What do belly dancing, dog obedience, cake decorating, and Microsoft Excel have in common?
They are just four of the 140 courses being offered by the Larchmont & Mamaroneck Center for Continuing Education, a not-for- profit organization offering an eclectic selection of courses designed to cultivate knowledge and to enrich the lives of anyone with the desire to learn.
Sandie Conner is entering her fifth year as director of the center. During her tenure, she has seen the needs of the community reflected in the selection of courses offered. "The courses offered are frequently determined by the students. At the end of the season, we distribute evaluations and ask the students to evaluate the class and what others they would like to see offered."
In addition to critiquing the class, students also evaluate the instructors. "Students tend to tell us that they like this class or that class and request that certain teachers return for the next session." Conner also scours continuing education brochures from around the country to keep abreast of trends and see what other programs are offering.
As in previous years, the course selection is diverse. In addition to those mentioned above, this year's offerings also include: Plan Your Next Life Chapter, a course designed to help individuals contemplating a professional or personal change or "looking to shake up their lives"; Ballroom Dancing, in case a stint on "Dancing with the Stars" is a page you would like to have written as you're planning your next life chapter; and Sugar Blues, a course which aims to help individuals kick the sugar habit.
Once a part of the Mamaroneck School District, the Continuing Education program has been independent of the district since 1973. It is now a self-supporting organization, whose operating budget is funded entirely from course fees. Courses are held in one of five local venues: Mamaroneck High School, Central School, Hommocks Middle School, Hommocks Ice Rink and Larchmont Temple. Instructors are credentialed professionals in their field, have extensive life experience in the classes they teach, or have a passion for a particular subject matter.
So if you're looking to find your inner voice (Free Your Voice/Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.), would like to overcome shyness (Assertive Communication Skills/two Thursdays at 7 p.m.), or would like to indulge your sweet tooth (Customized Chocolate Tour a la NYC —not recommended if you are registered for the Sugar Blues course), there is a class waiting for you.
Registration for courses can be completed on-line at www.LMCCE.org, via mail at Center for Continuing Education, Palmer Unit, 1000 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, N.Y, 10543, or in person at Mamaroneck High School (Center for Continuing Education, Room 126, Palmer Building).