Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Experimental College: Davis’ best-kept secret

ExColl2w

Students in a martial arts class at the UC Davis Experimental College do some stretching and breathing exercises before their workout begins. Jean Mikael Do/Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | November 26, 2013 |

By Crystal Atamian

Where can you find a facility that provides low-cost classes to the entire community with top-notch instructors?

The UC Davis Experimental College offers courses that range from dog training to dance and martial arts to money management. As one of only two prominent experimental colleges on the West Coast, the EC provides an unusual experience accessible to all members of the community.

“The eCollege embraces the idea that education in its most profound sense is personal growth,” says Davis resident Jennifer McCabe. “I think that the eCollege is really one of Davis’ best-kept secrets.”

Adds Celia Chang, a clinical professor of neurology at the UC Davis Medical Center, “I wish I had found the eCollege sooner.”

Hannah Moore, the Experimental College’s office manager, agrees: “It’s a valuable place for people to share and to learn. To give a space to things you might not normally have (in the community).”

In spite of this enthusiasm, the value of the EC in a university town can be easily overlooked.

“The knowledge of what we provide has faded into the background. … We have not tapped or attracted broader audiences to use our valuable resources,” says EC director Chriselle Vinson.

One of the hallmarks of the Experimental College is its instructors. There are professionals, like award-winning pet columnist and author Sophia Yin, who graduated from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine and has a master’s degree in animal behavior.

Mike Cagley, “DJ Destiny,” considered one of the premiere video DJs in the world, has taught the “Groove University” course at the eCollege for 13 years. Cagley became the first video DJ in the NBA when he was hired as the audio/video DJ for the Sacramento Kings, and he just returned from a two-week tour in the United Kingdom with the video DJ from the Black Eyed Peas.

In addition to its long list of professionals, the Experimental College also provides a venue where community members can offer a course of interest in areas where they have some expertise.

“The EC serves both those who are seeking instructors with professional qualifications and those who are looking for a very informal environment, learning from peers with a passion for their subject,” says Rick Schubert, who has been teaching the Korean martial art of hapkido there for 20 years.

Chris Pike, owner of Pilates for Bodies, got his start at the Experimental College.

“I appreciated very much the opportunity the EC gave me,” Pike says. “The EC gave me a chance to try something that no other organization would have given me.”

Another valuable quality of the EC is the mix of undergraduates, graduate students and community members interacting in the same setting.

“There is an opportunity to network, meet individuals you wouldn’t necessarily be acquainted with and realize that the love and interest for a subject matter is what brings everyone enrolled in the class together,” says Vinson, whose vision for the EC includes promoting its benefits within the Davis community.

“As you get out into the workforce, your circle of people gets smaller and smaller. It’s nice to interact with people you might not come across in your daily life,” adds Chang, who just received her black belt in hapkido. “The people I meet at the EC, we’re all equals because we’re members of the same class.”

Adds Schubert, an award-winning professor of philosophy at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, “It’s beneficial for UC Davis students to be in classes with the broader community. It allows students access to informal mentorship relations they might not otherwise experience and provides them with the opportunity for networking that is crucial for employment success.”

McCabe, who has been taking EC classes for 17 years, is living proof of that opportunity:  “It was the UC faculty, staff and community members in my EC classes that then helped connect me with opportunities for employment.”

In these tough economic times, perhaps the biggest benefit of the Experimental College is its low course costs.

Schubert points out that, “because the EC operates under the umbrella of the university, it is able to offer instruction at a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere.”

Prices depend on the course offered. The member price for “3-Ball Juggling for Beginners” is $30 while “Family FIDO Dog Training” is $180 and “Arabic for Beginners” is $75. The EC also offers a large variety of dance, yoga and music classes for reasonable prices. Courses are taught by the academic quarter. An eCollege membership costs $25 for students and $35 for nonstudents.

“We need resources like the Experimental College because it provides an outlet to experiment with prospective skills and ideas,” Vinson says. “Instructors and students have a space to share and learn skills that aren’t usually offered through standard education.”

Cagley argues that the EC is both essential and underutilized: “It’s strength is that it exists. But to continue, it needs the support from the student(s) and the broader community. I think it needs to be emphasized that programs like the EC simply don’t exist at most universities. It really is a beautiful thing.”

More information and course registration can be found at ecollege.ucdavis.edu. The Experimental College office is in 260 South Silo on the UCD campus.

— Crystal Atamian is a UC Davis graduate and freelance journalist. She taught composition and expository writing for five years at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8