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Center for Learning & Innovation

Engaging experiences to discover new passions.

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The Center for Learning & Innovation offers exciting opportunities to discover new passions and gain new skills. Our experiential learning programs extend beyond typical educational courses, allowing you to learn the kinds of adaptable skills that will serve you for a lifetime.

Courses

Winter/Spring 2024 Courses

Growing Food in a Cold Climate

Instructor: Susan Wyman
Course Dates: Every Thursday Feb. 22-April 18 (8 sessions total; no session held Spring Break, March 11-15)
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Cost: $135

Learn to grow your own vegetables and overcome the challenges of our cold climate and short growing season. Join Master Gardener Susan Wyman and other gardening gurus to learn what vegetables to plant and when. Learn about seed starting, transplanting, direct sowing, frost protection, pest management, amendments, compost teas, worm composting, and more.

Level 1 Ukulele Class (Session One)

Instructor: Toni Todd
Course Dates: Tuesdays from Jan. 23-Feb. 27
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $156

This class is for those with zero or very limited experience playing the ‘ukulele. You’ll be introduced to the fundamentals — how to hold the instrument, parts of the instrument, the strings, a few common chords, and some simple, fun strumming patterns. Within a short time, we’ll be making music together as a group, both strumming and picking, and you’ll also pick up the first first skills you’ll need to make some music on your own. Through it all, we’ll train your ears to hear the music and feel the rhythm. We’ll also learn a little something about the history of the instrument and its importance to the culture of Hawai’i.

Level 1 Ukulele Class (Session Two)

Instructor: Toni Todd
Course Dates: Tuesdays from March 19-April 23
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $156

This class is for those with zero or very limited experience playing the ‘ukulele. You’ll be introduced to the fundamentals — how to hold the instrument, parts of the instrument, the strings, a few common chords, and some simple, fun strumming patterns. Within a short time, we’ll be making music together as a group, both strumming and picking, and you’ll also pick up the first first skills you’ll need to make some music on your own. Through it all, we’ll train your ears to hear the music and feel the rhythm. We’ll also learn a little something about the history of the instrument and its importance to the culture of Hawai’i

Level 2 Ukulele Class (Session One)

Instructor: Toni Todd
Course Dates: Thursdays from Jan. 25-Feb. 29
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $156

This class is for those who have some playing experience. You know a few basic chords, most notably C, C7, F, G, G7, but maybe a few more, such as A, A7, D, and D7. You might struggle with a few of the more difficult chord shapes to hold, such as the dreaded Bb and E chords. Your playing is mostly limited to the first four frets of the instrument. You can strum a little, and can play a few easy songs. You may or may not find it challenging to sing and play at the same time. We’ll learn more chords and some new, fun strumming patterns, as well as some simple melody-picking. We may also explore how to transpose a song from one key to another to make it easier to sing, or to play in the original key so you can play along with the recording. We’ll make music together in class, and you’ll have fun, challenging music to practice, play, and enjoy on your own.

Level 2 Ukulele Class (Session Two)

Instructor: Toni Todd
Course Dates: Thursdays from March 23-April 25
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $156

This class is for those who have some playing experience. You know a few basic chords, most notably C, C7, F, G, G7, but maybe a few more, such as A, A7, D, and D7. You might struggle with a few of the more difficult chord shapes to hold, such as the dreaded Bb and E chords. Your playing is mostly limited to the first four frets of the instrument. You can strum a little, and can play a few easy songs. You may or may not find it challenging to sing and play at the same time. We’ll learn more chords and some new, fun strumming patterns, as well as some simple melody-picking. We may also explore how to transpose a song from one key to another to make it easier to sing, or to play in the original key so you can play along with the recording. We’ll make music together in class, and you’ll have fun, challenging music to practice, play, and enjoy on your own.

Beginner Guitar

Instructor: Jesse Irons
Course Dates: Thursdays from Jan. 30-March 12 (Location TBD)
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Cost: $250
Materials: Student must provide their own guitar.

