Coconino Com-munity College Office Specialist Phyllis Johnson observes Craig Bragg, PLATO facilitator, as he sets up a PLATO demonstration.
Currently, seven WHS students are taking advantage of the opportunity offered at the CCC to make up missed credits in order to obtain a graduation diploma from WHS. PLATO curriculum available to students includes English, mathematics, science, social studies and even some electives. The courses are facilitated by WHS social studies instructor, Craig Bragg, Monday through Friday from 1:45-5 p.m. Bragg has led the PLATO program since November of 2002.
PLATO Learning curriculum is designed for students to study and achieve goals at their own pace. Therefore, the number of students enrolled in the program varies since some students complete courses sooner than other students, said Bragg.
“Students must be self-motivated to excel in this program,” Bragg said. “One top student completed five credits.”
WHS Principal Robert Kuhn agrees.
“This (PLATO) is not an easy program. The program makes kids think,” said Kuhn. “The students are not in a social group setting. They must work on their own to receive credit.”
When students arrive at the CCC campus computer room, they log on to the computer for a tutorial of the subject they are studying. After the tutorial, the student completes an assignment. At the end of the assignment, the student knows immediately if they have mastered the subject materials. Some of the classes are graded on a pass or fail basis. In subjects that require a grade, a student must achieve a grade of 60 percent or higher in order to pass the class.
Any student at any grade level can benefit from PLATO since the curriculum is designed for those in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. PLATO includes learning opportunities for adults as well, said Phyllis Johnson, office specialist for the CCC.
“PLATO gives kids an opportunity to get caught up. High school is changing. The traditional school hours do not work for everyone. PLATO helps students earn credits they need to graduate. The program has helped some students who may not have graduated,” Kuhn said.
WHS students also can earn “dual” credits from CCC while enrolled in classes at WHS. This semester, students enrolled in either a business or criminal justice class — led by WHS teacher Richard Dean — were eligible to receive credit at both the WHS and CCC. Students can receive up to 24 community college credits while enrolled in classes at the WHS, Johnson said.
“Receiving dual credits costs the students nothing,” she said.
In addition to offering core curricular classes towards certificate programs and associate degrees, the college offers personal interest classes as well. This summer, personal interest classes include oil and tole painting. The classes will be offered during the day and will require a minimum of eight students, said Johnson.
The CCC offers incentives to senior citizens over the age of 60. Seniors receive a 50 percent discount on tuition and can take up to six credit hours per semester under the discounted rate, Johnson said.
The tuition rate at the CCC is currently $44 per credit hour. In the fall, the price will increase by $4.
“Community college tuition is one quarter of the cost at a state university,” Johnson said. “Smaller classes are offered at the community college level, creating a lower teacher to student ratio.”
CCC schedules are readily available at the Williams campus. Johnson maintains a log of perspective students and classes they have requested. For more information, contact Johnson at 635-1325.