CHS night classes offer adults new skills, knowledge

CHS is one school within the MCVSD that offers night school.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

CHS is one school within the MCVSD that offers night school.

Katherine Lombardi

After CHS closes its doors to teenagers across Monmouth County, it welcomes a new group of students ready to learn: Adults seeking to upgrade their skills or explore a new career. For them, the end of high school or college doesn’t have to equate to the end of one’s education.

CHS serves as just one of many campuses for the Monmouth County Vocational School District’s (MCVSD) Adult Education programs, more casually known as “night school.” These vocational classes are open to anyone over the age of 16 who has graduated or left an elementary or secondary school system. Offered courses range from Culinary Arts to Automotive Technology, and are taught at locations throughout Monmouth County.

According to the MCVSD website, the classes intend to help members of the community “further their educational, employment, and personal goals.” While some programs may offer career certifications in areas like nursing or cosmetology, courses taught at CHS mainly focus on enhancing skills for one’s personal convenience and enjoyment.

Many courses offered at CHS, like Apple MacOS Mastering the Mac and Intro to Google Chromebooks and Google Apps, center on basic computer skills to help adults feel more comfortable with today’s technology. Other classes are similar to electives in the high school curriculum, such as Audio Production/Podcasting and Intro to Web Design.

Radio teacher Bill Bengle has taught Adult Education programs for seven years, including courses such as Mediation for Beginners, Introduction to Public Speaking, and Audio Production/Podcasting. He says the the classes’ student makeup is mostly older generations, but he’d like to see an increased amount of younger adults in the future.

“It’s mostly older folks, people who have some time, professionals who want to increase their skills,” Bengle said. “I’d like to see more younger people, but younger people are partying and not taking classes.”

When compared to his high school classes, Bengle believes it is not the material that differs, but rather the demeanor and skill background of the students.

“People are paying for the class so they’re a little more motivated to participate instead of feeling like they’re required to be here, even though it’s the same material,” Bengle said. “[The older students] are eager to learn, but there’s a lot more basic stuff that they’ve got to get under their belts that comes natural to high school kids.”

However, despite any difficulties that may come with the courses, Bengle finds enjoyment in the experience.

“I enjoy it very much,” Bengle said. “Every time you teach a different group of people it has different challenges and different rewards.”