Sometimes it’s as simple as being at the end of a long line. Sometimes it’s more serious, like when the path to an education and job is blocked. And, sometimes frustration turns to joy when everything falls into place.
Nikki Ray has experienced all of those things.
Ray was living in Roanoke, Alabama, where she earned an associate degree in radiologic technology from West Georgia Technical College in Lagrange, Georgia, about 70 miles southwest of Atlanta. The frustration started when she couldn’t find a job after graduation. Despite her training, there were more x-ray technicians than jobs in the area; all she could find was part-time work. Ray and her husband would have to move for her to start her career.
The couple decided to move to Shattuck, Okla., where she was offered a good position at Newman Memorial Hospital. A job secured, Ray dreamed of continuing her education and found an online bachelor’s degree program in radiation science at the University of Oklahoma.
Unfortunately, frustration raised its ugly head again when Ray found that the program’s prerequisite courses weren’t available online.
“It was really frustrating…I could earn my bachelor’s degree online, but couldn’t get to it until I completed prerequisite coursework first, and none of the classes were provided online (at OU),” said Ray, who now found herself living and working 175 miles from the nearest college or university. “I would have to drive two hours to campus … and that was impossible because of my work schedule.”
“Another college I checked out required me to come in to take the COMPASS test,” Ray said. “They wouldn’t even discuss the fact that I had very high SAT scores. It was just policy.”
Ray’s online searching started and ended at http://www.shoreline/.edu.
“Googling” for the prerequisite classes, Shoreline was at the top of the search list and Ray said she found all the prerequisite classes she needed online: “I could take all of the classes I needed online. Not just some, but all of them…and all at one school.
“It was a blessing to find this.”
Ray said that enrolling was a snap and, even better, she got to talk to faculty to ask direct questions about the classes she would need. “All the people couldn’t do enough to help me,” Ray said. “Shoreline was just great. I wish I could actually move to Washington and go to school there.”
Ray is taking English 102 from Gary Parks, History 136 from Shelly Jordan Zerkel and a music appreciation class from Barry Ehrlich.
E-Learning at Shoreline Community College
Shoreline Community College along with other higher institutions recognizes the value of online education. Not only does it make an education available to those who cannot physically come to a campus for classes, it continually changes with new technologies to keep up with the learning styles of younger generations.
“Shoreline is one of the top providers of eLearning in the state,” said Deborah Handrich, manager, eLearning. “Almost one in five students enrolled at Shoreline is taking at least one online class.” That equates to 1,330 students.
A new look at elearning at SCC
College administrators and faculty constantly look at the newest technologies for eLearning opportunities. Currently, trends point to the use of streaming media.
“We are going to look at how we can bring that fun and playful environment to our students,” said Handrich. “We are paying attention to its use at other colleges and universities.” Talks are underway about storage and bandwidth space for the digital audio and video transmission tool.