Zero credits teach skills, save money

Temple University Center City offers a variety of non-credit classes for individuals looking to improve their skill sets.

Few students realize that Temple has a department that exclusively organizes classes for no credits.
Most students are confused by the notion of a zero-credit course. A few students might laugh at the idea because, after all, why would anyone want to take a class without receiving credits toward graduation in return?

“We offer courses for both professional development and personal enrichment,” said Kevin Wood, director of Temple’s non-credit program.

Personal enrichment courses offer endless possibilities, from personal finance courses to courses in cooking, dance, music and literature.

At TUCC, located across the street from City Hall, anyone interested — from students to working professionals — can gain valuable skills from a variety of non-credit classes (Kriston Bethel/TTN).

Center City Savvy, billed as the program’s “most fun course,” is taught by Center City Proprietors Association co-founder Tom Harris and includes behind-the-scenes tours of some of the city’s most venerated landmarks such as the Kimmel Center and the Academy of Music.

Other courses like Beginning Your Novel allow working people to delve into hobbies they may not have otherwise pursued but always wanted to try.

Dancing for Weddings, Do-it-Yourself Home Repair and others teach important life skills, which could potentially save time and money.

The personal enrichment half of the program also offers a number of different languages, including multi-level courses in Polish, Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic and Italian, with a special course on Spanish for those in the medical field.

The professional development half of the program is more conventional.

The culmination of each set of courses is a certificate that can only be received upon completion of all required courses. There are 10 different certificates ranging from Management and Leadership to Interior Design, from to Financial Planning to Business Writing.

Wood said the courses work on specific skill sets. He also said the final certificate is a nice resume addition, showing prospective and current employers that holders are serious about their careers and deserve that next job opening.

Students who register for classes with the non-credit program are working professionals who want to take the next steps in their careers or simply want to enrich their quality of life by acquiring new skills.
While the program is open to anyone, it is less directed at the general student body and more at the working residents of the city.

But nothing stops Temple students from taking them. Check out the TUCC Web site for more information on non-credit courses.

Michael Polinsky can be reached at

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