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PHCC to resume mailing schedules

Monday, July 8, 2013

Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) is reviving an old way of trying to attract new students.

Fall semester course schedule brochures will be mailed to roughly 60,000 households in Martinsville and Henry, Patrick and Franklin counties later this month in time for people to register for classes by the semester’s first day Aug. 22.

PHCC President Angeline Godwin estimated that the college has not mailed printed course schedules to households in at least four or five years. Printed schedules were eliminated, she understands, to promote technology — such as the Internet, where schedules have been posted until now — and save on paper costs.

The thought back then was that printed schedules “were old fashioned and we didn’t need them” anymore, Godwin said.

But now, “we believe the printed schedules have value in the community,” she said.

Godwin has been PHCC’s president for slightly more than a year. She said she has found out that while many area residents have taken classes at the college, many people never have had any contact with it and do not realize what it has to offer them.

To her, she said, everyone falls into either of two categories — students or potential students. She wants people to take advantage of PHCC’s offerings in order to get the best education possible so they can get better jobs.

But when course information is only on the college’s website, chances are that only current students will see it, Godwin said.

“You almost have to know where to go and what to look for” to get it, she said.

Also, there are a lot of people who do not have computers, she added.

When the information is delivered to them, and they have it in their hands and can browse through it, they are more likely to say, “I have some college credit; maybe I can finish my college degree” now or start pursuing a degree, Godwin said.

At the least, she said, it can spur discussion within households about the idea of obtaining higher education — if not now, eventually.

Also being revived for the fall semester is a daily student activity period, to be held from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Godwin said PHCC once had such a period, but she did not know when or why it was dropped.

No classes will be held during that period, Godwin said. Instead, it will be a time for students to work together on group projects outside of class or participate in student clubs and organizations, she said.

Clubs and organizations can meet at virtually any time. However, Godwin noted that students who attend classes in the daytime often cannot return to campus later in the day due to family and job commitments.

The activity period is designed to help more students take part in activities while they are on campus, Godwin said.

Studies have shown that students are more likely to do well in their studies when they also are involved in extracurricular activities, she pointed out.


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