As we wrap up programming and catalog production for the Fall 2015 semester, I thought I’d give you a peek behind the curtain to see the who, what, when, where, & how needed to assemble an exciting semester of Lifelong Learning programs. The great thing about our process is that it’s collaborative, and we want you to get involved… read on and I’ll tell you how.
Step 1 in programming a new semester is to reach out to our current instructor base who already teach courses that you, the Lifelong Learning audience, have come to know and appreciate. We use these experts and their classes in digital photography, metalsmithing, welding, landscape design, investing, home repair, the wonders of Utah, creative writing – and SO many more – to create the foundation upon which we build the upcoming semester.
While we do love our “tried and true”, we also love “new, new, NEW!” Thus Step 2 in programming is one that actually never ends: generating brand new course offerings and seeking out new instructors. New classes come about in a variety of ways including:
- Brainstorming amongst the Lifelong Learning team (with additional help from the entire Continuing Education Staff)
- Current professors who reach out to us with new course ideas
- Members of the general public who fill out the Course Proposal Form on our website
In the brainstorming phase we get our inspiration from just about everywhere – this cycle we even had a suggestion from the bus driver of one of our staff, which is now an actual class in the Fall 2015 catalog (psst, it’s Blacksmithing!)
As we gather our ideas sometimes we have the perfect instructor in mind already, and sometimes we have to seek them out. When you take a class with Lifelong Learning, your instructor may have a booth each weekend at the Downtown Art and Craft Market, be a “foodtrepreneur” from the city’s fast growing foodie landscape, own their own consulting firm or non-profit, or be an ER nurse at the University hospital. It’s impossible for our team to meet every potential great instructor though, and this is leading us to the part where you can help us in our search… keep reading, its coming!
Step 3 of the cycle is securing dates and venues for all of our amazing classes. Most of our courses will meet in the various classrooms of the Annex Building on the U of U campus. Variety is the spice of life, however, which is why we love to work with community partners who can host classes in their own spaces. We partner with individual artists, sports and recreation facilities, gardens, galleries, restaurants and many more to make the quality and selection of the programs we offer possible. A full list of our partners can be found in our printed catalog and also on our website.
In Step 4, all course details have been confirmed and we proof (and re-proof, and re-re-proof) the information, which then is assembled and formatted into our print and online catalogs. When the web catalog goes “live” and print catalogs are mailed and distributed throughout the area, we sit back for just a minute and hope that you are as excited as we are for the course offerings we have assembled. Then, just as we catch our breath, it starts all over again as we look to future semesters that are just over the horizon.
“So,” you say, “I’m finished reading, now how can I help?”
I’m so glad you asked! Remember that Course Proposal Form I mentioned in Step 2? Well, have you ever thought that your friend makes the best gingerbread ever, and he loves sharing his recipe and cooking with others? Does your sister teach paddleboard yoga “on the side”, but would like to make being an instructor a bigger part of her life? Do you have a passion for business, food, art, gardening writing or “other” that you feel qualified to teach to others? If so, let us know! We review new course proposals every programming cycle, and if you have an idea that fits our needs you too could become a part of the Lifelong Learning Family. Don’t be shy… share! https://continue.utah.edu/lifelong/courseproposal_intro
Thanks for coming behind the scenes with me… hope to see you again!
Lifelong Learning Program Coordinator
P.S. Fall 2015 course information and catalogs coming SOON!