By day, Temple’s science librarian, Laura Lane, is busy helping students find resources for their research papers. By night, she is busy mastering the German language.
Like Lane, many people are taking advantage of the non-credit courses offered at Temple.
Open to the general public, non-credit courses are held at the Temple University Center City campus and are easy to fit into a tight schedule. Unlike regular classes, they meet once a week in the evening and run in the fall, spring and summer terms, lasting from one day to several weeks to the entire semester.
With 150 courses offered each semester, an average of 1,200 students participate in the program.
“Our courses provide a gathering place and a social community,” said Kevin Wood, director of the non-credit program.
Some of the most popular classes are interior design, yoga, belly dancing, Arabic, Italian and cooking. Cooking classes are taught by some of the best chefs in the city.
Learn to cook like a real Italian with Emilio Mignucci, co-owner of Di Bruno Brothers, a purveyor of gourmet meats and cheeses. Or, learn to create vegetarian dishes with Harlan Russell, the executive chef of Bourbon Blue in Manayunk.
“All of the instructors [of the program] are professionals in their fields,” Wood said. “They’ve worked for a long time.”
Wood approves all classes for the program. He will add a class when students approach him with requests or instructors offer to share their knowledge and experiences.
“I wanted to broaden my horizon with a different religion from what I am familiar with,” said Christine Peacock, a non-Temple student taking a course called “Islam and its Relationship with Judaism and Christianity.”
Peacock isn’t taking just one class, but several. “I want to learn new things – keep myself busy and my mind active,” she said. “It’s important that people get to learn different things. Plus, it’s cheaper than a regular school.”
Wood said he often receives positive feedback from students about the program. He said he notices that students continue to take non-credit courses because it gives them “a chance to learn something they enjoy and a chance to improve skills for their job.”
Students may also take classes for leisure. Classes teach students how to play the piano, knit, give massages, act and take pictures. Isard Kranzel, a Temple alumnus, is retired and enrolled in a short story writing class. He is currently working on a play and someday hopes to get published.
According to Wood, many classes are attended by Temple graduates because it gives them a sense of connection.
“Non-credit courses are taken for two reasons,” Wood said. “For their own personal enrichment and enjoyment, and professional development of skills to add to their resume.”
Students can also take academic classes without worrying about their grade. TUCC offers language, computer, writing and business courses.
The non-credit program also provides classes for students to prepare for exams. Preparation workshops help with the Graduate Management Admission Test, the Law School Admission Test, the Graduate Record Examinations and the SAT.
Anne Ha can be reached at email@example.com.