For workers interested in getting back into the job market, learning new skills or brushing up on old ones, opportunities abound at Southland universities, community colleges and trade schools.
The continuing education programs are geared toward people of all ages and interests, with an array of classes that can accommodate almost any schedule.
Computer classes, while still popular, no longer dominate the field as they did in past years. "It seems as though the personal computer isn't as strong as it was," noted Mike Stone, a spokesman for the marketing department at UCLA Extension. "We've pulled in our offerings because there just isn't the enrollment there was 1 1/2 years ago."
If you've been considering opening a bed and breakfast inn, starting your own business at home or learning the catering trade, these are just a few of the courses available around Southern California.
If you have a yen for a change but aren't quite sure of the direction, UCLA offers a career transition program including "Career Enrichment: Assessing Your Career Personality." Thursdays, Oct. 30-Nov. 13, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $130 fee. Call (213) 825-2219 for a free brochure.
Computer science classes are plentiful. Call (213) 825-7093 for further information.
In the health sciences area, there's the free public lecture series on aging, Oct. 30-Dec. 18. Call (213) 825-7257. On Nov. 8 and 9, there's a conference on drug and alcohol treatment titled "Dealing With Resistance." (213) 825-6701.
A one-day seminar in retail commercial real estate will be held Wednesday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $95 fee. The program takes on various angles of the shopping center industry and includes a chance to swap ideas with guest speakers.
Call UCLA's advisory service for extension students, (213) 206-6201, for information on programs leading to certificates in the arts, business and management, education, engineering, gardening and horticulture, health sciences, humanities and social sciences, and physical sciences.
UCLA Extension, 10995 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles 90024. Call (213) 825-8895 for catalogue.
Cal State Northridge
"How to Start a Home-Based Business" will be offered Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $75 fee.
"How to Train an Employee Effectively on the Job," Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $5 fee.
Supervision series includes "Critical Assessment: Are You a Good Supervisor?" Nov. 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $95 fee.
"Assertive Business Communication," Mondays, Nov. 3-Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m.; $115 fee.
"Introduction to Wordstar-2000 and IBM PC," Thursdays, Nov. 6-Dec.18, 7-10 p.m.; $125 fee.
Cal State Northridge Extension, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge 91330, or phone the Office of Continuing Education, (818) 885-2644.
East L.A. College
Computer workshop offers a format for youngsters ages 9-17 using the BASIC language. Saturdays, Nov. 15 and 22, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $17 registration fee and $10 material fee.
"Increasing Your Sales Potential," Nov. 1, $52.
"English as a Second Language--Level I," Saturdays, Nov. 8-Dec. 13, 9-11 a.m.; $28 fee.
The college also offers courses in Spanish from executive secretary and public relations to high-fashion modeling.
East Los Angeles College Community Services, 1301 Brooklyn Ave., Monterey Park 91754; (213) 265-8793.
L.A. City College
"Second Start" is a free preparatory program geared toward senior citizens. Classroom instruction encompasses clerical instruction, word processing, retail sales and cashiering, job search assistance as well as home health and domestic care.
Los Angeles City College, Second Start, 855 N. Vermont Ave., Bungalow 118, Los Angeles 90029 or call (213) 669-4393.
Cal State Los Angeles
"Computer Illustration and Art on the IBM PC" workshop, Saturdays, Nov. 15 and 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fee is $125 with an additional $5 for the syllabus.
"Business Graphics on the IBM PC" workshop, Nov. 6 and 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; fee is $200 plus $5 for the syllabus.
"How to Get Grants to Make Films and Video," Nov. 22, noon-5 p.m.; $40 fee.
"Writing for the Screen," one-day seminar and workshop with Richard Walter, chairman of the screen writing faculty at UCLA. Nov. 8, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $100 fee.
"Medical Insurance Billing" is one of those areas that has cropped up at a number of schools. Cal State Los Angeles is giving a two-day course on Nov. 8 and 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the fee is $50 plus a $10 material fee.
There's a series of courses tailored for businesses dealing with the Pacific Rim. "Insider's Guide to Doing Business With the Japanese, Practical Tactics That Work" is being held on Nov. 6, 9 a.m-3 p.m.; $235 fee. Along these lines, the university offers an intercultural communication workshop and seminar for businesses. Call (213) 224-2871.
Certificate programs on hand are business and computer programming, legal interpretation and translation (English-Spanish), legal assistant, library technician, computer applications in the schools, entrepreneurship and real estate license renewal.