Potential students plug in at Evening Campus information session

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An Evening Campus information session was held in Launer Auditorium in early December with John Dupuy, a 1994 graduate with a bachelor's degree in information systems. Dupuy is co-founder of Socket Telecom and Internet Service, mid-Missouri's premier internet provider and rapidly becoming its premier traditional landline telephone service provider.

About 90 people showed up to learn about Columbia College, the Evening Campus, degree and course offerings, online classes, student services, Cougar sports and a whole lot more.

Director of Admissions John Wilkerson kicked the evening off, provided commentary and even technical support when needed. A panel consisting of Dupuy, Evening Campus instructor Dr. Lisa Isaacson and Evening and Graduate admissions counselors Penny Sanders and Kip Kendrick gave attendees a good feel for attending the Evening Campus at Columbia College. Kendrick and Sanders are both graduates; Sanders earned her bachelor's degree in general studies and Kendrick earned his degree in psychology.

Dupuy said that he was lured away from the University of Missouri by a full-time programming job ("In my field, experience trumps education!"). He said that he then realized that, even with a good job and good pay, he did want a college degree.

"So I looked around and I picked Columbia College. One of its strengths for me was its flexibility: You could take a couple of sessions in a row, drop out, return... You take two subjects at a time in eight-week sessions, and it makes your education short and intense. Fun, but intense.

"As an employer," Dupuy added, "I have to say that I do look for a degree in an applicant. A degree tells me that this person has the discipline, the integrity to get through a program. In my field, a degree means you have what it takes to learn the details; you may not have exactly the software skills I'm looking for, but I know you can learn them."

Kendrick said that Columbia College's flexibility worked well for him, too. He said that it took him several years, between traveling abroad, attending other institutions, and sometime working 50 to 55 hours a week in social services to finally get his psychology degree and work in his field. He added that he is now using his degree to help students at Columbia College.

Isaacson said the difference between Columbia College and other, especially public institutions is that Columbia College is a teaching college and others a research college. "This is a crucial difference," she said. "We are here to teach."

The session ended with a Q& A. Attendees, admissions counselors, financial aid reps and Evening Campus staff then mixed in the Lee Room of Dulany Dining Hall, where staff answered questions, enrolled students and gave away eco-friendly mugs made of recycled plastic. All chowed down on canap├ęs and itty-bitty sandwiches. (Two or three did the trick.) Campus tours? No takers we saw. Too darn cold out there.

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