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Staff Picks for Spring Quarter


Looking to learn something new this spring?

Thinking about taking a class, but not sure where to start? We totally understand. With almost 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 acting to project management, blockchain to sustainability, and everything in between, explore our staff picks for Spring Quarter.

Vivian Taslakian

Vivian's Pick:
Fundamentals of Project Management

Vivian Taslakian
Program Director, Engineering

Project Management is increasingly in high demand as this field applies across many industries. In this course, students are introduced to the fundamentals of project management, and will learn how to integrate theory with practical approaches. For students interested in becoming certified, this course is a great place to start. UCLA Extension is a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), and our comprehensive Project Management Certificate curriculum is fully aligned with the PMI PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition (2017).


Eric's Pick:
The Business of Educational Consulting

Eric Latham
Department Director, Education

Applying to college can be an overwhelming process, and many college bound students (and their families) are increasingly turning to Educational Consultants. This course is one of the electives in the College Counseling Certificate program, and is the perfect combination of an overview of Educational Consulting combined with practical details of what it takes to enter the field or start your own practice.

Charles Jensen

Charlie's Pick:
Setting and Description

Charlie Jensen
Program Director, Writers' Program

A cross-genre class by instructor Trebor Healey in a critical technique of prose writing. In this reading and exercise-based class, we practice descriptive writing and its power in establishing setting and mood while stimulating symbolic relationships in fiction and creative nonfiction.


Stephanie's Pick:
Principles of Sustainability I: Introduction

Stephanie Hoekstra
Program Director, Humanities and Sciences

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.


Bruce's Pick:
Machine Learning using R

Bruce Huang
Program Director, Digital Technology

AI is an emerging technology. This course focuses on using the language R for machine learning, which is concerned with algorithms that transform information into actionable intelligence.


Stephanie's Pick:
Introduction to Horticulture

Stephanie Landregan
Program Director, Arts

This is an introductory course on Horticulture, the growing and caring for plants. Whether you're interested in urban agriculture, patio gardening, or even cannabis, understanding the science of horticulture can start you on the road to success. Instructor Gary Jones, Chief Horticulturist at Armstrong Nursery, teaches students in this course about soils, plant physiology and identification methods, pest management, plant nutrition, basic irrigation, and more. 


Ing's Pick I:
Blockchain Business Applications

Ing Phansavath
Associate Director, Business, Management and Legal Programs

Blockchain is an emerging technology that is disrupting and changing the way business operates. Business leaders need to understand how this technology can impact their industries and get ahead of the gameThis course is suitable for anyone interested in learning about how blockchain can be used in a wide variety of business fields, from marketing to real estate, to banking to entertainment. 

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Ing's Pick II:
Hot Groups and Hierarchies

A new course that studies the common pitfalls in hierarchies, toxic leader development, and mitigation strategies for toxic leadership. This course will provide a roadmap for developing, nurturing, and achieving significant organizational successes building and leading hot groups


Venise's Pick:
Introduction to Data Science

Venise Crawford
Program Manager, Digital Technology

Data science is the hottest topic in technology right now. The job market desperately needs people who know how to collect, organize, and manage data in a way that helps businesses make smart decisions. Our Introduction to Data Science is a great way to become familiar with the tools of the field, including Python and R. This course is a great starting point for anyone considering making a career change, or for those simply interested in learning more about the field of data science.


Mark's Pick:
Principles of Accounting

Mark Ramseyer
Program Director, Business, Management and Legal Programs

This popular course provides an introduction to theory, principles, and practice in accounting. It covers the uses, communication, and processing of accounting information, as well as the recording, analyzing, and summarizing of procedures used in preparing balance sheets and income statements.


Pascale's Pick I:
The Art and Craft of Music Mixing

Pascale Cohen-Olivar
Department Director, Arts

Instructor Darryl Swann is a Grammy Award-winning independent record producer and audio engineer who teaches the art and craft of mixing music as it applies to the many creative and technical considerations involved in "record-mixing."

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Pascale's Pick II:
Acting Techniques: The Fundamentals

In this course, our well-renowned instructors focus on fundamental performance techniques and exercises, including relaxation, concentration, sense memory, emotional recall, improvisation, character tasks, and text analysis.


Sheila's Pick I:
Pharmacological Aspects of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Sheila King
Program Director, Humanities and Sciences

In this new course, aspiring addiction counselors explore historical, cultural, psychological, and physiological perspectives to develop a strong foundation in understanding alcohol and drug addiction symptoms and various treatment approaches.

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Sheila's Pick II:
The Practice of Patient Advocacy

Develop the foundational knowledge and skills needed for the emerging profession of patient advocacy along with the professional scope of practice, role delineation, and job functions. Make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.

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