By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

The local College of the Redwoods campus is reaching more potential students than ever through a common household appliance.

Were really reaching a lot of people with these T.V. courses, said Professor Tom Owen, a popular teacher of Political Science at the college.

The courses started as an experiment last September, but the response from the public made it an instant success, according to Sharon Dyer, campus vice president. The second semester of television courses started Monday.

We went live in September with a 15-year-old at the controls. Tell me that wasnt a tense week, Dyer said.

About 116 students signed up for the televised courses. Dyer and Owen said its a great way for otherwise busy people to get college credit.

Broadcast on cable channel four, students can video tape the class to watch at their convenience. To actually communicate with the professor, students may use e-mail or the phone.

To me, the camera is just another student in the class. And we actually have a phone in the studio if students have a question during class, Owen said.

At $11 per credit hour, students can complete courses in Business Law, History, Early Childhood Education and English from their own living rooms. Dyer said the college is working to put enough course work on T.V. to provide an entire Associate of Arts Degree.

Perhaps thousands are watching these classes, Owen said and described a scene waiting in line at Safeway. Five people were line with me and the one behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, I watch your class on T.V. and I really love it. Then, Owen said the other people in line chimed in to say the same, and even the checkout clerk said she had seen it.

It just shows theres a huge need out there, Owen said, noting the existence of several different work shifts that make it difficult for many to attend class at the college campus.

This is a wonderful second chance for people, Owen said.

The college is still accepting student registrations for this semester.