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Hop on Your Elevator and Go Take a MDC Class!

This past summer, Miami Dade College started the first phase of Condo College, offering non-credit classes in many subjects including business, public speaking, languages, health and fitness. The classes were offered at both The Metropolitan and Brickell on the River condos. The idea was for residents to just hop onto their elevator and take an MDC non-credit class within their condominium – no driving, parking or getting lost on a big campus!

condocollegecatIt’s an idea that is gaining popularity. One Italian class student put it simply, “I am very happy that the class is taking place in our building.”

Another student explained the convenience: “My wife and I work during the week, so Friday (evening) in our building was the best way to reach us.”

BHA’s Ernesto Cuesta helped introduce the concept to the Brickell community through a BHA meeting last year, and naturally his condo, The Metropolitan, was one of the first to put together students for a class.

“It was a no-brainer to take advantage of this great offer from Miami Dade College to bring their immense resources directly and conveniently to our residents,” the long-time BHA leader and president at The Metropolitan Condo said.

David Lotker, Chairperson for the School of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus explained the inaugural run, “We ran several classes during Phase I of the program, with residents taking advantage of classes such as Italian and Public Speaking, however, we realized that there were residents from surrounding condominiums who did not have the opportunity to take classes even though the condos offering them were very close by.”

For the next phase of Condo College, Miami Dade College is looking toward expanding their plan to enable residents in surrounding condos to take classes at a central location within their immediate neighborhood, creating a “condo campus neighborhood.”

Imagine being able take a short walk to a neighboring condominium that is offering classes in a language like Mandarin, Portuguese or French, or in Starting Your Own Business, Digital Photography, Oil Painting or Dog Obedience. Along with learning something new, you get to meet your neighbors and make new friends.

BHA pledged to facilitate neighboring buildings getting together to form classes, working with managers and boards to handle any access and security issues.

“I’ve noticed in the past year at BHA events we’ve had that bring Brickell neighbors together, I hear the comment, ‘this finally feels like a neighborhood,’” President Gail Feldman said. “That we would be enriched through education together is a natural extension of BHA’s effort to build a strong sense of community.”

Most courses require a minimum of 10 to 12 students to be viable for the college to run, so getting neighbors together is expected to help achieve those minimums. Condo classes can start at any time, not bound by the regular college calendar, and condo students pay the same rate as students taking the class on an MDC campus.

Want to be on the ground floor?

Could the Brickell community become the new Condo Campus of the 21st Century? With the most populous metropolis in the Southeastern U.S. after Washington DC, this is a concept MDC is seriously considering. But it’s one that takes the residents of Brickell to make happen.

To move into Phase II, MDC needs to hear from you. If your building has the facilities and the support of your condo association to allow the use of community space, then MDC will work with your association and the adjacent condominiums to survey the special educational interests in your area.

If you are interested in getting started, contact Randy Lichtman, Program Manager of Continuing Education & Professional Development, at 305-237-3692 or rlichtma@mdc.edu