Weekend College Offers Convenience, Flexibility
By Sherry Fisher
Judy Mongeau doesn't mind the hour-long drive she takes from Brooklyn in the eastern part of the state to UConn's West Hartford campus on Saturday mornings. In fact, in many ways, it's quite convenient for the 41-year-old single mother of three, who is working on her Bachelor of General Studies degree.
Mongeau is one of some 170 BGS, non-degree, and traditional students enrolled in UConn's Weekend College, which is offered through the College of Continuing Studies at the Hartford, Waterbury, and Stamford campuses. Classes will be offered at the Torrington campus in the spring, and the Avery Point campus is planning to offer Weekend College programs in the near future.
Weekend College classes are open to bachelor of general studies and non-degree students, as well as students in other degree programs. Non-degree students may enroll without formally applying to the University. Students may choose from courses scheduled either every Saturday or every other Saturday.
"Weekend College is the best of both worlds," says Mongeau, a secretary in continuing education at the Storrs campus. "It would be difficult to rearrange my work schedule to take a class during the week and be out in the evenings. I wouldn't be able to spend time with my children."
Mongeau's course in human development and family studies runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. She likes the long class period. "You can get into better discussions," she says.
Gary Wilson, program manager and a BGS/non-degree counselor, says the Weekend College "really serves the nontraditional population. Having a convenient format to attend classes is extremely important, particularly for non-traditional students. They are balancing work and family responsibilities, and this option makes education accessible.
"Convenience and flexibility are key ingredients in providing opportunities for access to a UConn education," Wilson adds.
Eric Carter, a BGS student, says the weekend class has made his life easier. "I work full time and I take one class, which takes up two nights a week," he says. "If I were to try to take a second class and go another two nights a week, it would be too much." Carter, who lives on City Island in New York and works as a financial advisor at UBS Paine Webber, is taking a math class at the Stamford campus.
Paul Blackman, who graduated from UConn in May with a BGS degree, took a Saturday class in the fall of 2001. "I have taken all my classes in the evening and one in the late afternoon," says Blackman, a resident of Torrington. "I'd get out of work and go directly to class and stay there until 9:30 p.m. two or three nights a week. So it was really helpful having one on the weekend."
A national senior accounts executive for Northeast Utilities, Blackman took classes at the West Hartford campus.
According to Wilson, 69 percent of students in the Weekend College are BGS and non-degree students. Thirty-one percent are traditional students, the largest group being from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For more information or to sign up for a class, call: 860.486.1071 or 860.486.0465.