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Ann Cunningham is the program manager for Hocking College's new Driver Education course.

Cunningham describes herself as "a public school teacher with an interest in anything that moves!"

Driver Education 01Her passion for getting behind the wheel began when she was a little girl. 

At the time, her cousins had a toy driving dashboard with a movable steering wheel, turn signals that made noises and an ignition slot for a plastic key.

It quickly became her "go-to" toy whenever she visited her relatives.

Cunningham received her training through AAA-Athens and has worked with 16- and 17-year-olds and adults for the past five years. 

She recently completed her manager's training with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which allows her to teach students how to drive, schedule lessons, keep up-to-date records of those lessons and oversee any daily maintenance issues related to the school.  

Is this program open to everyone?

This program is open to Hocking College students and the general public, all of whom must have a state-issued driving permit. That includes high school students looking to get their driver's license when they turn 16.

Others who could benefit from taking this course include international students, College Credit Plus students who are at least 15 years old and students who have a job or are involved in extra-curricular activities.Driver Education 05

When can students start enrolling in this program?

Students can find out more information about signing up for classes by emailing Cunningham at cunninghama37883@hocking.edu.

How long is this course?

According to Cunningham, students who are age 15-17 can expect 24 hours of class time. This averages to approximately two weeks and eight hours behind the wheel with an instructor. 

She added that the state requires 50 hours of parent/guardian behind-the-wheel time, 40 hours during the day and 10 hours at night. 

The time adults spend in class depends on their situation, such as their experience, schedule and access to a car to practice in. 

What will students learn in this course?        

The course will follow the Ohio State Driver's Education curriculum and cover the following topics:

  • Driver Education 03The System and You
  • Vehicle Familiarization
  • Basic Control Tasks
  • Traffic Control Devices and Laws
  • Perception 
  • Driving Strategies for Different Environments
  • Natural Laws Affecting Vehicle and Operator Performance 
  • Handling Vehicle/Driver Emergencies
  • Operating in Adverse Condition
  • Driver Fitness
  • Responsibilities of Owning and Maintaining a Car 

What pandemic-based precautions will this program enforce?

"We will follow the same protocols that are in place for any contact program at Hocking College," Cunningham said. "Each student and parent (if a minor) will be asked to sign a notice of responsibility to participate in this program."

Students in the program will be expected to follow these rules:

  • Driver Education 02The student and instructor will be screened before entering class and during the behind-the-wheel portion of each class. 
  • Face masks will be required for class, and six feet of distance will be enforced when possible. 
  • During the program's behind-the-wheel portion, both the driver and instructor will wear a face mask due to the unavoidably proximity in the car.
  • After each drive, the vehicle will be sanitized to ensure a healthy environment, including the steering wheel, door handles, seatbelt, gear shift, knobs and signals, and the emergency brake. 

Overall, Cunningham's goal for this program is to see that her students graduate with a good foundation of driving rules, skills, laws and science so they can be well prepared to have a safe and positive driving experience throughout their lives.

How much do the classes cost?

  • Teens, $249: Daytime and early evening classes are offered monthly. These classes include 24 hours of classroom time and eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
  • Abbreviated Adult, $325 ($249 for Hocking College students): These classes for adult students who did not pass their first attempt at Ohio driver's examination. Daytime and early evening classes are offered weekly and include four hours of classroom time and four hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.

Other Driving Instructional Services

  • Use of Hocking College Driver Education car with an instructor for the state exam - $50.
  • Behind the Wheel only - $50/hour ($40 for Hocking college students)
  • Online Teen Student (behind the wheel only) - Eight hour package, $325
  • Adult Behind the Wheel only - Eight hour package, $350
  • Check Rides (post medical/pre-exam competency) - $50/hour ($40/hour for Hocking College students)

Hocking College employees receive a 10% discount with their ID.

How can I get more information about this course?

For more information about Hocking College's new Driver Education course, email Program Manager Ann Cunningham at cunninghama37883@hocking.edu.

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