night, thanks to a designated parking area for credit college students.
There you have it. Personal enrichment. Professional development. College credit. Just step outside your downtown, office door and step into an enriching college experience.
It’s easy to enroll too. People can enroll on-line , www.downtowncollege.com, or in person, from 9 am to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the college, on the fourth floor of the downtown library, 300 Park Ave. , or by visiting any college consortium institution.
For any other questions, call 405-232-3382.