Pilot programs target new student populations

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Dr. Dennis VanderWeele instructing the class (19 students) at The Haven.

Two pilot programs at Crestmont College launched this fall are extending educational opportunity to new student populations.

For young Salvationists and others, the AA in Ministries, Humanities or Music brings high school graduates a quality Christian education at affordable prices, says Major Donna Ames, director of the college’s Open Campus Programs.

“Full-time students can live on campus, and have an opportunity to complete their degree in two years,” said Ames. “We also have a wide variety of courses and times for part-time and evening options.”

Current AA in Music student Lina Garcia says she came to Crestmont for the hands-on experience with music. “I also have a longing to know more about God and the Bible, and know more about his purpose for me,” Garcia said. “I love living on campus and being part of the Praise Team. And I love the fact that nothing here is done before first making sure God is in charge and a part of whatever we’re doing.”

Veterans and employees at The Haven, the Army’s residential treatment center at West L.A. Veteran’s Medical Center, are enjoying their 40-hour certificate in social work program specifically designed to meet the The Haven’s staff training needs. The course is taught by a team of experienced and credentialed Salvationist instructors led by Crestmont Provost Dr. Dennis VanderWeele and Haven Executive Director Envoy Roy Snapp-Kolas. Haven case manager Arthur Williams is a student in the program. “It makes me feel wonderful to be part of a program that helps people turn their lives around and grow,” Williams said. “I believe this course will improve my skills, increase my knowledge and give me more confidence in dealing with clients.”

Snapp-Kolas has been concerned that the staff of The Haven be provided with a foundation for social services ministry from a Salvation Army perspective. “Any professional training social services staff may receive is likely not to have a holistic ministry focus,” he said. “We have partnered with Crestmont to develop this training program to provide that Army and holistic ministry perspective.”

Open campus programs are one way the college shares its facilities, faculty, credentials and resources with the territory, says Ames. For information, visit www.crestmontcollege.edu or call (310) 544-6419.

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