Take a class for fun this summer

Students leaning into learning

By Keely Savoie

New course offerings through the Professional and Graduate Education program (PaGE) will give students young and old, seasoned and just starting out opportunities to enhance their careers, complement their majors or try entirely new avenues of learning on for size.

This will be the fourth year that PaGE will be offering classes to learners of all stripes. New courses in writing, human development, coding and design and entrepreneurship will round out the tried-and-true menu of courses in math, arts, humanities and education.

Tiffany Espinosa, executive director of PaGE, sees the program as a way to enrich the educational opportunities of the Mount Holyoke community and beyond.

"Our summer offerings complement the opportunities our graduate and undergraduate students have during the regular school year,” Espinosa said. “They can get ahead, catch up, explore and focus in an intense and accelerated way. Our goal is to help our students access rich, interdisciplinary educational opportunities and be successful academically."

Some classes will be offered online through Zoom technology, enabling students to participate in real-time classroom discussions and activities wherever they may be in the world.

Other summer programs will bring students onto campus for hands-on, only-at-Mount-Holyoke experiences, including the Restoration Ecology Program, where high school students pull on their boots and wade into the challenge of maintaining an environmentally stable ecosystem right on campus, and iDesign workshops, which introduce middle school students to basic coding through the use of Mount Holyoke’s Makerspace.

It’s all about variety and flexibility, said Roberto Mugnani, PaGE director of program development.

“We want to remove the barriers to learning that many people encounter,” he said. “Those barriers can be for many reasons. Because they feel constrained by where they are in the world, or they have to fulfill requirements for their degree or they simply don’t have the time or money to try something different.”  

Among the new courses this year are two in social entrepreneurship, offered in conjunction with local nonprofit organizations, that give students the opportunity to identify social needs, brainstorm ideas, build prototype solutions and then pitch their classmates and professors in a mock-up of a genuine entrepreneurship pitching competition. Another new class is a writing course open to professional writers, amateurs or anyone with an interest in focusing on demystifying the blank page and getting to the business of telling stories.

Introduction to Web Development, with some scholarship opportunities, is a two-week coding class for high school girls with no previous experience that is offered jointly with the national organization Girls Who Code.

“We are always looking for new ways to offer the academic knowledge, skills and personal as well as professional development that people want, in the most accessible way possible,” said Mugnani. “We are excited this year to have so many new things to offer the community.”

The payment deadline for preferred course selection is April 15, 2017.

What will you explore? Learn more.