Want to learn to play Guitar? This class will jump right into learning the basics. Tuning the guitar, open chords and a couple scales will be the main focus. Students will learn the basics of theory, reading tablature and fake sheets. This will allow you to start learning songs, at your own pace. A few songs will be provided.

Intermediate Guitar

Instructor: Jesse Irons
Course Dates: Thursdays from Jan. 30-March 12 (Location TBD)
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Cost: $250
Materials: Student must provide their own guitar.

Can you play a little guitar? Want to learn more? Students will learn open position chords, key signatures, finger picking, barre chords, hammer-on/pull-offs and using a capo. The course also focuses on scales, chord structures (root, 3rd, 5th), major and minor, as well as extensions (7th, 9th, etc.). Progressions and theory are discussed. Students must have some previous guitar experience

Advanced Guitar

Instructor: Jesse Irons
Course Dates: Thursdays from Jan. 30-March 12 (Location TBD)
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Cost: $250
Materials: The Guitar Handbook is highly recommended. Student must provide their own guitar.

Do you want to expand your musical knowledge and technique? This class will focus on the art of improvisation as well as advanced theory and technique. Topics include; modes, legato, tapping sweep arpeggios, speed picking, harmonics and more. Students must have a solid grasp of the instrument. Bass guitarists are welcome, electric instruments preferred.

Winter Wellness Workshop 

Instructor: Erica Rasmussen
Course Dates: Every Wednesday, Feb. 7-March 6
Time: 12-12:45 p.m.
Cost: $100
Five person minimum

The topics are:

  • Develop A Stronger Mind & Body (2/7)
    • Challenge yourself to 23 days of creating stronger mind and body habits customized for your goals! Includes complementary online course to support and inspire a stronger mind and body!
  • Love Your Life-Vision Board (2/14)
  • Boost Your Self Awareness (2/21)
    • Take an assessment to determine your current priorities in the areas of fitness, finance, family, faith, field (career), friends and fun. Then, assess your current accelerators and blockers to help formulate your path toward achieving your goals. Bonus: Comes with complimentary online goal-setting course for 30 days.
  • 7 Steps to Better Wellness (2/28)
  • Mindset Hacks (3/6)

Leadership At The Edge: Advanced Leadership Practices for Collaboration and Innovation

Instructor: Paul Duba
Course Dates: Thursdays from April 11-May 16
Time: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Location TBD)

This course is for leaders in business, banking, education, hospitality and civic organizations. For problems without easy answers, leaders must help others commit to a path of discovery, an invitation to join in collaboration and innovation, where curiosity and being “OK not knowing” are important steps along the way to breakthrough thinking. This course is for those who want to understand this road less travelled; what leaders do and teams need to reach for outstanding results. This course is hands-on, and highly experiential and built to help you grow your team’s capacity. These seminar-style classes will be your opportunity to problem solve in real time.

1:1 Life Coaching 

Instructor: Erica Rasmussen
Course Dates and Time: Custom schedule created between participant and coach
Cost: $300

Ready to live differently in 2024? Certified life coach Erica Rasmussen helps individuals and businesses get intentional with their goals to put themselves on the path they want to be on! This coaching pack includes 5 sessions. Your first session is 1 hour, with 4 more sessions up to 30 minutes each to support accountability on your path! All on your schedule either in-person or online.

Grant Writing

Instructor: Marlo Ewell
Course Dates: Wednesdays from Jan. 24-Feb. 21
Time: 6-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $77

This practical course will demystify the grant writing process. Ms. Ewell will introduce you to basic vocabulary; key concepts of grantsmanship; how to prepare an all-purpose proposal that will serve many uses; how to prepare a budget; and how to avoid common pitfalls. There will be written homework assignments culminating in a project proposal for a nonprofit organization (real or made up!) using a modified version of the Colorado Common Grant form.  Three $50 scholarships available from the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley. Apply here.

