GCNP — As the 10th-year anniversary of Coconino Community College’s presence at Grand Canyon approaches, the two-year school will be unveiling its classroom of the future during this next academic year.
After walking into the classroom, located in the high school’s new wing, there’s little that differentiates it from other classrooms. There is still work to be done, however, such as the installation of five computer workstations in a back room.
CCC’s Laura Emanuel, left, shows Grand Canyon School superintendent Dale Fitzner literature about a new computer-based program which will likely be implemented at the distance-learning classroom.
Now, the back room is separated by the main part of the classroom by a wall. Plans call for a window to be installed in that wall. Internet access this fall will be through the school. By the spring semester, CCC will have its own high-speed access line which will enable technology such as videoconferencing.
“We’ll be working through a statewide videoconferencing network of community colleges,” Michael Lainoff, the dean of continuing education for CCC, said about the Arizona Learning System. “We had some delay in establishing a classroom in Flagstaff. We’re hoping to get the Flagstaff classroom built and tested this fall. In turn, we’ll establish a comparable system at Grand Canyon for delivery this spring.”
As for videoconferencing, Lainoff said there are no specific classroom titles set up yet but added there’s one program with potential.
“It’s likely that one program that will probably take off would be the Administration of Justice program,” Lainoff said. “That’s a program that we’re looking at closely — a pilot program to use with the videoconferencing network.”
Lainoff said such a network could be used for instruction of law enforcement in the park as a way to supplement their training.
This fall, Grand Canyon’s distance-learning program offers 12 subjects for study with instructors such as Bruce Smith, Bill Jacobs and Allison Hays — all of whom also teach at the school. There’s also a class on religion being offered with the Rev. Joe Surin from the Grand Canyon Community Church.
“It appears to have one of the largest schedules we've had at Grand Canyon in a long time,” Lainoff said.
The main focus this fall will be providing high-school juniors and seniors with an instruction option, such as the art history course being planned.
“What’s nice about the Web courses is it’s pretty flexible when students can go in and access course material,” Lainoff said.
Lainoff said plans call for weekly live chatroom sessions with art history instructor Alan Peterson, who is based at the Flagstaff campus. Peterson, a renowned artist, is very familiar with Grand Canyon and in fact, worked here years ago at Grand Canyon National Park Lodges.
“He’s been our lead art instructor at the college for many years,” Lainoff said.
Besides art, other possible Web courses include the areas of business communications, history and an introduction to computer information systems (CIS) class.
A possibility which could be implement as soon as this fall is audioconferencing. Lainoff said CCC is still testing that technology and again, audioconferencing would be directed at Grand Canyon High School juniors and seniors.
CCC has had a presence at Grand Canyon since 1991. Prior, distance learning was provided by Yavapai College.
Grand Canyon is not the only distance-learning site seeing technological advances. Williams is hoping to break ground on a distance-learning classroom in September with a site that is being made available through the school district.
And at Page, where CCC has had a campus for years, some of the same technology being implemented at Grand Canyon will be available.
Meanwhile in Flagstaff, CCC is progressing on the construction of its new campus. Lainoff said the campus is expected to be completed in the spring of 2002. When the new CCC site does open, Lainoff said the current site on Fourth Street in Flagstaff will also be used by the college, although with a reduced presence.