As the old year pushes its way slowly toward its close, that often-repeated phrase: “What is your New Year’s Resolution?” rings in our ears. The usual suspects immediately spring to mind – eat better, exercise more and improve our skills to establish or advance our careers. The question is often not what you need to do, but where and how can you do those things and hold down a job simultaneously.

Great Plains Technology Center (GPTC) stands ready to help in all of these areas through our Adult Career Development (ACD) department. More commonly known as “night school,” ACD offers a full range of short-term courses that can be taken at night and on weekends to help with each of the usual suspects.

Exercise more? Dance is one way of exercising. GPTC offers Line Dancing, Couples Waltz and Couples Two-Step classes that are not only enjoyable but designed to keep you active and fit. The Couples Waltz course helps prepare a dancer for both ballroom and country music dancing. These popular courses help participants stay active and ready for fun, whether they are dancing away the New Year or dancing around the house.

Eat better? GPTC has offered cooking classes for many years. Taught by experienced cooks and chefs, participants have learned to bake bread, craft sugar-free deserts and put warm Mexican food on the plate. There is nothing better or homier than the smell of delicious food waiting to nourish both body and spirit.

And what about that new or better job? What would enhanced computer skills do for you in the workplace? What about new career opportunities? Once again, GPTC has training available to establish or build a career in office administration, health care, security, computer installation and configuration, HVAC, electricity, and auto repair. Everything from medical coding to load calculation and duct work is available during evening hours.

If you just need a brush up in Excel to take a step forward, that training is available in a four-week course. Need a certification in the computer field to take the next step? A+ and Net+ Certification Prep courses put you 12 weeks away from gaining your certification. Medical jobs such as nurse assistant, phlebotomist, pharmacy technician, and EMT are a course or two away, two nights a week. Even Fork Truck Operator training just takes one six-hour day of training.

Training at GPTC during evening hours is accessible and easy to fit into your schedule. Two nights a week for a few weeks in courses taught by industry professionals and the first, second, or final step can be taken to a new or better career. Class listings may be found in the Tech Tab, with tuition prices clearly published. Financial aid is available for those who qualify for a Great Plains Foundation Scholarship and GPTC’s ACD training has been recognized by the Veteran’s Administration (VA), tribal funding, and WIB funding. Counselors are available to help students select and sequence ACD programs to create the occupational outcome or guide you to courses that help you achieve your goals.

ACD has a long history of providing just-in-time coursework to give working people like you the opportunity to gain new skills and advance careers. ACD also balances career education with the recreational needs of our communities. Courses such as Conversational Spanish, Basic Motorcycle Rider, and Self Defense Basics stand alongside Welding: Beginning to Advanced, Medical Terminology and Structural Firefighting practices.

There is something for almost everyone in the ACD catalog. Whether it’s the first step to a new career or the culmination of months of career prep, the skills you learn during the evening are just as valid as those learned during the day. Whether you want to learn to dance or learn sign language, there is something in the Tech Tab to get you started. The ACD enrollment center is open from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Fridays. Staff is always available to explain the different courses, answer any questions and help you enroll.

Quality career and technical education doesn’t just occur during a “normal” school day. Career Tech classes, delivered by industry professionals, takes place most evenings at both GPTC’s main campus in Lawton and its branch campus in Frederick. Pick up your copy of the Tech Tab at GPTC or take a peek online at www.greatplains.edu. When you see something you like, follow the easy enrollment process and let GPTC help you achieve your life and career goals in 2020.

Clarence Fortney, Superintendent /CEO of GPTC

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