Spanish for Beginners in Gunnison

Instructor: Karen Immerso
Course Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays from Jan. 22-March 6 (No classes Feb. 5 and Feb. 19)
Time: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $136.50
Five person minimum

This 8-week session is an introduction to the Spanish language. It introduces students to basic vocabulary and conversation with other adults in an active and fun learning environment. It is designed for the beginner second language learner who has never studied Spanish or wants to review from the very basics.  The class includes activities, speaking practice and some homework assignments.  Opportunities for interaction with native speakers may take place. No text required; hand-outs will be used.

Spanish for Beginners in Crested Butte

Instructor: Karen Immerso
Course Dates: Tuesdays from Jan. 23-March 5 (No class Feb. 13)
Time: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $117
Five person minimum

This 8-week session is an introduction to the Spanish language. It introduces students to basic vocabulary and conversation with other adults in an active and fun learning environment. It is designed for the beginner second language learner who has never studied Spanish or wants to review from the very basics.  The class includes activities, speaking practice and some homework assignments.  Opportunities for interaction with native speakers may take place. No text required; hand-outs will be used.

Advanced-Beginning/Intermediate Spanish in Gunnison

Instructor: Karen Immerso:
Course Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 22-March 6 (No classes Feb. 5 and Feb. 19)
Time: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $136.50
Five person minimum

This 8-week session is for advanced beginners and intermediate Spanish Language Learners interested in reviewing and expanding their vocabulary, gaining a greater understanding of grammar, speaking conversationally with other adults in an active and fun learning environment. The class includes activities, speaking practice and some homework assignments. Opportunities for interaction with native speakers may take place. No text required; hand-outs will be used.

Advanced-Beginning/Intermediate Spanish in Crested Butte

Instructor: Karen Immerso
Course Dates: Tuesdays from Jan. 23-March 19 (No class Feb. 13)
Time: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $117
Five person minimum

This 8-week session is for advanced beginners and intermediate Spanish Language Learners interested in reviewing and expanding their vocabulary, gaining a greater understanding of grammar, speaking conversationally with other adults in an active and fun learning environment. The class includes activities, speaking practice and some homework assignments. Opportunities for interaction with native speakers may take place. No text required; hand-outs will be used.

Neuro Yoga Sessions

Instructor: Alex Lambro
Course Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 30-March 28
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Cost: $150
Ten person minimum

Start Taking Care of Your Health Now! If you are seeking a unique and effective way to deepen your physical and mental resilience, join me diving into the world of mobility and functionality. Achieve results and improve quality of life promoting longevity. This comprehensive approach covers a broad spectrum of topics that are varied, expansive, and diverse. These classes will include a 1/2 hour “topic” discussion, followed by a one hour yoga session. The practice segment will approach the body in a systemic manner utilizing the nervous system’s elaborate connections through the Kaiut Yoga Method. This is a floor-based practice employing gravity to unwind chronic restrictions.

Register NOW! Many classes fill quickly. Classes may be canceled if minimum enrollment is not met at least three business days before class begins. Register as soon as possible to ensure a place in the course(s) you want.

Ways to register:

Online: Use this link
Call: (970) 943-2885
Email: center@western.edu

Mail request to:

Center for Learning & Innovation
303 Taylor Hall
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Ways to pay:

Payment must be received before course begins. Cash, Credit Card. Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. (Must call Cashier Office: (970)943-3003 between 9 a.m.-4 p.m., please have your ID number from your invoice. Check can be mailed to address above.

Registration Confirmations

Center for Learning & Innovation staff will send out an email confirmation as reminders of class dates and times. Participants will be notified if there are changes, such as location, time, date, or instructor. If classes are canceled, notification will be made as soon as possible.

Registration and Payment Information

Payment for classes is due with registration. Check or cash payments are accepted with registration. AFTER you have received your Registration Confirmation, please call the Cashier’s Office at (970) 943-3003 to make a payment with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card. Checks that are returned for non-payment are assessed a $20 service charge.

Senior Discount

Seniors, ages 62 and older, may register for Center for Learning & Innovation non-credit courses at half price. This discount will be applied at the time of registration and may not be combined with any other discounts. Course fees payable to another agency, materials fees, or courses which involve travel do not qualify for discounts. The Center for Learning & Innovation is a part of the Colorado Statewide Extended Campus. State funds were not used to produce this document.

