Enrichment Learning

Enrichment Learning

Explore What Northampton Community College Can Offer

If you find yourself glued to the cooking channel or home design shows, or just happen to be a perpetual learner, then perhaps some non-credit courses are what you need for new hobbies to take flight.

Adult personal enrichment courses are open to learners of all ages and backgrounds. They’re taught by qualified instructors, who are often experts or professionals in the field, and are held either in classroom settings or online. Popular catalog selections are cooking classes, foreign languages, dance, art, yoga, photography, and many others. Since these non-credit courses do not count toward a college degree, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn skills, or just have fun, without the pressure of homework. 

Gail Mrowinski, the Associate Dean of Community Education at Northampton Community College (NCC) has been with NCC for 30 years which also coincided with the inception of the non-credit program. When asked about the intended audience for the adult personal enrichment courses, she says “the audience truly is as broad as our diverse community members. That includes students and adults that have developed a passion to learn something new or want to be around others who consider themselves lifelong learners.” 

When asked about how many people have taken these types of classes at NCC, Mrowinski said it was estimated in the hundreds of thousands, from a single class through completing a certificate program.  “We’ve had people who have gone through the wine certificate program and opened up their own winery, and others who went through a photography certificate program who later attended photography school in Philadelphia,” she shares. Sometimes people want to learn how to bake, or improve their baking skills, or learn new recipes. Mrowinski says, on average, about 1,000 people per year take classes offered through the Adult Enrichment / Lifelearn programs at NCC.

Acknowledging the coronavirus issue which has impacted so many people and businesses, she said NCC has been agile in converting many of its previously classroom-based sessions to online. Formerly, there was a mix of classroom and online courses, and that may return based on what happens in the future. Even fitness classes like Zumba and yoga have been converted to online learning successfully.  Mrowinski said it’s really about supporting NCC’s mission of offering programs to match the needs of the community.

If you were wondering how NCC determines what kinds of courses it offers, you might be surprised. Mrowinski says, “Ideas for classes literally come from everywhere: online research, feedback from participants, our instructors, and the availability of instructors to teach in their specialty. The more sources, the better!” The school’s mission is to provide resources for the community for lifelong learning and exposure to interests. Even some of the certificate programs were due to local interest. Some of these include Home Cook Enthusiast, Interior Decorating, Jewelry Arts, Photography, Wine, Organic Vegetable Gardening, and Luthiers (aka Guitar making!). That last one is no surprise given that Martin Guitar is located in nearby Nazareth.

Trending Classes at NCC

These top three trending classes at NCC are bound to provide inspiration and plenty of satisfaction:
Cooking classes—including fundamentals, stocks and sauces, baking, and desserts
Dance and fitness classes—Zumba, boxing, Yoga, golfing, and bootcamps
Glass fusing—this method has a faster learning curve than glass blowing

Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd

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