Craig community hungry for learning at CNCC’s Taste of Education | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig community hungry for learning at CNCC’s Taste of Education

Students view a dazzling chemical reaction as part of Colorado Northwestern Community College's Saturday Taste of Education. CNCC offered numerous introductory courses for those curious about college life.

Just as eating a food you've never heard of can pose a bit of a risk, committing yourself to a new career path and its prerequisites may not be for everyone. That's why Colorado Northwestern Community College offered a sample for all to try.

CNCC brought back its Taste of Education program for a second year this weekend, hosting a series of sessions highlighting all it has to offer for those considering the college lifestyle.

CNCC faculty gave crash courses in subjects like astronomy, auto diagnostics and more. For some, it was a return to form.

Lynne Nauman previously had been enrolled in college years ago but was unable to complete a degree. Attending Taste of Education with friend Ginny Latham enabled the both of them to get a feel for what they still might like to study, signing up for introductory classes in photography, Xcel spreadsheets and leadership.

"I've been thinking it would be a good idea to get my associate's degree, so we thought it would be good to check it out," Latham said.

Besides showing the two friends what all is available on the Craig campus, the day paid off for Nauman, one of several in attendance whose name was drawn to win a scholarship for spring and summer classes at CNCC.

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"I think I'd like to do something in health," she said. "Maybe do something with nutrition or be a personal trainer."

Those teaching tailored their presentations to suit potential students seeking a hands-on atmosphere, ranging from some explosive chemistry displays to a sculpture session with lots of clay.

Kathryn Deitz, a psychology and sociology instructor, said the approach depended on appealing to a variety of people.

"When you have regular students, you know what kind of questions they're going to ask, but since I don't know who's going to be in my classroom, you have to prepare for anything," she said. "I can have a presentation, but it's also kind of improv, too, to see what people bring to the conversation."

Donna Theimer, dean of instruction for the Craig campus, said Taste of Education's second year was in some ways an improvement over last year, as they eliminated the age requirements, with many younger students joining in Saturday. CNCC also offered Taste of College earlier this year — and will do so again this coming spring — specifically for high school and middle school ages.

"Their parents were telling me the kids weren't really sure about school, and this reignited the excitement," she said. "I think we did a good thing opening it up to all."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.