Community College Cancels Ghost Hunters Course

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.

community college paranormal ghost huntersPeople who call Harrisburg Area Community College to sign up for “Paranormal Investigations: Communicating and Cohabiting with Spirits” will need to call someone else, presumably Ghostbusters.

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.

2 comments on “Community College Cancels Ghost Hunters Course

  1. Wow. Where was this course when I went to college? And you bring up a neat point really. Ghost hunting can teach all sorts of things really. If someone really wanted to do it right, they could teach people about science, history, architecture, travel…the possibilities for subjects and the learning is there. I’ve had a story idea in mind for a while now, but I do believe you just gave me the catalyst to pull it all together. Very cool. THANKS!

    1. You are so right, Court. Instead of taking “ghost hunting” courses, why don’t people just go to college? educate themselves about history, take some science courses, photography, etc. Become an expert in something that will help investigate the paranormal, instead of taking courses from people who will teach you that “orbs” are ghosts.

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