Class is back in session

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, January 6, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — It was about 10 minutes before her noon class on Monday and Kate Bumgardner was sitting in the commons area at Ohio University Proctorville passionately explaining why becoming a sign language interpreter was her mission.

Having watched the mistreatment of the hearing impaired first-hand, she said simply, “I want to change things.”

Every so often fellow students would walk by on their way to class or slip into the administrator’s office to make last minute schedule changes. It was all a part of the busy start of Winter Quarter at Ohio University.

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Bumgardner is almost 60 percent of the way to reaching her goal and most of her classes she has been able to take at home through the sign language program at the Proctorville Center, though she will have to finish up on campus.

“I like this campus and Ironton and soon I will have to like Athens,” she said. Then she was off to her next communications class that was being given via compressed video from Athens to centers in Zanesville, Chillicothe, Belmont and Lancaster along with Proctorville.

Bobbi Woods understands what Bumgardner is talking about. Woods is working on a degree in social work and appreciates the chance to do course work here.

“The advantage is I could be where I wanted to be,” Woods said.

The numbers won’t be official until the middle of month, but Proctorville Center director Stephanie Burcham knew the quarter was off to a good start when she came to work at 8 and found almost 30 students waiting to get into their 8 a.m. class.

“It was busy this morning. An 8 a.m. class is a new thing here,” she said.

Overall the stats Burcham has complied please.

“Our current credit hours surpass last year,” she said.

Typical winter quarter credit hours range between 1600 and 1700. But this term they are coming in at more than 1880.

“I think it is exciting,” Burcham said. “I think it is the result of having a permanent facility. Since we opened the facility we have noticed that the numbers continue to rise. The facility solidifies our commitment here.”