Southern Oregon University launches one-credit program

Southern Oregon University will offer a series of one-credit classes aimed at attracting more community members this fall.

Unlike previous community classes, the new offerings will be taught by university faculty.

"In the past we have offered community education which was a wide range of classes taught by very interesting people from the community," said Jeanne Stallman, executive director of continuing education at SOU. "While that was very great fun and very interesting, other people also do that, and they do it very well, the parks department, for example. We were asking 'What can we offer that other people can't?' and the obvious answer is access to our faculty."

The five classes offered this fall include an introduction to sustainable leadership; a lecture series on Guanajuato, Mexico; a course on creativity; an in-depth research class and the Jefferson State Choral Coalition. They range in cost from $20 to $149.

John Kalb, an Ashland chiropractor and author, signed up for the research class to improve his research techniques for his second book, "Winning at Aging."

Although he has already spent a year researching the book, discovering seven aspects of successful aging, he said he expects the class to enable him to add more depth and scientific background to his writing and learn Internet research techniques that didn't exist when he went to school. He said he anticipates it being more like a college class than other community classes he has taken at SOU.

"I just imagine it's going to be more rigorous," he said, "... because there is a professor behind it, and the fact that it is a credit course. I like the fact that I will have access to all the library services while I am registered."

The class will be the only one of the five to be conducted online. Three will be held at the main campus in Ashland, and the fifth course, on sustainable leadership, will meet at the new RCC/SOU Higher Education Center in Medford.

That course will be taught by business professor Steve Schein, who taught a four-credit course on the same topic to his full-time SOU students.

Mary Theis registered for the course because she didn't want to put all her hope on changing the current energy policy in the results of the November election.

"I'm interested in all areas of sustainability," she said. "I'm hoping to learn some things about leadership in general too."

She is also considering a career change and saw the class as a way to explore her options without too much time commitment.

"For people who are working like myself, it works better for my schedule to have it be a quick seminar kind of thing," she said. Still, if a longer class were offered, she would definitely be interested, she said.

For more information on the classes, call 552-6899 or visit

Staff writer Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or

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