Prison Education: FCI-Petersburg Adult Continuing Education Classes (June-August 2011)

I'm currently in a lull between classes. My last class ended on 5-21-2011, and my next is slated to start on 6-13-2011. During this time, I have ferociously been working on the student notes. Those are certainly a chore. Each week's notes are looking to be between 4,000 and 6,000 words, certainly a comprehensive task. I don't use this as a quantitative method of analyzing the quality of the said notes, but I do view this as a measuring stick of comprehensiveness. To tell you the truth, later on down the road, I plan on using these notes as the foundation of a book. But I always plan to do so when it comes to new smaller projects. Why don't we just refer to this as 'future envy.'

I don't have a ton to report this week since I don't have a class. The notes are driving me crazy. I finished revising my curriculum, I brought on an IT guy to assist with the more technical elements of the site, and class signups will be on May the 31st and June the 1st. Besides this, I do have the list of upcoming ACE classes and the official completion rates for the March through May 2011 classes. I thought you'd find them of interest. Here are the completion percentages for each class.

Please note that my completion percentage dropped badly because two of my guys didn't bother to show for the final. That, along with the fact that several students only showed up for one class (or none!), caused the completion percentage to decrease. S, I don't view this as a true completion percentage.

CLASS COMPLETIONS

CLASS                            START             PASS               COMP. RT

Military History                       11                 11                    100%

CDL                                      26                 22                 84.61%

Restaurant Ownership              23                 19                  82.6%

Auto Sales                             25                 20                    80%

Business Management 1            25                 20                    80%

Money Management                 16                 12                    75%

Business Planning                     19                 14                    73%

Public Speaking                        12                  8                    72%

RPP Personal Finance                24                 17                    70%

Writing and Publishing               17                 11                    64%

Basic Mathematics                    11                  7                    63%

Business Management 2             11                  6                    54%

Home Inspection                       24                12                    50%

TOTAL:                                  244              179                  73.4%

As for the upcoming classes, there are quite a few and they all look rather good. They are as follows:

MONDAY

RPP Personal Finance

This course teaches students the fundamentals of financial literacy and provides an understanding of personal finance tools. Subjects include budgeting, prioritization of payments, how to manage debt, taxes, tools of insurance, and how to save for the purchase of a home. This class counts towards Release Preparation Planning.

Writing and Publishing

The focus of this course is to provide general information about the various types of writing, a practical overview of each, and practical tips on how to get it published. The course covers topics such as articles, poetry, nonfiction and fiction books, agents, copyrights, query letters, book proposals, the author platform, scams, and much more. Upon completion of the course the student will possess knowledge of how to submit their work for publication and the skills to do so. Possession of a GED or High School Diploma is a prerequisite. The student must be able to read and write fluently.

TUESDAY

Automobile Sales

Students will learn the basics of automobile sales and how to sell in general. The class will focus on the basic operation of a dealership, how the salesman gets paid, how a car gets financed, and proper professional appearance, communication, and conduct. No prior knowledge or experience is required.

Business Management 2

This class, the second part of a three part series, focuses on Human Resources. The class stresses the human aspect in business, and helps students explore the intricacies of hiring, firing and interviewing, as well as the day-to-day operations of scheduling, accounting for time, and legal situations that may arise. This course requires a GED or High School Diploma and students must either have completed Business Management 1 or satisfactorily pass a pre-admittance exam.

WEDNESDAY

CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)

This course will give you a basic understanding of how to prepare for, and help you to pass, the written portion of the CDL examination. It also provides you with an overview of the driving portion of the CDL test. No experience or prior knowledge is required.

Legal Basics

This class will go over the basic legal tools you will need to understand how to do legal research, use the Electronic Law Library, and understand the resources available and how to utilize them. A GED is required before enrolling in this course. No prior law experience is required.

THURSDAY

Money Management

This is a beginning course for people who have little-to-no experience in performing the day-to-day money management skills needed to survive in today's world. Basic topics covered are how to select the right kind of bank account, how to choose a bank, how to prepare a budget, how to write a check and account for it, how to decipher a pay stub, and how to reconcile a checkbook. No prior knowledge is required for admittance into this class.

Film Critique

Students will learn the parts of a film critique, learn basic cinema-graphic principles, and acquire a better understanding of the movies students watch. The class will view 3 to 4 movies in their entirety during the duration of the course. No special requirements apply to admittance into this course.

FRIDAY

Beginning Spanish 1

This course is for non-Spanish speaking individuals who would like to learn Spanish. This will be an intensive study into the fundamentals of beginning Spanish. With successful completion of the course students will be able to recognize essential Spanish words, use correct pronunciation, and communicate in Spanish at the basic level. This course has no prior knowledge or experience requirement.

Economics 1

This class will teach the basics needed to understand Economic fundamentals, such as basic understandings of indirect exchange, price & consumption, production, entrepreneurship, and monopoly effects on competition. This will be an intensively focused class that requires solid participation by classroom participants. A GED or High School Diploma is a must.

SATURDAY

Pawnshop Ownership

If you've seen the program "Pawn Stars" on television, you have an idea of what this class will involve. Not only will you learn the basics of pawnshop ownership, but you will also learn information regarding gold, diamonds, and gemstones. Plus, this class is geared toward those with felony convictions. So laws are covered to help you legally succeed in this field.

Public Speaking

Students will be equipped with the ability to speak before small groups or large crowds of people. Emphasis is placed on experience, so students are expected to participate and perform various speeches in front of the class. Students will expand their vocabulary, learn the parts of proper speech, learn how to effectively use attention grabbers, and in general become comfortable with speaking in front of a group. There is no special knowledge or experience required to attend this class.

Military History

This class will give students a broad understanding of the history of warfare from the dawn of history to the end of the Napoleonic Era. Students will leave with a broadened knowledge of tactical and technical advances in warfare, an overview of the critical history making wars and battles. The course will encourage students to enjoy history and embark on a self-study of history. There is no prior knowledge or experience required for admittance into the course.