Employee Discount

Center for Learning & Innovation offers a $100 credit for Western faculty/staff per semester. This credit does not include Continuing Education Units cost, credit costs, material fees, tour course fees or outdoor program course fees. This credit does not apply to student employees.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized method of quantifying the time spent in the classroom during professional development and training activities. Ten hours of instruction = 1.0 CEU. One hour of instruction = 0.1 CEU. CEUs appear on your Western Colorado University transcript; however, they are not college credits and do not fulfill degree requirements.

Graduate Credit

Some classes are offered for graduate credit (510 level). Students must have a bachelor’s degree to register for graduate credit courses.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for some classes listed in this brochure are mentioned in the course descriptions. Students who enroll in graduate credit must be within 12 hours of receiving their undergraduate degree or must already have graduated.

Transcript Information

Transcripts for credit courses can be obtained by visiting www.parchment.com

Undergraduate Credit

Undergraduate credit classes offered through the Center for Learning & Innovation are based on semester credits and have the same academic expectations, including class time, as those offered through resident instruction.

Cancellations

The Center for Learning & Innovation reserves the right to cancel classes and to make changes when warranted. Participants will be notified via email if a class is cancelled and will receive a full refund.

Refunds for Withdrawals and Dropping a Course

Drops from a course will result in a refund if they occur prior to the week before the start date (unless otherwise specified). Non-attendance or non-payment does not constitute a drop. Full refunds are not given after the last day to drop. All drop requests must be in writing to the Center for Learning & Innovation at center@western.edu

Evaluations

Students have an opportunity to evaluate class content and their instructor at the conclusion of the class. Input from students is important, as it helps improve future classes. Evaluations are anonymous.

Immunization Requirement

Students attending the Center for Learning & Innovation classes are not required to be immunized or sign an immunization waiver.

Liability Waivers

Classes which present a degree of risk may require a signature on a waiver of liability. Waivers will be e-mailed with registration confirmations. Please return these to the Center for Learning & Innovation prior to the start of your course.

Photograph Policy

Photos of students and instructors in various classes are often taken to promote Western Colorado University Center for Learning & Innovation. Such photos are used in schedules of classes, flyers, and other marketing pieces.

Selective Service Information

Males who are 18 years of age or older, born after 1960, and who are not permanent residents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or the Northern Mariana Islands MUST be registered with the Selective Service to comply with Colorado law and to register for credit classes. Individuals not in compliance are subject to penalty of law and to withholding of transcripts.

Textbook/Materials

Materials and/or material fess needed for a course will be listed with the course description.

Short-term Domestic and International Trips

Join Western’s Art and Design Department from May 3-20, 2024 to study art and art history in Florence with excursions to other art destinations around the country. Click here to view the course flyer and find instructor contact information.

To receive the course application, email center@western.edu and set the subject line as “Art and Art History in Florence, Italy Application”

Instructors: Dr. Micah Russell and Dr. Pat! Magee
Date: April 11-25, 2024
Location: Trip begins in Memphis, TN, and ends in New Orleans, LA

This course offers a two-week immersive expedition on and along the Lower Mississippi River this spring, from Memphis to New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico. We will be learning about big river management, natural history and ecology, environmental justice, and ecosystem restoration. Along the way, we’ll also have the opportunity to experience southern culture through its history, music, food and literature. Activities include, but are not limited to, a 4-day canoe camping trip, visits to national monuments and memorials, conversations with national wildlife refuge managers and conservation scientists, dialogue with environmental advocates and industry leaders, and more.

Click here for detailed course information.

Click here to view course Q&As and a detailed course itinerary.

Click here to view the course poster.

