The Best of Both Worlds – Hybrid Courses at GCC

Image from: tmaworld.com

Hybrid courses, also known as blended learning, are the best kept secret of all things GCC has to offer. We don’t offer many of these types of courses in some departments, mostly because students are unfamiliar with the delivery style and shy away from them. It’s a shame because hybrid courses are great courses offering students the best of both worlds. That would be the world of traditional face to face classes and fully online classes.

We all know that online classes are not for everyone. Online classes require discipline, self direction, self motivation and lots of time. Albeit the time factor is flexible in that you can “go to class” when you want and not on a predefined Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday-Thursday at 8am schedule, but you still have to be disciplined enough to get your work done. Online courses can be tough, especially if you sign up for these classes for all the wrong reasons.

Hybrid courses are designed to give a taste of that online learning freedom, but with the comforts of having an instructor available to guide you. If you don’t quite have the discipline necessary to do online learning on your own, you can rely on still having to come face to face with your instructor once a week to face the music. Hybrid courses when designed correctly eliminate the boring class sessions when you drive to campus only to sit and listen to your instructor lecture for 50 minutes. Then you turn in your homework and leave. You could have done all that from the comforts of your own home. With a hybrid class, instructors find more creative ways to “lecture” the course material, like using video or audio. The lecture could come in the form of additional reading or multimedia lessons designed for online distribution. Or better yet, you could learn by doing.

With hybrid classes, you’re still held responsible for doing not just your homework on a weekly basis, but also your newly assigned online work. The online work is not just out there for you to figure out when, where, and how to do it. It’s tied in closely with your face to face class work, and most times, if you come to class ill prepared from not doing your online work, you won’t find the in class sessions meaningful. You’ll be wasting your time. So the discipline and guidance most students crave and need is still there, but in-class sessions are transformed into more meaningful, learner centered, and fun classes.

Give hybrid courses a try. We have plenty still available for Fall. They come in many different “blends,” so make sure you sign up for a full semester hybrid (08/22/2012- 12/14/2012). If the time period is shorter than 16 weeks, you will be registering for an accelerated class and that might be challenging your first time out. Also note that hybrid courses can be one day a week (my favorite) or even two days a week. It’s like making a smoothie in the blender. You decide what goes in and how much of each (F2F and Online) goes in.

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17 Fall Classes That Are Still Open

Before you finalize your fall schedule, you need to read through these 17 classes that you may not have thought about before. This list has a little bit for everyone whether you are creative, a bit nervous about college or looking to get into shape. Complete with photos & videos, this list is sure to get you thinking about registering for next semester. But sign up soon, now that this list is out, classes may fill up fast!

If you’ve found other awesome classes that you’d like to share, please leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite courses at Glendale Community College are!

Veteran FYE
We understand that our veterans have unique life stories and different battles they face when coming to school after having served our country. For the first time at GCC, veterans can take their first semester as a cohort. You will join a structured academic program that links you to the same classmates, instructors, assignments and lectures. In addition to academics, the cohort members learn college success skills such as organization, note taking, testing strategies, study techniques, stress management and time scheduling. To enroll in the cohort program, email charity.torres@gcmail.maricopa.edu.

BIO 209
Are you an analytical, critical thinking, problem-solver searching for a class that looks to the future? Biomolecular Separation is just one of the many biotechnology and molecular bioscience classes available this fall. Biotechnology and molecular bioscience study is perfect for anyone wishing to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical laboratory medicine, forensics or environmental testing laboratories.

CRE 101 & ENG 102
At first glance, these two classes may seem like your basic program prerequisites. Take a closer look at the Sustainability Learning Community and you’ll quickly realize this is not your average critical reading or english class. As part of a learning community, you’ll be with the same group of students, turn in the same assignment for both classes and earn six transfer credits! Even better, this community will be all about sustainability and will use the most current technology such as blogs, cell phones and social media networks. Spots are limited and the only way to enroll is by emailing alisa.cooper@gcmail.maricopa.edu. If you still haven’t taken ENG 101, you can check out our hybrid option for similar flexibility.

LAT 101
What does nursing, standardized testing, music, science, money and the study of Christianity all have in common? Latin can be found in all of these! This fall, you can take Latin 101 and not only improve your English skills but expand on the foundation of words found in many other fields.

AAA 115
There’s no better way to start college than with being prepared. Walking out of high school, and onto the Glendale Community College campus, will be one of the best times of your life. But, you should learn how to get the most out of your time as a Gaucho. In AAA 115, Creating College Success, you’ll learn all about entering college, balancing life and school, the logistics to staying enrolled and paying for courses & how to have fun, get involved and make life-long friends. Invaluable information about how to succeed and work toward that big day when you get to wear the cool hats and take home a framed piece of paper called a diploma. Also try some of the CPD classes!

