New Informal Classes Introduced by Continuing and Innovative Education

Sept. 1, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — A new personal enrichment program presented in the spirit of the former Informal Classes at The University of Texas at Austin will be introduced this fall by the university's Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE).

The program, although not a continuation of Informal Classes, is based on community interest in taking noncredit courses at the university. CIE's informal classes will be offered within the Life Enrichment program of the Thompson Conference Center (TCC). TCC is home to other CIE personal enrichment opportunities on the campus such as the UT Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, UT Odyssey and Road Scholar programs.

"I am pleased to offer a new informal classes program to the Austin metropolitan area," said Judy Ashcroft, dean of Continuing and Innovative Education. "For 100 years, CIE has offered both traditional and nontraditional students with opportunities to broaden their educational experiences. A new informal program presented in the spirit of the former Informal Classes is highly consistent with our mission and I look forward to growing our portfolio of offerings."

Informal Classes were previously administered by the Texas Union, which announced last winter it was discontinuing them for budgetary reasons.

CIE is a cost-recovery unit, meaning the programs it offers must pay for themselves. CIE will leverage its resources to introduce a modest number of informal classes this fall. The success of the program will rely on market interest and CIE's ability to expand programs in a self-sustaining manner.

Registration is already open for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's Go Native U program, previously offered through Informal Classes. Space is also available in CIE's UT Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Road Scholar.

The following informal classes are confirmed for fall. Online registration opens Sept. 7.

  • Active Life:
    • Kayaking (multiple disciplines), "Running for Beginners," "Beginning Golf I & II," "Tai Chi," "Beginning Horseback Riding" and Around Austin Walking Tours, including "Old 6th Street Walking Tour," "Capitol Grounds Walking Tour" and "Historic Churches of Austin Walking Tour."
  • Creative Life:
    • "Beginning Drawing," "Beginning Oil Painting," Digital Photography (multiple disciplines), "Hands-On Clay," "Clay: Alginate Hand Casting," "Clay: Wired-In-Space," "Poetry" and "Write a Book in 3 Weeks or Less."
  • Business and Personal Life:
    • "Speaking Without Fear," "How to Become a Private Investigator," "How to Find Out Anything About Anyone" and "Protecting Your Privacy."
  • Culture and Travel:
    • Language courses (Beginning French and Spanish).

Competitive registration prices and enrollment minimums will be structured to create a sustainable business model for the program. CIE also plans to extend special discounts for its informal classes to students and affiliated partners at the university, including faculty, staff and members of Texas Exes, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Littlefield Society.

A Web site is being developed for course listings and registrations. Visit Informal Classes and subscribe for updates.

For more information, contact: Pat Watson, Continuing and Innovative Education, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-471-2930.

27 Comments to "New Informal Classes Introduced by Continuing and Innovative Education"

1.  Jose E. Martinez said on Sept. 1, 2010

So, there are no informal classes on Photoshop CS5 for fall 2010? Salsa dancing?

2.  Christine said on Sept. 2, 2010

So glad that Informal Classes has found a new home. It's an essential service for our community! Keep building it!

3.  Celina said on Sept. 2, 2010

Really glad to hear that "informal classes" are back in some form!!!

4.  Peggy Mayfield Wilson said on Sept. 2, 2010

Are you presenting any such courses in the Dallas area?

5.  Eric said on Sept. 2, 2010

yes, Photoshop! (the informal classes instructor was awesome, and I wanted to take the part 2 class)

6.  Rick Perkins said on Sept. 2, 2010

Beginning English? I think it would be helpful to have a course for people new to the US to help them speak English and understand the slang that we use everyday. I know many people who would like to take the class. And, possibly there are some UT foreign students that would take it.

7.  Paula King said on Sept. 2, 2010

Please let me know if you have an informal class on Adobe Photoshop. Also, info for these classes at other venues in the Austin Area. Thanks

8.  Debbi Smith Rourke said on Sept. 2, 2010

So excited to see a new version of UT informal classes!!!
So many sound interesting, from the city walking tours to many of the creative classes. I'll be investigating further. Thanks!!!

