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Staff Picks for Summer Quarter

Learn something new this summer!

UCLA Extension Staff Picks Badge

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 sustainability to accounting, programming languages to film scoring, and everything in between, explore our staff picks for Summer Quarter.

Bruce Huang

Bruce's Pick:
Python Programming I

Bruce Huang
Department Director, Digital Technology

Python is one of the most popular and fastest growing general purpose programming languages. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to learn! Learn the basics of this incredibly powerful and useful tool in this course.

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Pascale Cohen-Olivar

Pascale's Pick I:
Direct and Produce Reality and Documentary Television

Pascale Cohen-Olivar
Department Director, Arts

Emmy and Writer’s Guild Award Nominee Jim Milio takes you on a deep-dive into developing, producing, and distributing unscripted television. He will bring in industry expert guest speakers and will help students develop and prepare their own projects to pitch.

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Pascale's Pick II:
Film Scoring on a Budget

In this real world look at film scoring, you will learn to compose effectively while working on a budget. You will write cues in MIDI and enhance those cues with live recording sessions along with professional musicians.

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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 such a fundamental business skill that everyone who owns or operates a business need to have them. Even when you plan to make a management decision to discount or subsidize a product or service knowing your true costs and the amount of this subsidy is simply a good business practice. I recommend this class to anyone in business.

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stepahnie hoekstra

Stephanie's Pick I:
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.

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Stephanie's Pick II:
Sustainable Food and Agriculture

This course examines the concepts, practices, and policies of sustainable food and agriculture. Topics include a systems approach to sustainable agriculture, the relationship of farming to water, energy, air, soil, field crops and animal production practices in sustainable agriculture, sustainable horticulture, organic agriculture, sustainable seafood and aquaculture.

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Eric Latham

Eric's Pick:
The Business of Educational Consulting

Eric Latham
Program 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.

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Helen Davis

Helen's Pick:
Infant and Toddler Development and Care

Helen Davis
Interim Department Director, Education and Early Childhood Education

In this course students will learn about the development of infants, toddlers, and associated principles of inclusive and respectful care giving. Students will apply current theory and research to the care and education of infants and toddlers in group settings as they study developmental milestones, characteristics, growth patterns, and factors affecting the development of children in the first three years.

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Sheila King

Sheila's Pick I:
Introduction to Cell Biology

Sheila King
Program Director, Humanities and Sciences

Analyze the organization, structure and function of the cell at the molecular level. Topics include structure and function of cell membranes, mechanisms of cell signaling, membrane transport, intracellular trafficking and cell energetics. Though it has some pre-requisites, this is a UC credit transferable course.

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Sheila's Pick II:
Motivational Interviewing: 12 Core Skills

This introductory course is taught by Andrew Kurtz MA, LMFT, a Clinical Specialist at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. Learn what mental health and health care professionals across the globe are implementing to help their clients and patients to make a lasting behavior changes that positively impact their health.

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Charles Jensen

Charlie's Pick I:
Fundamentals of Story

Charlie Jensen
Program Director, Writers' Program

This is a great foundation course for writers of feature film and television, providing insight into dramatic structure and how to craft and tell powerful, compelling stories. You will apply the information from this course in virtually every course they take in screenwriting.

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Charlie's Pick II:
Writing Retreat at Lake Arrowhead

Time is a writer’s most valuable asset, and this retreat gives folks with busy lives an opportunity to get away and focus solely on writing. The serene setting on the lake offers peace and relaxation, and the UCLA Conference Center provides delicious meals, beverages, and well-appointed amenities.

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Varaz Shahmirian

Varaz's Pick I:
Principles of Cost Estimating

Varaz Shahmirian
Department Director,Engineering & Technology

This course covers the principles, practices, and procedures for preparing cost estimates which is compliant with government regulations. Topics include the basic steps required to develop industrial engineering estimate types: labor, hour, and material- based parametric cost estimates, the preparation of software and development task estimates, computer tools and models that are acceptable to the DCAA, and documentation required by Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 15.

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Varaz's Pick II:
Reading Construction Blueprints

This is an architecture and construction technology document reading course in which you will acquire the theory and practice to read complete sets of drawings used in building’s design and construction. You will be given a full set of construction project documents to work through typical problems commonly encountered by professionals. This course will utilize the PDF viewing and editing software, Bluebeam Revu, to navigate the construction documents.

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