GREENFIELD — Vincennes University was recently forced to cancel eight weeks of college classes at the Hancock County Public Library after no students signed up to take them.
The library is halfway into a three-year contract with Vincennes, but maintaining steady enrollment for traditional courses remains a struggle, officials say.
Several basic college classes, including math and English, were scheduled to start Oct. 19 and meet for eight weeks. Now, students will have to wait until January for another opportunity to enroll.
“We’re trying to start out with baby steps, but we’re still crawling,” Library Director Dianne Osborne said. “We just can’t seem to get this thing upright and going.”
Three students signed up for the first fall session. Classes were held with one student in one class and two in another.
The news of the cancellation isn’t all bad, however, said Vincennes spokeswoman Daria Stafford.
The classes being offered for the second fall semester session were remedial, and that indicates students are doing better on their placement tests and do not require lower-level courses, she said.
“Sometimes students don’t need the classes that are being offered, which is unfortunate but in a way is very good,” she said.
The library has also seen some success with its Learning Unlimited program, which allows students to pick up a free netbook computer at the library to use and then take Vincennes courses online.
Those enrolled in the Learning Unlimited program not only have instruction online but are welcome to visit a learning coach who is available 16 hours per week at the library.
“That’s continuing to go well,” Osborne said. “It’s a combination of distance learning and face-to-face,” she said.
The Learning Unlimited netbook offer has proven so popular that Vincennes has started providing the portable computers to all students who sign up for classes – whether online or in a traditional classroom setting – through the library.