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Staff Picks for Fall Quarter

Learn something new this fall!

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Thinking about taking a class, but not sure where to start? We totally understand. With over 1,000 courses to choose from this quarter, it can be difficult to decide.

To help you get on your way, we asked our continuing educators and program directors who design our curriculum to recommend courses for you. From sustainability to accounting, programming languages to film scoring, and everything in between, explore our staff picks for Fall Quarter.

Stephanie Hoekstra

Stephanie's Pick I:
People and the Earth’s Ecosystems

Stephanie Hoekstra
Program Director, Humanities and Sciences

This online course explores the ways in which human activity impacts the natural environment. Topics include environmental challenges, such as air and water pollution, population growth and distribution, global atmospheric changes, ecosystems and evolution, agriculture and food resources, and renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. Includes case studies drawn from local, national, and international perspectives. 

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Stephanie's Pick II:
Principles of Sustainability I: Introduction

Sustainability is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. Anyone can benefit from taking this course, as the issues discussed are actually happening all around us. This course is taught by 2017 Dean Instructor Award winner, Nurit Katz, who is also UCLA's first Chief Sustainability Officer. She uses real-world case studies to support ideas and themes in the class.

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Scott Hutchinson

Scott's Pick I:
User Experience Bootcamp

Scott Hutchinson
Department Director, Design Communication Arts, UX and Visual Arts

Get hands-on training around essential user experience methods and concepts in this intensive boot camp. Project-based learning will have you creating from day one, gaining practical skills along with a deeper understanding of the industry. You’ll leave with a powerful and marketable skill set, ready to take your next steps in user experience design.

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Scott's Pick II:
Ninth Street Women: The Women of Abstract Expressionism

While the story of Abstract Expressionism's emergence in New York in the late 1940s and 1950s has been much told, the role played by women artists associated with the movement has rarely been the subject of review. This class will take as its point of focus Mary Gabriel's book, Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art, published in 2017. The course will expand the book's content to include other female painters and sculptors allied with Abstract Expressionism.

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Helen Davis

Helen's Pick I:
Instructional Technologies for TESOL Classrooms

Helen Davis
Interim Department Director, Education and Early Childhood Education

This online course evaluates current technologies and their applications in TESOL education. Participants will learn the benefits of instructional technology through methods’ instruction and hands-on practice.

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Helen's Pick II:
Preparing Community College Students for Transfer

This course emphasizes the development of knowledge and skills with regard to guiding and supporting community college students through enrollment, the application process, and transfer admission. Students will learn about big issues and the critical programs essential to supporting persistence and transfer.

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Patricia's Pick:
Single Subject Methods for Teaching Social Science

Patricia Murphy
Academic Coordinator, Education 

This course is designed for credentialed teachers who are looking to add a certification in social studies to their credential. The course is centered on developing an understanding of historical thinking and learning new methods for teaching the state-adopted academic content standards for students in history-social science (grades 7-12). It satisfies the 4-quarter unit methods course required by the CTC.

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Varaz Shahmirian

Varaz's Pick:
Multirate Signal Processing in Transmitter and Receiver Designs

Varaz Shahmirian
Department Director,Engineering & Technology

This course is taught by Dr. Fredric Harris, a recognized expert in the field of digital signal processing and the author of the text Multirate Signal Processing for Communications Systems. This two-day short course presents the structure, unique attributes and capabilities, and implementation considerations of standard multirate filter structures including polyphase, dyadic half-band, and Cascade Integrator-Comb (CIC).

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Aymara's Pick:
Paralegal Training Program

Aymara Zielina
Program Director, Legal Programs

Laws affect every aspect of our lives. With this program, in as few as 5 months, students can learn the fundamentals of several legal practice areas while developing the practical skills necessary to support attorneys and represent themselves as professional paralegals. The program is perfect not only for future paralegals, but anyone looking for a preview of the U.S. legal profession–from pre-law and LL.M students, to those working in fields that intersect with the law.

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Ric Zappala

Ric's Pick:
Reporting and Writing I

Ric Zappala
Department Director, Humanities and Sciences

Journalism is the only profession with guaranteed protection under the United States Constitution. The freedom of the press, enshrined in the First Amendment, is a fundamental right on which this country was founded. Now more than ever before, the role of the media, and that of professional  journalists, is vital to exercising the ongoing liberty and freedoms in a pluralistic democracy. In this course, writing is the foundation for this dynamic multimedia profession. We discuss multiple platforms: traditional print, broadcast, and online—podcasts, blogs, and digital publishing. Hone your writing, investigative and data reporting skills in order to express meaningful and well-crafted interviews, features, essays, and social media posts. This course is ideal for both aspiring journalists, as well as seasoned professionals, and will focus on critical thinking, clear writing, interviewing techniques, ethical issues and structuring complex stories. 

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Charles Jensen

Charles's Pick I:
Finding Inspiration

Charlie Jensen
Program Director, Writers' Program

Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and even The Da Vinci Code are famous books that took their inspiration from art, developing stories that dove into the truth of specific works and movements. In this course, you learn how to use art as a starting point for your writing, helping you find inspiration whenever you need it.

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Charles's Pick II:
Dialogue and Point of View 

Part of our techniques of fiction cluster, this course offers a deep dive into writing unique, memorable dialogue and writing prose from various points of view. Students experience a “clinic” style environment in which they read exceptional published works that use these techniques effectively, then respond to exercises and prompts that help them practice improving their own writing. A great course for anyone who wants to elevate their prose.

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Sheila King

Sheila's Pick:
Introductory Virology  

Sheila King
Program Director, Humanities and Sciences

Learn about viruses, how they replicate, affect their hosts, spread disease and are detected. Their role in chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease are also discussed. 

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mark ramseyer

Mark's Pick:
Management Accounting

Mark Ramseyer
Program Director, Business, Management and Legal Programs

Performing cost analysis, understanding how to allocate costs, and knowing your break even are fundamental business skills that anyone who owns or operates a business needs to have. This course will also help students understand the true cost of doing business, which can aid in management decisions around discounts and subsidies. I highly recommend this class to anyone in business.

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Vivian Taslakian

Vivian's Pick:
Nanotechnology I:  Introduction to Nanotechnology

Vivian Taslakian
Program Director, Engineering

This course provides an in-depth introduction of the cutting-edge science of nanotechnology, which is foundation to the 21st-century Industrial/Technology Revolution. Nanotechnology is one the most powerful engines of innovation, developing breakthrough solutions to long-standing, real-world problems every day. Nanotechnology enables the next generation of vital technologies, including air and water purification, flexible electronics, personalized healthcare, and even skin-rejuvenating cosmetics.

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