Instruction Highlights Behind-the-Wheel Training, True-Life Scenarios
It is the milestone nearly every parent dreadsmore than 3,000 pounds of wire, steel and glass moving from zero to 55 miles an hour on the interstate with their 16-year-old behind the wheel. Learning how to drive and doing it safely is one of the most important gifts of learning a parent can give their child. The College of Southern Maryland offers Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration certified driver education training to students in Calvert, Charles and St. Marys counties.
New this fall, classes for the upcoming semester in Calvert County are filling fast but there is still ample time to register, according to Susan Ross, CSMs acting director of industrial training.
Patient instructors who help students develop confidence behind the wheel and understand the seriousness of their subject matter are just a few of the reasons parents, friends, and insurance companies recommend CSMs driver education program.
The instructor was awesome. The instruction was clear, serious and efficient. CSM instructors make the class fun while still teaching their students the life-saving skills they need for the road, said Tracy Phillips of Waldorf.
According to Mary Beth McCollum, CSMs transportation course manager, students in Calvert County can attend classes at CSMs Prince Frederick Campus or at Huntingtown, Calvert, Patuxent or Northern high schools. Tuition and fees for the driver education course total $295 and include a student/parent orientation, six hours of one-on-one behind-the-wheel instruction with a MVA certified driving instructor, and 30 hours of classroom instruction in vehicle control and maneuvering, operator performance and obligation, and reducing risk, injury and collision while factoring in environmental factors.
One of the things that make our program different than others in the area is that our program is structured so that our students receive the technical and emotional training they need to drive safely in an efficient amount of time. We are really proud that most of our students complete their course work and driving hours in approximately six weeks, said Ross.
Students are not the only ones benefiting from the driver education courses; parents are encouraged to follow their childs progress and are required to attend the parent/student driver orientation.
Initially, I complained about having to stay for the three-hour orientation as I already knew how to drive. But what an eye-opener that class was, said Mary Mitchell Cox of Waldorf. I used to be guilty of always being in a hurry to get to my destination, and sometimes I would lose my patience with other drivers or driving conditions. The orientation was a wake-up call. Tickets, fines, what am I gaining from rushing? Now, I really try to slow down and think about what I am doing behind the wheel, Cox continued.
I have three other daughters who attended other driving schools and they have had their share of difficulties behind the wheel. While my youngest, Jordan, has always been responsible I really do feel like the instruction that she received at CSM has made a difference. The CSM program reflects the seriousness of the topic. The instructors not only give them instruction but they back it up with stories about some of the regional accidents that have occurred that could have been avoided if the driver would have had more training behind the wheel, Cox said.
Calvert County Driver Education Course Start Dates*
· Sept. 5, Huntingtown High School
· Sept. 7, Calvert High School
· Sept. 26, Paxtuxent High School
· Sept. 27, CSMs Prince Frederick Campus
· Sept. 28, Northern High School
· Oct. 24, Huntingtown High School
· Oct. 26, Calvert high School
· Nov. 26, Paxtuxent High School
· Nov. 29, CSMs Prince Frederick Campus
· Nov. 30, Northern High School
* Start dates are for orientation only, please consult class schedule for classroom location and times.
For information on CSMs driver education programs call 301-934-7870 or 301-870-3008, Ext. 7870 for Charles County; 240-725-5499, Ext. 7870 for St. Marys County or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7870 for Calvert County or visit http://www.csmd.edu/ContinuingEducation/programs/drivertraining/driversed/.
For information on obtaining a Maryland drivers license visit http://www.dmv.org/md-maryland/first-time-drivers.php.