OTC's late-night courses are focus of NBC News report

OTC's late-night courses are focus of NBC News report

Monday, November 14, 2011

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Media Relations (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

There is a great sense of pride at Ozarks Technical Community College thanks to a recent story on the NBC Nightly News.

The two-minute story on the Nov. 13 NBC news broadcast focused on how the Springfield, Mo., college developed classes that begin around midnight and how students have responded overwhelmingly in favor of the class times.

“We are grateful to NBC News for its report on our late-night classes,” says OTC’s Chancellor Dr. Hal L. Higdon.

“The story shows how community colleges are an important part of this country’s educational system. Our development of the late night courses was a direct response to our students’ needs for flexible class times. This is what community colleges do best.”

Along with Dr. Higdon, an instructor and several students also were interviewed in the report.

“Community colleges are full. We just had to find the time in the day that we had room and that was midnight,” Dr. Higdon said in the broadcast.

Andrew Crocker, who teaches political science, said he was thrilled to be in a story about something he highly endorses.

“From the moment they began late-night classes, I thought it was a bright idea and I volunteered immediately. I have two classes. I didn’t expect them to get two dozen students,” he said.

“I was happy to be a part of the report. The courses allow the school to expand even more to meet the needs for more students.”

Christine Ash, who confessed on the broadcast that she thought she was signing up for a class that started in the morning, said she’s now a believer in the late-night courses.

“Now, I love it. There are only seven people in our public speaking class and it’s easier to get up in front of them and talk,” said Ash, who is studying Machine Tool Technology.

Ash was contacted by relatives from as far away as Iowa after seeing the broadcast, said it was funny when the TV crew came into that class because “I was finishing my speech and they thought I was the instructor.”

Julie Paxton, a math instructor, said the report will go a long way to telling the nation about OTC’s innovative approach to scheduling classes.

“I thought it was great. It was nice to get the word out. When I tell people about the classes, they ask why I would do that. But offering those courses reaches out to a special niche of the population who need special times to schedule going to class,” she said.

“I think people are going to be surprised by what we do. It’s quite a novelty.”

Steve McDaniel, a student in the public speaking class that was filmed, said he was a little nervous when the camera crew started filming him giving his speech.

“I was the last one to give a speech. It made it more exciting. I settled down after a while,” said McDaniel, who was interviewed for about 10 minutes.

McDaniel is majoring in accounting, and said the late-night courses work out better for him as he and his wife are expecting their first child in a few weeks.

“It lets us set hours for work and for school. I wish there were more classes,” said McDaniel, who added that his boss in the receiving department at Bass Pro Shops/Outdoor World in Springfield, Mo., who made a big deal of his TV appearance.

Dr. Higdon has been receiving calls and emails from other institutions around the country about what’s involved in offering late-night courses.

His answer has been quite simple.

“Put the classes on the schedule. Students will sign up for them,” he said.

The full broadcast is available at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619//vp/45279092#45279092

Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.