By Cecilia Jordan
During the summer most students want to be as far away from campus as possible. They want to enjoy the summer and maybe get the chance for a vacation away from the tedious life we live. But this is an invitation to do something a little differen – to try a community education class offered here at the College of Marin. These non-credit classes are offered with a fee to students ages 13 to as old as 90, on a seven to eight week quarterly basis.
Jason Lau, Director of Community Education Life Long Learning and International Education, encourages everyone to take advantage of these classes. Last year alone, the community education program at COM served over 10,000 students at the Kentfield and Indian Valley campus and Lau hopes with the addition of 16 new classes, this number will only go up.
Many students don’t see the benefit of taking classes not put towards their major. However, Lau points out that “classes like Excel, PowerPoint or Photoshop [teach] skills many students must be able to demonstrate in the workforce,” and taking these classes in a relaxed setting with no test or homework allows students to receive the information without the pressure of a credit class. Lau says, “Some employers are willing to pay the cost of the class,” so their employees can become more involved in the operations of the company. One of the most popular classes is artisan cheese making. Students enrolled in these classes will gain a full introduction to cheese and how to make their own.
For students interested in learning about the world outside of the Bay Area, some new classes being offered this summer include Latin, traveling to Cuba legally, Pacific War history and various musically appreciation class. For foodies out there, new classes include food and wine pairings, education on summer wines, red wines of the Mediterranean and desert wines. Along with cheese making some of the most popular classes returning this summer include surfing, water aerobics and yoga. All these classes are offered to give students the opportunity to learn something new or improve skills already learned.
This summer, Lau and the community education program are excited to present a partnership with the Marin Chinese Cultural Association, a non-political organization dedicated to spreading knowledge and understanding about Chinese Culture. With the addition of classes like Chinese brush painting or a walking tour of Chinatown with dim sum tastings. Students will learn new aspects of a culture maybe not well known to them. With the addition the Marin Mandarin Summer Camp, students can also start to learn Mandarin, one of the most spoken languages in the world.
For parents looking for summer activities for their children, the community education program has also teamed up with Skyhawks, a company dedicated to summer youth camps across the country. They offer multi sport camps to children ages 4-13. Children will be in an active, fun and supervised setting from 9AM to noon Monday through Friday with the option of open swim after. For parents who work, this is a great option. 25 percent of the profits come back to the COM athletics department.
On May 4, the International Society Club and Lau, who is the faculty advisor, are excited to present the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival; a free event for all from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kentfield campus. There will be a lion dance presentation, Hawaiian dancing, capoeria, Aikido and more. There will also be workshops on making art such as origami, calligraphy and kite making. Everyone is encourages to come and participate.