The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Clark Fair and Tony Lewis
Kenai Peninsula College 

Seward KPC branch continues to serve

 


When people called the Seward Branch of Kenai Peninsula College in the mid 1990s, the phone would ring in the home of Cindy Capra. “Is the Seward Branch open today?” the caller would ask. Capra would walk over to her washing machine upon which sat a yellow plastic file box, flip the lid on the box and reply, “It is now.”

Such was the down-home informality of the operation connected to college offerings in Seward throughout much of the history the branch. KPC service there have never been extensive, but for decades they have delivered at least some of what the public has wanted.

Kenai Peninsula Community College began offering a smattering of courses in Seward in 1966, including an art class taught by itinerant Moose Pass instructor Boyd Shaffer. In the late 1960s, KPCC director Clayton Brockel sought a home in Seward for a 16-week Manpower Development Training Act program, and this vocational in-road led to the creation of the Alaska Skill Center, which evolved into the Alaska Vocational Technical Center.

Eventually, the Seward branch settled into a routine. Each semester there was a handful of academic classes, taught by adjunct instructors mainly to local high school seniors.

In January 1998, Capra began teaching full time and handed off to Jackie Marshall her yellow plastic file box and the phone number of KPC director Ginger Steffy.

Marshall worked out of her home until 2001, when she requested a space at Seward High School. She got what she asked for, but the move was hardly permanent.

Initially, “I shared a space with the high school’s alternative ed program, a small corner with a desk,” she said. “I had no computer but did have a direct KPC phone line. Over the next three years I moved to two different locations in the adjoining Seward Middle School wing.”

Then she was moved to the current location of the KPC Resurrection Bay Extension Site in the high school. A fresh coat of paint, bulletin boards, signage, a display case, a two-person workstation and a filing cabinet were added in December 2006. The yellow plastic file box, meanwhile, gave way to an answering machine, a web page and the filing cabinet.

The web-page is http://www.kpc.alaska.edu and the answering machine is at 224-2285, whenever the office isn’t open.

Walk in registration for spring at the branch starts Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and runs through Jan. 9. This semester’s classes include Introduction to Literature, General Psychology, Introduction to American Government - Web, Short Format: Introduction to Creative Writing, Beginning Yoga, and Intermediate Yoga. KPC offers an easy payment plan.

 

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