CRW 150
If ideas are constantly flowing through your head but you don’t know what to do with them, try Creative Writing. This isn’t a biography or a work of non-fiction, it’s your own imagination penned into words whether it be a novel, poem or short story. Maybe you’ll end class with something worthy of publication and be able to turn your ideas into a career.

AJS 151AA
With Arizona’s recent law changes concerning carrying concealed weapons (CCW), it is now more important than ever to know what you can and cannot do with your personal firearm. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered. While knowing the law about your personal rights is your responsibility, we have plenty of classes to help you along the way. In the CCW permit classes you learn everything you need to know about carrying a concealed weapon and will become fully prepared to take the CCW permit test and get your license.

EED 210
We’re all just children at heart and in this class you can wear your heart on your sleeve. Make art projects, sing songs and dance to music just like you did when you were four years old. Through your own creative and cognitive play, you’ll learn about how important these types of activities are for children birth to 8 years of age. Note that this class does have a few prerequisites; you must be on track to becoming an early childhood educator.

AEN 100
One of the biggest initiatives in most industries right now is their “green” status. Even a basic knowledge of alternative energy can give you the leg up in the application and interview process. This class will provide you with the basic principles and history of alternative energy sources including solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, hydropower and geothermal. You’ll learn how alternative energy is used here in Arizona. A great way to explore this new field without switching up your entire degree program just yet.

AET 101
We believe you can fly… Getting your pilot’s license is just like getting a driver’s license. You have to take both a written test and a “flyers” test. AET 101 will prepare you for the written portion of the pilot’s license test, and isn’t all that memorization the hardest part? Once you’ve passed the written portion, you can do your in-air flight through many groups in the valley and earn your wings! We told you that you could fly.

CIS 100
How many times have you heard someone say “Just Google it?” Well, “google” is officially a word in the English Webster dictionary meaning to use the internet to search for something. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, CIS 100 may be a great class to take at the start of your time here at Glendale Community College. This class, Internet for Learning, will teach you how to utilize the internet for your studies. For more advanced users who want to turn their computer skills into a career, we have all levels of CISCO networking classes.

CWE
If you’re not sure what type of job you want to do after college, try it first! This course is appropriately titled Career/Work Experience and it gives you the opportunity to get some hands-on time in your field. It’s a great idea at the beginning of college to try out some jobs first, or at the end of college to put all your new knowledge to the test. Who knows, maybe someone you work with during your CWE class will turn into a long-term contact and offer many more opportunities.

FON 100
You want to live long and strong, but are you on track to do so? It’s important to make time to stay healthy, and knowing what healthy means for you and your body is key. This introduction to nutrition will teach you basic nutrition concepts for health and fitness. You’ll learn about current dietary recommendations and how to use tables, food guides and guidelines to make healthy decisions. All the information will be broken down for you into different life cycle stages so that the class can apply to everyone. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to sift through all the mis-matched nutritional information out there and pull out only the credible sources. We’ve just taken away your last excuse for not eating healthy. It’s okay, you can thank us later!

MGT 253
We all understand we are living in a rough economy. It’s taking us longer and longer to find employment even with the best degrees. So why wait for someone to give you permission to use your intelligence? Why not start your own business. Instant job? Check. Helping others who are out of work by hiring them? Check. Playing by your rules and on your time? Check and check! In “Owning and Operating a Small Business” you’ll get an overall run down of everything required to start your own business. Talk about the best boss ever!

HIS 277
This class teaches about such a hot topic you’ll probably want to quit reading and enroll before it fills up. Yes it’s a history class and will qualify as a G (global) or SB (society & behavioral) class credit. It’s called “The Modern Middle East.” In this course you will learn all about the decline of the Moslem empires, the resurgence of contemporary Pan-Arabism, the Palestinian-Israeli question, fundamentalist terrorism, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the impact of oil production on the region and the rest of the world. And as an added bonus: you’ll be more credible during those friendly current event debates!

EMT 101
Safety first! In this class you’ll learn all the basics of first aid, CPR and AED for both adults and children. What happens if your baby starts choking? What if someone falls in the pool and hit their head? What if you spill boiling water on yourself? Everyone should be prepared to control and manage an emergenct medical situation until the professionals can get there. So sign up for EMT 101, you may decide to keep going and become an EMTfire fighter or police officer. Bring your friends and family too, this information is for EVERYONE!

PED 126
Now that the school year is back in session, the stress may run back to you as well. The most valuable thing you can focus on during any time of the year is YOU! You can’t forget to concentrate on your own health and wellness. Glendale Community College makes this easy for you as we offer everything from a fitness center open 84 hours a week this summer, to specific classes such as yogaZumba and martial arts. These fitness and wellness classes are definitely at the top of the list for the hottest classes.

