As if there’s not enough about the ghost hunting community to feel embarrassed about already, now it turns out that courses in paranormal investigating are being offered…right alongside basket weaving and microwave cookery. Yes, aspiring ghost hunters could (up until recently) take a course at a community college about paranormal investigations.
The community college, which is cutting numerous non-credit courses offered to the public, will also be redirecting aspiring “wine snobs,” would-be knitters and people who are struggling with home repairs.
Spokesman Patrick Early said the college is paring the courses because it’s following a national trend among community colleges to focus on its core mission of workforce training.
The “fun” courses won’t be scheduled after Aug. 31, he said.
The cuts represent only a portion of the school’s non-credit offerings — about $600,000 of the $7.8 million the school spends per year on leisure learning. The college’s overall annual budget is $151 million, Early said.
HACC never made money on the courses, so the $600,000 annual savings is essentially “money we won’t be losing,” he said.
The trimming wasn’t related to the state budget, which funds credit courses, he said.
Focusing: The non-credit courses which will remain are workforce development, job training and continuing education courses, Early said. They include classes such as computer training, green building
technology and energy auditing and continuing education for nurses.
They’re offered at all HACC campuses.
“We’re focusing more on our core curriculum,” Early said. “These were people who were taking something for fun, and there are other venues where these courses are offered, through parks and recreation departments. Some school districts offer adult education.”
There are about 50,000 people enrolled in non-credit courses at HACC campuses, he said, and most of those are workforce-training classes.
A “handful” of HACC employees will be laid off, those who administered the programs, he said.
Those who taught the classes weren’t employed full-time by HACC to do so, but were mostly community members with an expertise who taught because they liked the subject or wanted a side job, he said.
They were paid per course and not at all if there wasn’t sufficient enrollment.
I have no problem with educating the public on paranormal phenomena, but I wish someone, somewhere would put together an actual serious and scientific course. It may never happen, but even I took an actual accredited class on the paranormal. It was mainly to debunk, but still, that’s a step in the right direction.