Pittsburgh area college offers coaster class

Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:33 AM | Contributed by kpjb

The Community College of Allegheny County (in Pittsburgh) is offering a roller coaster appreciation course for the spring of 2004. Subject matter includes everything from history to technical concepts.

Read more from CCAC.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 11:12 AM
Sure wish they had something like this where I'm going, sounds cool.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 11:19 AM
So is this just an elective class? I'm having problems understanding where it could fit into the curriculum. If they were going to study the sciences of coasters than perhaps it could fill a science credit, but it really seems as if they are just doing history. I wonder if their text book will be the book by Robert Coker. :)
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 11:44 AM
Why do I see this as an attempt at the school to just offer another course to fill its cirriculum and not lose state funding???

Taking this is not going to get a you a job.. Sadly, I think people will see it as that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 11:46 AM
Um, I guess this would be cool, but wtf? College isn't supposed to be fun, it's supposed to teach you something you can use in real life. If I want to learn about coasters, I'll read Dave Althoff's Web site or something.

Add this to the classes at other colleges about the Simpsons, Madonna, video games, etc., that signify that the apocolypse is upon us....

-Dennis (who just read a book and then noticed the author has a master's degree in pop culture. what's the text, People magazine?!?)

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 12:47 PM
What was not realized that this is a non-credit course. For many years, CCAC has offered these types of classes which earn you absolutely no credit towards a degree (along with basketweaving, various health and wellness courses, and even hot air ballooning).

Many years ago, I had taken a similar non-credit course through CCAC which was taught by Charles Jaques (author of Kennywood Memories and Good Bye, West View Park). It was indeed, an informative and fun course. Only no field trips involved, as the course ran January through April.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 12:49 PM
In that case, why would you want to ruin something you love by taking a class about it? I'd rather do the reading on my own and not be confined to class schedules, exams, papers, etc.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 1:22 PM
Why would taking the class ruin your love of coaster's? Unless it was being taught by Ed Markey, I don't understand where you are coming from. Non-credit courses (at least with CCAC) are fun classes. There are no tests, no research papers, no homework, etc... It's strictly for personal fulfillment as far as I can see.

When Charles Jaques taught it back in the early 80's, I found the class to be enjoyable, humourous and enriching myself. It further absorbed my love of amusement parks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 2:50 PM
very cool. There are alot of enthusiasts in the Pittsburgh area. This class was offered before. It will be very cool. This is a non credit class, so it will be extra fun. Lab 101... Kennywood park Internship? wouldnt that be cool?Because one of the finiest parks in the country is ,,, Kennywood Park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 2:50 PM
Sounds like fun, but I don't think I would pay for a class where A: I get no credits, B: will probably delay getting my degree (unless already ahead on credits, then look back at reason A), and C: I can find all of that out with AB, Coasterbuzz and fellow buzzers, and the internet
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 3:03 PM
What Turbo said.

I can learn everything I want to know about coasters from park visits, books and the Web - *and* I don't have to interrupt my schedule to go to a class every week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 4:34 PM
I have no problem with it since it is a "non credit" course (i.e. a "just for the hell of it" course)... just like the "non credit" course I took a few years back through Harrisburg Area Community College on "Journalists and Correspondents during the Civil War".

As for Exams and papers etc... are these done in Non Credit courses?

Had this Roller Coaster cousre been offered for credit... that is another story. As stated, hard to see where that would fit into a curriculum.

Bottom line... while it is a non credit, just for the fun of it, course for the student, I am sure that some type of registration fee or other fee is required (HACC charged a fee for that "Civil War Journalist" non credit I took). The students get entertained... the college gets income... which is the true driving force for most non credit courses... and many actual credit courses as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 4:54 PM
Even if it were offered as a credit course how would it be any different than many other history or technical electives?
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 4:56 PM
It's only something like $35 for the class. It's not gonna break the bank.

It seems like a good course for the enthusiast that may have gotten in to this recently and doesn't know the ins and outs of coaster origination, braking systems, and other technical and historical aspects of their hobby.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:15 PM
Im not sure why people have a problem with this. I mean, people always say to learn as much as you can, and if you're going to do that, why not learn more about something you already like? While it may not help you in life, it isnt going to make an employer decide not to hire you because you took the course.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 9:56 PM
Actually, I was a history major, and I can see where it would fit into a curriculum: as a history of pop culture (there are several such courses like this, most of which are survey courses of particular decades). It would involve perhaps some of the psychology of coasters, how the coaster boom and the economy are related, and how a community's culture is either enriched or diluted by a park. It could be quite an interesting class, actually.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:14 PM
I just wonder who would teach the class, as if you get a room full of enthusiasts, and you get a room full of double talk and know it alls.
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 9:00 AM
CCAC's non-credit classes are open to the public. I get a catalog from them every semester offering me the chance to sign up for any of rather large list of classes. Some of them teach basic computer skills (think I need that one?), some teach various bits of history, some have cool topics like this one. I actually thought about signing up, but my work schedule is too insane right now.So the "why waste time when going towards my degree" thing doesn't apply -- actual undergrad (and grad) students really aren't the target of classes like these. It's no different than your local culinary school offering an "open to anyone for a fee" cooking class (actually, I believe CCAC offers those too ;) )*** This post was edited by GregLeg 1/7/2004 9:02:50 AM ***
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 10:03 AM
I feel sorry for the folks going for the first time. as agent Johnson said all the back talk could ruin the class. If you go for fun with an open mind then youll have a great time. lets just hope its not full of Acer know it (alls) wantta besss.Then it would be a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 11:06 AM
I second that CrystalKat... ;)

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