Jan 26, 2010

Free Community Courses from CASAS

by Mallory Barks

The Liberty University Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE), a department of CASAS, offers non-credit courses in various subjects every semester for Liberty students and the people in the community. These courses provide the opportunity to earn a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificate in areas ranging from German and Fire Safety to Creative Writing and CPR.

Director of the CPCE Barbara Sherman believes the most important focus is the organization’s mission: “To offer professional development and personal enrichment courses to meet community and individual needs.”

The goal is “to create within the community good will of service,” Sherman said.

According to Sherman, the CPCE provides recreational language, defensive training, special interest and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes. The certificate given to each participant at the completion of a course represents 10 hours of training, Sherman said.

The language courses offered this spring — Hebrew, French and Russian I and II — cater primarily to students and will take place on campus throughout the semester. According to Sherman, many Liberty students spend time overseas, and these courses will “enable students on mission trips with conversational language skills that help their ministry when they are in the field.

But even for students not traveling abroad, knowledge of another language is helpful on the professional scene.

“I’m excited to learn the basics of Spanish because it will help me communicate with Hispanic patients in the hospital setting,” senior nursing student Kelly Barks said.

Collaborating with the CPCE, Operations Security 3 (OPSEC3) owner Tim Hooper and Liberty’s Chief of Police Richard Hinkley will instruct defensive training courses including Introductory Pistol, Unarmed Self Defense and Identity Theft Protection.
According to Hinkley, the purpose of these courses is to help people build “confidence in themselves, [so] that when they are faced with a dangerous situation they (can) … deal with the situation and keep themselves safe.”

“I learned so much about firearms and technique in shooting,” junior Blakely Harris said of a Concealed Carry course he took last semester. “I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in firearms.”

Off Liberty’s campus, the CPCE offers OSHA courses to businesses and employees needing certification in various techniques or skills.

According to Frank Goodwin, Safety Coordinator at Delta Star and lead OSHA instructor, employees at almost every company, by law, must have safety training.

Offering OSHA safety courses is another way Liberty can reach people with a Christian influence. Liberty has issued hundreds of certificates within the past year in various OSHA classes. Liberty also offers 10- and 30-hour courses on industrial and construction safety. The Industrial Health courses include CPR, First Aid, Blood Borne Pathogens and Trauma. One of the most popular courses is an eight hour class on High-Voltage Electrical Safety.

For many people, these courses give them just “a little touch of college education,” Goodwin said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of men who couldn’t read or write … and when they earn a certificate from the university, it’s prized.”

The program is an “extra arm of outreach,” Sherman said. “We need (the Lynchburg) community to know we care about them.”
The CPCE courses began in September and students can register on the CPCE Web site or through the CASAS office.

Contact Mallory Barks at

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