A Unique Outlet: Community Education at Dixie State University
By Erin Hakoda
Dance, paint and discover new skills alongside like-minded peers through Community Education at Dixie State University.
DSU, the City of St. George, and Washington County School District are providing a program for community members to explore their interests and gain new skills through non-credit enrichment classes. From photography to music, foreign language, finance, and more, Community Education includes a variety of courses available for people in every walk of life.
Adam Taylor, an airline pilot by day, is now developing his patent pending invention thanks to the Entrepreneurship 101 course he took through Community Education at Dixie State University. “I’ve always been interested in business and entrepreneurship, but I didn’t realize how interested I was until I was switching around my whole work schedule to accommodate those classes,” Taylor explains. He says the experience has changed his life. Taylor’s wife, Maureen, who had previously taken a few CE classes—including an ukulele course, introduced him to the program. Together, they enrolled in Entrepreneurship 101 with Don Watkins, who covered the basic principles of starting a business, and helped Taylor sift through his ideas to come up with a product concept. “I never really thought of myself as being all that creative,” Taylor expresses, “but this has really helped me find a creative outlet that is very unique to me.” In the spring of 2017, the Taylors took a country western dance class as a way to explore a fun, new hobby. “The class became a date night for us,” Taylor laughs. “We only needed to have the kids watched for an hour and a half each week, and we could go, dance, and get ice cream afterward.” Taylor says he enjoys the collaborative environment of the Community Education program. He has had the opportunity to work with classmates, teachers and mentors. “The creative juices really flow when you’re working with people and sharing ideas,” he explains. “There’s a lot of magic in that.”
Tyson Pulsipher, Director of Community and Continuing Education, says the real-life instruction and human connection are the most valuable takeaways from the program. “You can go and sit in a classroom with an instructor and people with similar interests and get a hands-on experience.” It is also affordable and allows community members to take advantage of the facilities Dixie State has to offer. “Community Education lets you dip your toes into a new area without having to invest a lot of money,” Pulsipher says. Most classes are just once a week, in the afternoon or evening, to accommodate people who work during the day. According to Pulsipher, the program is largely interest-driven; courses are flexible, and can be catered to what the community wants. The Community and Continuing Education programs also include online certification and test preparation courses in legal and medical fields. “My wife and I try to tell everyone we know about Community Education and what a great resource it can be for people like me—where I’m not looking for college credits, but still want to improve my skills and gain new life experiences and opportunities,” Taylor says. “We’re always trying to keep learning.”
Registration for the spring semester opens in mid-December. Brochures and course catalogs are distributed throughout Washington County and are available at the North Plaza on the DSU campus.
For more information on DSU’s Community & Continuing Education and to register for classes, visit ce.dixie.edu.