Cañada College program for working adults succeeds

Ivan Van Perre, TSV Staff Writer

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With Canada College’s “College for Working Adults” (CWA) program, a working student can go to school part time and earn up to three associate of art degrees over three years.

According to Jeri Eznecker, program director of the CWA and the Canada College CWA website, “The class meets every Thursday and every other Saturday, with online work during the week. The classes are three units each at $46 per unit and they are Hybrid formatted. The Thursday classes are an hour and half to two hours long, with an hour outside of class for online work (this does not include homework assigned in class).”

Regardless of how many hours worked, the program is open to everyone. All of the general education requirements are fulfilled through the program to make it possible to end up with an AA Degree in the following subjects: Psychology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Arts and Humanities.

With this combination of degrees and all the credits being transferable to most universities, students could finish their degree at a university just two years after completing the CWA program.

The original creator of the CWA program is Sarah Perkins, Vice president of Instruction at Skyline. “I recently had a chance to speak with Mrs.Perkins and when asked about how the CWA program became a reality, she had this to say:

Back in St. Louis we had a program working on how we could craft some programs to help accelerate the educational experience for people who were working during the day or taking care of kids. When I came out here in 2009, California was hitting bottom in terms of funding for community colleges. There were great cuts all across the state of California.”

Perkins went on to comment on how the public contributed to the effects, “It’s really thanks to the voting community here in the county that these colleges were supported during that very difficult time.”

The inspiration for this program obviously came to help busy adults who can’t find the time to take out for school while still working. It also helped those who had a very short window available to go to school.

“We started this college for working adults, using hybrid course formats,” said Perkins, “…to try to create pathways for students that couldn’t be here during the day to take their classes, that haves jobs, who were trying to better themselves or get a degree.”

When asked if there are any programs at Skyline that are similar to the CWA program
, Perkins answered, “We currently don’t have a working adult program. We’re working with the Canada model and looking at what the Skyline students need and it’s in the strategic planning about creating a pathway for students to be able to take this compressed path to obtaining an A.A.T.”

Students like Shaina Denner, joined the CWA program to finish up her degree that she couldn’t finish until now due to work and family conflicts. “I joined because I’ve done things backwards in life. I’ve already been married and have kids. My oldest already graduated and got his bachelor’s degree. My younger son has just started college and my daughter is in high school. And now it’s my turn now too to join them in getting a degree.” It’s people like Shaina that benefit from the CWA program so much because of how structured and straight forward the road to success is.

The program started fall 2011 and this May will be the first graduating class. Although the program is only offered at Canada College, there is change coming around the corner. Mrs.Perkins is working with the Skyline administration on new programs that will be tailored to the needs of Skyline’s working students.