From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “MSTC starts Quick Start Learning program” — Mid-State Technical College is now offering people the opportunity to more easily fit coursework into their everyday schedules.

Beginning this fall, the college began offering Quick Start Learning classes. Rather than attending daytime classes, students now have the opportunity to attend in the evenings or online. Steve Smith, dean of the Stevens Point campus, said there are around 25 courses in such areas as project management, personal finance, computers, quality management, real estate, first aid, health care, hydraulics, alternative energy and welding.

Rather than having to sign up for classes in either the spring or the fall, Smith said that Quick Start Learning classes are offered regularly throughout the year. He added the courses are a good fit for people who want to increase their skills in their current career or are training for a new one.

“It’s another option for students who can’t fit into a traditional class schedule and still want the option to have a quality education,” Smith said. “Some people might think it might be an easier route, but I would suggest that students are still getting the same level of education and working just as hard.”

Sean Stilson oversees computer-based training courses, which make up a part of the learning program. Students interact with Stilson via email as they complete sections of a course and take tests. Stilson said he has about 37 students in the courses.

Stilson said the classes range from partial up to three credits, and are electives rather than courses required for a degree.

“It’s more to round out their degree, if they are looking to work in a specific area,” Stilson said. “The advantage of taking these classes is that people can spread the coursework out, or they can finish it in a couple of days or weeks.”

Jodi Belongia, 29, attends school at Mid-State’s Stevens Point campus and plans to graduate with a degree in business management in the fall of 2013. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stout to earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources.

She’s will take two computer-based training courses as electives — effective use of feedback for business and leading from the front line — during the upcoming winter break. She said she found out about the option of taking the computer courses when looking into fitting in her education around a full-time job at North Central Irrigation in Plainfield.

In fact, Belongia said the courses will allow her to avoid having to take courses next summer as she originally planned.

“I don’t mind having to have a class during the break because I don’t have to add any more classes during the spring, and I can work around my job,” Belongia said.

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