The Yuba College Distance Education program has provided the opportunity for students to earn college units via the local cable service, from any of the district’s other learning centers, and with the use of the Internet. Students who have conflicting work schedules, or who simply do not have the time to attend full time courses, to earn college units while at work or in the privacy of their home.
The Instructional Television, or ITV, program is the brainchild of Professor Stephen Cato, who has served as the Media Services Director at Yuba College since 1985. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications from California State University, Chico.
“The model for the ITV program is based on the model used by CSU Chico and they have helped us over the years in the improvements we have been able to make over the years.” Professor Cato commented. ”
In the beginning, we produced telecourses in what is now the Mass Communications Television Studio for instructors to use as teaching and learning aids. Now we operate on two cable television licenses, to broadcast our courses to now only the Yuba-Sutter area, but to students on our Woodland campus, to soldiers at Beale Air Force Base, and to the Colusa and Clearlake learning centers as well.”
There are two classrooms which broadcasts classes six days a week, Monday through Saturday, equipped with television cameras and microphones, an interactive phone line to allow distance students to call in and participate in class discussions and Q&A sessions. Students can link to the school’s website and use WEB CT to do class assignments and to take tests and exams.
There are currently 63 television courses available in subjects like Anthropology , Parenting, and Medical Terminology and as many as 90 online classes ranging from learning various computer systems like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word and courses like Elementary Algebra and Music Appreciation.
The Distance Education program also serves a second purpose as well. Students who enroll in the Mass Communication 25R course earn money while receiving hands on training directing and broadcasting the classes that are broadcasted on local cable programming. The students, known as break directors, make copies of the classes, so students can watch classes that they missed on videotape and that these classes can be complied on digital video. They also assist with the general production of the broadcast.
“I earn as I learn”, says Anthony Courtney, one of this year’s break directors who runs and broadcast the school’s classes. “Not only do I direct the class, but I’m a student in one of the other classes.” For more information about the Distance Education program, please contact Jeanette O’Bryan, the Distance Education Support Specialist at (530) 741-6754 or Professor Stephen Cato at (530)741-6757.