To receive the course application, email center@western.edu and set the subject line as “Ecosocial Crossroads: Lower Mississippi River Application”

Instructor: David Hyde, Ph.D.
Date: May 19, 2024 – June 12, 2024
Location: Blue Creek, Belize
Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

This is a 6 credit-hour course designed to introduce students to the methods used to collect and analyze archaeological data in a hands-on field setting. The course will take place over the span of 4 weeks at a remote archaeological field camp in Belize, Central America. Students will receive instruction in archaeological excavations, making technical drawings, survey and instrument mapping, and basic field laboratory procedures at the Medicinal Trail Site. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn about the pre-hispanic Maya through lectures and field trips. Click here for detailed program information and click here to view the program flyer. Interested students are also encouraged to attend an informational meeting on November 30, 2023.

Learn about global awareness, and technology expertise and design ingenuity while touring car factories, museums and more.

Information Session: December 5, 2023 | 12:45 – 1:30 p.m. | Rady 109

Contact Melanie Peddle for more information. To receive the course application, email Michaela Keefe.

Click HERE for the course poster

Instructors: Professor Molly Murfee (Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability / Nature Writing & Environmental Literature)
Dates: May 21, 2024 – June 8, 2024

Learn of ancient mythologies embedded in the land visiting archaeological sites 5,000 years old; Explore a history as dramatic as the landscape, launching thousands to flee to North America; Experience puffins, lochs, bagpipes and castles while earning academic credit.

Click HERE for the Scotland Abroad Info sheet

Click HERE for the Scotland Abroad Itinerary

Click HERE for the Scotland Abroad Student Budget

Click HERE for the Scotland Abroad poster

To receive the course application, email Professor Molly Murfee at: mmurfee@western.edu and set the subject line as “Scotland Abroad Application Request”

Outdoor Programs

Center for Learning & Innovation

Fuel your passion for the outdoors.

The Center for Learning and Innovation gives you the opportunity to earn credit while participating in valuable learning opportunities provided by our contract partners. You can embark on field expeditions, explore new cultures, attend leadership trainings and acquire new certifications.

Learn More

Rising to the Occasion

Student Tanner Saucerman ascends to the summit of Mt. Henry on a hike lead by Instructor Paul Tame.

Mapping the future

Lake Fork Valley Conservancy president, Harvey DuChene, shows students around Lake City’s newest river protection projects.

Online Course Center

Center for Learning & Innovation

Develop professional skills from anywhere.

In partnership with ed2go, Western offers online open enrollment programs designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional level positions for many in-demand occupations. Designed by a team of professionals from each respective field, our instructor-facilitated, web-based learning programs can be taken from the comfort of your home or office at times that are convenient for you.

Visit ed2go

Remote connections

Our extensive online course offerings allow students to work anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Data science

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to excel.

Career Step is a leading online education company focused on the allied healthcare market. They specialize in medical transcription and editing, and medical coding and billing training.

The Career Step online training courses have been developed in conjunction with industry experts and employers and are designed to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your chosen career. We offer both full career training programs and smaller continuing education and skill development courses. Each program requires approximately 640 hours of coursework. Students have one year to complete the coursework at their own pace. There is an option for a four-month extension, if needed, for an extra fee.

Get a step ahead

Career Step has trained more than 50,000 students and made more than 700 placements with companies.

Study Abroad & Exchange Programs

A student pets a lamb while studying abroad in Peru.

Gain a global perspective.

Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime. As part of the full cultural immersion, you’ll adopt the social customs and language of another country and connect with its people. Our study abroad programs are customized to meet your academic and career goals to maximize the benefits of your experience. Living abroad offers you the opportunity to learn about yourself and develop essential life skills that will prepare you to thrive personally and professionally.

Study Abroad Options at Western

Global perspective

Students studying abroad in Peru explore their surroundings and install solar panels, as part of the World Energy Project.

Department Information

Center for Learning & Innovation

Director

Shelley Jansen, M.S.

Director of the Center for Learning and Innovation

Assistant Director of the Center for Learning & Innovation

Ryon Gilbreath

Assistant Director of the Center for Learning and Innovation

Contact Information

970.943.2885

970.943.7068

center@western.edu

8am - 5pm

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 303
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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