Learn about the history of beer to yoga with College of DuPage’s ‘Continuing Education at Home’ – Chicago Daily Herald

Posted: May 8, 2020 at 4:45 pm

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Learn to write a haiku, how to make Swedish bacon pancakes or explore the history of Motown. For many, the stay-at-home order is a good opportunity to pick up new hobbies or skills and the College of DuPage Continuing Education program is here to help with the free "Continuing Education at Home" video series.

Designed to provide content while ensuring students stay safe and healthy, the videos are posted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on Continuing Education's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Continuing Education's social media engagement has seen a substantial uptick since launching the series, increasing followers on Facebook by more than 20 percent and demonstrating a need among community members.

"Staying connected during this time is critical to the Continuing Education program as we are often seen as the face of the college to the greater community," said Stephanie Abrassart, Continuing Education Program Development Manager. "We want to ensure the community knows that we are still there for them and will continue to provide services to them. Folks are looking for things to do and keep themselves busy and we are happy to help do that by providing a variety of demos and classes."

Early in the shutdown, Continuing Education Dean Joseph Cassidy tasked the department to engage noncredit lifelong learners virtually through video content. Since then, Continuing Education staff and faculty have been creating video content to keep lifelong learners engaged and entertained. The series includes everything from hands-on activities such as baking cinnamon star bread, watercolor painting, yoga and tai chi to memoir writing and brain training exercises. Videos also include experts covering topics such as decluttering, the history of Motown and the history of folk-rock act Simon and Garfunkel. In addition, the series features COD Associate Dean of Public Services Tom Brady covering topics including coronavirus scams, crime prevention through environmental design and COVID-19 updates.

Retired Naperville resident Joseph Kubal said he has watched every video released and eagerly looks forward to future offerings. He lists his favorite videos as Swedish bacon pancakes, haiku poetry and watercolor painting.

Kubal has been involved with educational offerings at COD for about four years, attending many Lunch Break Lectures, Sage Series offerings and Continuing Education courses on a wide variety of subjects. He said Continuing Education has done an excellent job in pursuing its mission during the pandemic.

"Continuing Education is doing a wonderful job of opening up new possibilities for folks to sample a wide variety of disciplines and activities while many of us have a little more time," he said. "The videos help me concentrate on things other than the pandemic and gives me a little something to look forward to a couple of times a week. They help me take my mind off things for at least a few minutes and concentrate on things that may have been on my to-do list or my bucket list for years."

While supporting and guiding the faculty through the process of getting videos made and submitted, Continuing Education staff have also joined the effort to create content for the series, providing videos on topics ranging from baking and sewing face masks to paint pouring.

"While none of these are in our normal scope of work, we are trying to keep students engaged in ways that keep their minds going," Abrassart said.

She added that the series provides the opportunity to test the waters and explore subject areas they might not typically cover.

"The video series has allowed Continuing Education to explore new content areas that are of interest to folks, but that may not be able to be designed into an entire five-week course," she said. "A perfect example of this was our cross lateral brain exercises video. We don't normally offer an entire class in that area of study, but many viewers engaged with that video and it was neat to explore the topic. The series has also been a good testing ground to see what the community is interested in and this helps our programmers with future course development."

Learn more about Continuing Education at College of DuPage at http://www.cod.edu/academics/continuing_education/index.aspx

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Learn about the history of beer to yoga with College of DuPage's 'Continuing Education at Home' - Chicago Daily Herald

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