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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

UCLA Opens Campus in West Valley

UCLA Extension plans to open a satellite campus this spring at the Warner Center in Woodland Hills, giving Valley locals a chance to take advantage of the institution’s programs without making the drive to Westwood. Extension Dean Wayne Smutz said the decision to open a Valley campus was based on market research findings that suggested the local population could benefit greatly from the institution’s courses, especially those geared toward older professionals. Furthermore, a significant number of Extension students already commute from the Valley to classes in Westwood. The satellite at the Warner Center will give current pupils a break from the long drive, he explained, and will hopefully attract new students who previously had been deterred by distance. “We did two separate studies and both of them concluded the same thing,” Smutz said. “So we felt confident with moving in that direction.” The UCLA-affiliated program offers open registration for more than 5,000 courses in total, including 170 professional certificates. Priced at $400 to $900 per course, most are geared toward individuals who already possess an undergraduate or master’s degree and are looking to advance or change careers. To this end, all instructors are also practitioners in their fields, and classes emphasize experience-based education. “We take a very applied approach to learning,” Smutz explained. “Our goal is to help students by giving them the tools, skills and knowledge they can apply in the workplace.” The Valley campus is scheduled to open this April in Warner Center Tower III at 21600 Oxnard St. On-site instructors will direct most courses, Smutz said, but even those taught exclusively on the main campus will be available to local students through the center’s video conference facilities. While schedules have not yet been finalized, classes in real estate, finance and psychology are a few potential offerings. “We’re also hoping we can establish links with businesses in the Valley and work with them to develop their staff professionally through programs we can customize together,” Smutz said. Past participants in the school’s non-credit corporate education workshops include Northrop Grumman Corp., NASA and Boeing Co. – Helen Floersh

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