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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 07:48 am

It’s cool to be in school

Use summertime to learn something new

Untitled Document It’s funny how we spend our youths feverishly anticipating the end of the school year — and the completion of our educational careers — so we can go on road trips with our friends, laze around on sandy shores, and start earning a living.
Then suddenly we become adults and realize that life isn’t a beach after all and we don’t know as much as we thought we did. We slowly start thinking back to something some grownup said about education being a lifelong process, and we realize that she might have been on to something.
But it’s never too late. Nor is it too late to sign up for summer courses at a Springfield college or university. Whether it’s to help you earn a degree, brush up on knowledge and skills, or just to have fun, now is a wonderful time to go back to school.  The summer term at Lincoln Land Community College (5250 Shepherd Rd., 217-786-2200,, which operates six satellite campuses throughout our region and offers a free online application, begins June 2. Tuition and fees for in-district students are $82 per credit hour. In addition to the standard reading, writing, and arithmetic offered at most institutions of higher learning, LLCC offers courses in computers, film arts, certified firefighter training, and law-enforcement administration. The school’s courses in auto body repair and automotive technology can also help you ensure that your summertime ride is looking hot. Even if you’re not working toward a degree, LLCC may have something for you, offering noncredit courses in subjects such as gardening, American Sign Language, ballroom dance, and financial planning for gay and lesbian couples. You can also learn how to play the piano or become a published writer or notary public. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services holds one-day mandated reporter training at LLCC as well. Fees for noncredit classes range anywhere from free to $101. The University of Illinois at Springfield also begins its summer session June 2. For complete summer course and fee information, go to Although there’s something about the feel of campus in the summer, many people don’t have the time or means to commute to the Lake Springfield area. No worry: UIS has been recognized nationally in the area of online education. Undergraduate online degrees are offered in business, computer science, economics, English, history, liberal studies, mathematics, and philosophy. Graduate students can earn online master’s degrees in environmental and legal studies, management information systems, public health, and public administration. A number of professional certification courses, such as community health education and emergency preparedness and homeland security, are offered online as well. At Springfield College-Benedictine University (1500 N. Fifth St., 217-525-1420,, undergraduate courses for adults are now under way, with the next session starting June 30. The college’s accelerated MBA program begins June 20. Summer tuition costs $100 per credit hour. Because summer sessions are shorter than regular semesters, instructors must move through material more quickly and the workload is often much heavier — but that just gives you one more reason to sit underneath a shade tree, enjoying a cold beverage along with Fundamentals of Chemistry. Now go sign up and, remember — there might be a pop quiz in the fall.
Contact R.L. Nave at