By Darren McDonald. From conversational Japanese to cutting-edge computer programs, UFV’s latest Continuing Studies term is chock-full of new opportunities while still featuring scores of proven programs and courses.
The Winter/Spring 2014 Continuing Studies booklet features nearly 30 new offerings, ranging from GIS Essentials to Blogging 101 to The Formation of the Mennonite Brethren Church. The booklets were distributed with community newspapers recently. You can also find all continuing studies courses and programs online at www.ufv.ca/cs .
UFV Continuing Studies will even teach you how to teach (or teach more effectively) through its new Curriculum Planning for Instructors and Facilitators course.
Instructor David Tickner has 40 years of experience in educating and training instructors, and expects his course to appeal to a wide range of people who teach, from university professors to tailgate trainers providing jobsite safety lessons.
Tickner’s new seven-module course (ranging from Developing a Course Syllabus to Competency and Outcome-Based Education) benefits instructors at any stage, from revising course outlines to redeveloping syllabuses or starting from scratch after being hired to teach for the very first time.
“We’re getting people excited about the importance of preparing good material,” explains Tickner.
“This really benefits anyone providing any level of instruction, which in turn benefits their students.”
One valuable, longstanding asset offered by Continuing Studies continues to be Customized Training Services. Utilized by some of the region’s top employers, the CTS model crafts training sessions that specifically target the needs of individual groups or businesses.
Potential clients include municipalities requiring computer training, traditional media organizations seeking social media expertise, or early childhood educators expanding their knowledge for schools, private businesses, or church youth groups.
Instructors are sourced from UFV’s stable of highly educated university instructors, as well as top industry professionals from throughout the region.
“We learn what a client wants, and shape training based on their needs,” explains UFV CS director Cheryl Isaac.
“Private-sector workshop providers tend to offer one set of skills, but ours are almost unlimited.”
It’s that breadth of knowledge that allows CS manager Liana Thompson to meet the needs of such a diverse range of clients.
“We have access to all of the instructors at UFV, as well as staff members with expertise in their fields, so we have an incredible resource behind us,” she says.
“Our costs are less, the instructors know our community, and they know our businesses.”
In addition to increasing professional skill sets, Continuing Studies helps people advance within their professions by providing courses that satisfy industry-mandated recertification or ongoing professional development for fields as diverse as dentistry, accounting, early childhood education, criminology, personal training, and childcare.
“We have a pair of important messages,” says Thompson, “the first one is that we’re the place to start, and the second is once you’ve got the career of your dreams, come back to us and let us help you improve your skill set and continue up that ladder.”
Continuing Studies, and indeed the University of the Fraser Valley as a whole, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014/15. Some of the first courses offered when Fraser Valley College was founded in 1974 were continuing studies courses, referred to as “night school” in those days.