DELO provides various motorcycle safety courses

Taylor Harrison

As the weather warms up, so does the opportunity to ride motorcycles.

WKU’s Division of Extended Learning Outreach is making sure those rides are safe.

DELO provides the community with 16 non-credit courses revolved around motorcycles. Participants don’t have to be WKU students but must be 16 to enroll and have parental consent if they’re under 18.

“Safety is the main focus,” said Sharon Woodward, director of Continuing Education.

Two different courses — basic rider and experienced rider — are offered. The basic course costs $125, and the experienced course is $65, according to a WKU press release.

The basic rider course starts in a classroom, where the students learn about safety techniques and the different parts of a motorcycle.

Later, the students work with actual bikes that are provided for them. They practice sitting on the bike, work with different parts of the bike and finally complete an obstacle course.

This course takes a weekend to complete, and a motorcycle license is not required.

Woodward said many 16- and 17-year-olds take the class, but the majority of the people who take this course are adults. Each class consists of just 10 students because of the size of the range.

“We do not go over 10 because we want to make sure everyone has space to ride safely,” Woodward said.

The experienced rider course lasts one day, and it requires people to have their own bike and a motorcycle license.

WKU students also get a 10 percent discount. Woodward said the course instructors are chosen from a list of people qualified to teach the class.

“At this time, we don’t have any instructors who are actually employees of the university,” Woodward said.

This course is made possible because of DELO’s partnership with the Traffic Safety Institute of Eastern Kentucky and the state departments of Transportation and Justice. It is one of about 15 sites in the state.

Karen Dinwiddie, program assistant for DELO, said WKU gets the word out about the course in a few different ways.

“We have advertising in some local publications and give brochures and cards to DMVs,” Dinwiddie said.

Other DELO programs

Another program offered by DELO is the faith in nursing course.

“Faith community nursing is for people who are already an RN, and it is a holistic approach to the nursing profession,” Woodward said.

Woodward said this branch of nursing focuses on a patient’s emotions and spiritual life.

It prepares nurses to help religious patients focus on their faith.

“Recognizing a person’s faith is important. It’s part of the healing,” said Woodward.

Other courses offered include a boiler maintenance course, a grant writing course and a fly fishing course.

Woodward said there is a fly-fishing trip to Montana coming up. This trip will include guides to help the participants find the right places to fish.

“We think it’s great for dads and sons,”she said. “It’s a great family activity too.”

DELO also has an active strings program. Because of this, orchestra classes are provided in schools as well as private lessons, Woodward said. The kids also have the opportunity to perform with professional symphonies.