Below is just a preview of yoga class. Visit the GCC YouTube channel for an entire stress relief series.

To register for these or other classes, call 623-845-3333 or visit www.gccaz.edu.

Taiji Town, Whale Town

Taiji Town earned its fame as a whale town more than 400 years ago. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Taiji whalers adopted, and then adapted, American and Norwegian whaling technology. Eventually, men of Taiji went to the Southern Ocean to join the modern fleets of industrial whalers. The Japanese whalers dominated this fishery by 1937. Since the end of industrial whaling, Taiji whalers once again focused on local whales. Their current hunt for dolphins has brought the town international attention and controversy (e.g. the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary, ‘The Cove’; see Photos 1 & 2). Continue reading

Visiting Poland: Part III

The third and concluding piece on my time in Poland that I want to talk about is walking through Auschwitz II, better known as Birkenau. Actually, that’s a lie. I don’t want to talk about Birkenau at all. I don’t even want to think about it. I’ve avoided writing this blog since I went there about a week ago. Auschwitz I was originally built as Polish Army barracks. Birkenau is different because it was built specifically to hold and kill human beings. It’s 20 times vaster than Auschwitz I. The death camp, Birkenau, seems to go on for miles with no end in sight. The stretch of the landscape appears to suggest that even if one would contemplate escape from this place, it would be futile because first one would have to find where the camp ends.

I was uneasy about going through the gates of Birkenau. After passing through the entrance (nicknamed Gate of Death) a foreboding shadow swept across my mind. It was at first what I expected: destroyed buildings marked only by its outer frame or a post bearing a number to let passerby know that one once stood there, train tracks that make one feel sick knowing the numbers of souls it carried, fences embossed with barb wire daring someone to embrace it, watch towers that loom and cast fear with its shadow and bright lights every several feet that give off no warmth and like the insect that gets too close ends up lifeless underneath it.

I was completely unprepared and caught off guard as to what the camp looked like. Birkenau was beautiful. There was grass growing everywhere and scattered here and there were pretty little wildflowers along with dog roses springing from the ground. The trees within Birkenau provided a tranquil forest that made one feel welcome to sit and read below its fresh branches. As strange as it might sound, I was genuinely angry that the camp was pretty. It was because I felt that from all the horrors that had taken place there, the land should honor that by staying ugly. It felt like the ground was in collaboration with the Nazis; trying to cover what had happened there so that no one who came back to that decrepit place would be able to find it. All they would see is the beauty there and continue their search for the barren ground that was so many peoples hell.

Later that week we read a poem in class that changed my perspective. It was a poem about the Holocaust and at the end of each stanza there was a line that spoke of the earth healing itself by growing grass where there was once nothing but mud. It made me rethink how I felt and instead be grateful knowing that even the land is trying to heal. For all those who had once been kept there and for all those who died there, Birkenau is mending.

Visiting Poland: Part II

“Nothing gold can stay.” These were the words that first entered my mind as I walked up the path leading to the infamous gate of Auschwitz. This may seem odd but it truly is what I thought of. The camp was built as Polish Army barracks and was never intended to be used as a concentration camp. In 1940 when the Nazis invaded Poland and began taking mass numbers of Poles prisoner they ran out of prisons to put them. The Nazis solution was to take over the camp we know now as Auschwitz and turn it into a prison for the Polish soldiers. It wasn’t until about the year 1942 that the camp began to hold Soviet prisoners, Roma (the correct term for Gypsies) and Jews. So although the camp was built for a good purpose it was twisted and was not allowed to be kept that way by the Nazis.

The second thing to cross my mind was the size of the place. I had been told beforehand that the camp wasn’t that big but for some reason (perhaps the images Hollywood and other movies have presented) I still had this picture in my head of an overly large and threatening prison. However, Auschwitz is rather small. Instead of a vast land the feel was that of buildings that stood tall and loomed over you. Knowing what happened there made me feel like the buildings would grow taller and taller until they would meld into each other and block the sky from view taking all hope away with it. Even the ground was uneven and rocky. I had expected that for tourists they would have smoothed out the walking paths. I’m not sure why I expected that but I did (maybe it’s some American standard way of thinking). It was necessary to constantly be watching where you put your feet. It made it all the more hard to imagine what it must have been like for all those who were held there.

The last part of my time at Auschwitz that I want to tell you about is the gas chamber. I don’t have much to say about it. It was the first gas chamber and hundreds of people could be killed at a time there. It was used for a relatively short period of time due to the fact that it was too small for the Nazis and their purpose. The feeling of being in the gas chamber was one that I’ll never forget. It was cold and dark and the walls look like they’re rotting. The floor, walls and ceiling all look stained and foreboding. The outside of the building is no better, having a large single brick chimney erupting from this small cement barrack. The only word that I can think of is: Why?