9.  hatem aouni said on Sept. 2, 2010

hello i'm an algerian and i have a bac saison 2004 technologie geni civil , i hope study in america and specialy in austin .
I want to study P Houston, but I do not know anything about how to register and messaging that you have to ask you all the necessary logistic to register for the course the university to continue my studies

10.  Virginia Nash Devenport said on Sept. 2, 2010

I love nearly all the offerings in the "active life" catagory, but I'm not sure I understand the program. Are the courses listed in quotes (ie "kayaking") one session of a group of activities or do we have a whole semester of "Capitol Grounds Walking tour"? ? v devenport

11.  Alan said on Sept. 3, 2010

I'm happy to see you are keeping the Informal Classes spirit alive and well. I got a kick to see that you are offering both: "How to Find Out Anything About Anyone" and "Protecting Your Privacy." Do these classes explode when exposed to each other?

12.  Dianne White said on Sept. 3, 2010

How does one register?

13.  Valerie Walden said on Sept. 4, 2010

These programs help everyone in the Austin community. Please think about adding Italian language back. Grazie!

14.  John Anderson said on Sept. 4, 2010

Is there any thought of going online with these classes, so that those alumni who do not live in the Austin area can participate?

15.  shravan gowrishankar said on Sept. 4, 2010

So glad Informal Classes haven't completely been shut down. Will there be music lessons available in the new program?

16.  charlotte Hunter said on Sept. 6, 2010

This is great. Not sure how it works? Can we sign up for individual classes within the four classifications?

17.  Frank said on Sept. 9, 2010

I'm so glad to see Informal Classes are back, but also upset at how few there are, particularly in the arts. Many people asked about Photoshop classes. Check out the Austin Museum of Art classes at Laguna Gloria. They're a little more expensive, but have a lot of Photoshop and photography classes. I took two and really liked my instructors.

18.  Jane said on Sept. 9, 2010

Launching a new program that increases the number of informal classes this fall from zero to more than 20 is quite a feat. Sounds as if they're planning to roll out more if community demand is there. Thanks for taking this on.

19.  Erica said on Sept. 9, 2010

There must have been a lot of hard work put into this to get it up and running so fast after the shut down of Informal Classes. Great job! I look forward to seeing what else will be offered in the future.

20.  Julie said on Sept. 10, 2010

So glad to see this program reborn! Please consider adding Spanish courses beyond the beginning level.

21.  am22679 said on Sept. 15, 2010

It's great to see the informal classes back! Let's start bringing back all the great classes we once had!

22.  ike West said on Oct. 1, 2010

I am very glad that Informal Classes found a new home at TCC. I have been with the program for close to 20 years as an instructor and felt heartbroken at the news the classes would be retired. How fantastic they are back! I certainly hope the community supports the efforts to revitalize and keep the program alive. Thank you, TCC!

23.  deena mersky said on Oct. 26, 2010

I need to withdraw from the Tai Chi class which started on Oct. 19. I went there, but left before the class started. I'd like to speak to someone about this ASAP, but all listed phone numbers are non-working, and don't give a functioning number to call. This message is my last hope! Will someone please respond? 512-477-4152. Thanks a bunch.

24.  Andrea said on Nov. 23, 2010

As a UT student, I'm so happy the program is back (even if under new management)!!! Please consider offering Advanced Digital Photography classes and photoshop classes. A small business class would be a nice fit too. I love, love, love this program. Please keep it alive!

25.  liza chigos said on Nov. 29, 2010

I was at my class this morning and no one was there. Instructor was a no-show. REALLY UNHAPPY!!

26.  Samuel Cox said on Aug. 9, 2011

I need to be contacted about scheduling my winter and Spring classes

27.  Stacie Brunner said on Oct. 11, 2011

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly be more proud to be a Longhorn [& TexasEx!]... y'all go do something like this and get me excited all over again! I'm glad there are so many intrinsically motivated learners at Texas & even more glad that the University is bringing this program back in order to foster creativity/innovation & help open doors for the students! Hook'em!