Amanda Hargett-Granato | Reporter
From brewing the perfect cup of coffee to enhancing professional communication, Baylor’s newly relaunched Continuing Education program aims to help students, alumni and the community learn something new in 2017.
This spring semester, Baylor Continuing Education returns to campus 11 years after the previous program closed, offering courses in both personal enrichment and professional development. The classes are available to anyone in the community, not just students and alumni. The first course, a calligraphy class, will take place tonight.
“Baylor, like most universities, has a really deep desire to connect with the community and alumni through continuing education,” said Gabriela Colman, director of community relations and Continuing Education. “Administration wanted to bring it back and we’ve been able to witness regularly, that faculty and staff and alumni and folks in the community are all just so happy that Baylor Continuing Education is back.”
Classes offered by the program include several etiquette courses such as Spanish and Greek for beginners, as well as a course titled “A Caffeinated Journey: Coffee Bean, Brew, and Cup.” The class will be taught by local coffee expert Cody Fergusson, who helped found both Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits and Apex Coffee Roasters. Fergusson will take students through the process of roasting, brewing and tasting coffee.
Continuing Education classes range in price from $10 to $249, depending on the content. The classes were designed to fit a variety of schedules, with some taking place on weeknights and weekends, as well as a lunch series and two virtual book clubs.
“We want in continuing education to be able to support that desire we all have to continue learning at whatever time the spirit awakens,” Colman said. “Hopefully for students, they’re finding ways to have that balance and enrich other interests they have that don’t fit into career goals.”
Additionally, the Continuing Education office oversees Baylor’s Lifelong Learning program, which is a membership-based organization led by volunteers who help design about 12 courses each semester, along with a few special events for the program.
“Most participants are retirees, and they’re a wonderful group of adults who are intellectually curious and never want to stop learning,” said Audrey Johnson, Continuing Education and communication relations specialist. “They bring in experts from the community and have a lot of good connections with Baylor faculty and staff who teach their courses. It’s a really exciting group.”
“I think Continuing Education is a great thing for undergraduate and graduate students to be involved with,” Johnson said. “It’s good for your mind to branch out and study something different and learn in a different way.”