Sound Bites - Issue #18 - February 2015
Community Education's Premiere Online Magazine
In This Issue:
- Rewards Program Continues for Our "Life Long Learners"
- What's New: : Chinese New Year + 8% Discount
- Game Time: Enter Our Photo Contest!
- Looking Back: Open House a "Home Run"!
Rewards Program Continues for Our "Life Long Learners"
Career & Contract Ed.
We're very happy to announce that our "Life Long Learners" program, which we launched a year ago and which rewards our most loyal students, is being carried forward to 2015 and will become a regular annual offering.
In January-February of each year, we will do a tally of the classes taken by our students in the previous year. Any student who has met the minimum of $199 spent in the previous year will be notified that they have received an electronic voucher that can be used on any classes they register by June 30. The electronic voucher is calculated based on the total amount spent, so in other words, the more you register with us, the more you will get back at the end of the year.
Why? Because we value our students and want to encourage them to continue to look to us for their continuing educational needs. We want to help you, our life long learners, cultivate your interests and professional development – indeed, even your dreams. After all, learning never stops.
If you'd like to find out more about the "Life Long Learners" program, please contact Alice Meyering at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 434-3405.
Director of Career & Contract Education
What's New: Chinese New Year + 8% Discount*
Community & Contract Education
Coming off a very successful first-ever Open House at the end of January, Lady J and I are still amazed at all the enthusiastic responses to something whipped up in a passing fancy. Thank you all so much for coming and visiting!
Riding on the wave of this invigorating experience, we think the celebration ought to continue. Yes, even in February. Good thing it's Happy New Year again! Happy CHINESE New Year, that is.
Chinese New Year is still a big deal across the pond, it's like Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year all rolled into one. Everything is closed for days so everyone gets chance to visit family and friends, and I confess the thought of it still brings back fond childhood memories abroad.
Being in Los Angeles, most of us are savvy enough to know, from placemats at Chinese restaurants that the Chinese Zodiac goes by year in rounds of 12 and every year is represented by a different animal. Now I can regale you with tales of how this all came to be, but you will find Wikipedia does a much better job explaining all the minutiae than I ever could, for those of you who are truly curious.
What I want to get to is how we will continue to build the momentum for Spring semester by offering a special promotion for Chinese New Year. Now that's a way to celebrate, right?
Since the year 2015 brings us the eighth Chinese zodiac sign, The Goat, I thought it would be fun if we give out an 8% discount* using the promo code YearofGoat from now until Feb. 28. The discount is good for all of our on-ground classes – simply enter the promo code upon checkout and you will receive the discount. If you do choose to call us to register, remember to mention the promo code prior to checkout so we know you are one of our special readers and we can thank you for your continued support of Community Education.
Before I leave you, know that in the Year of the Goat, San-Yang-Kai-Tai is frequently mentioned. It's a term derived from the I Ching and in short it indicates a most auspicious phase that contains elements of peace, harmony and good fortune.
May you and yours enjoy peace, harmony and good fortune in 2015
Chinese New Year 2015 officially begins Thursday, February 19; it is the 4712th Chinese year, calculated from the year when the Yellow Emperor first ascended the throne.
*Discount cannot be used with any other promotion and is not retroactive.
Game Time: Enter Our Photo Contest!
Student Piero Desopo's photo of
Disney Concert Hall taken in our class
"On the Street with Your Camera"
SMC Community Education is excited to sponsor its first-ever Photo Contest, and the winning image could be the cover of the Fall 2015 class schedule!
"We've been blown away by the pictures taken by our students, not only in our popular photography classes, but also students in other classes as well," said Alice Meyering, Program Coordinator of Community & Contract Education. "And we received so much positive feedback from our Fall 2014 cover, shot by our student Gloria Novi, that we decided a photo contest is the perfect way to display our students' incredible talents."
The winner will be featured in our monthly newsletter, Sound Bites, and in addition to the winning image, some of the other photos entered into the contest will be included as well.
taken in downtown L.A. in our class
"On the Street with Your Camera" .
A few simple rules and reminders:
The contest is open to all past or present Community Education students.
Images should be submitted by May 1, 2015 to email@example.com.
More than one image may be submitted, and contestants should indicate their names as registered, as well as any information about the photo they want to include – such as, where it was shot and whether it was taken as part of a Community Ed class.
So share your vision with us – and good luck!
Looking Back: Open House a "Home Run"!
SMC Community Ed's first-ever series of Open Houses exceeded expectations as over 40 new and former students signed up for classes, instructors met personally with prospective students, gifts were handed out, and three prizes were raffled off.
Held for four hours each day Jan. 26-30 in the Community Ed office at the Bundy Campus, the Open Houses gave prospective and current students a chance to meet instructors and staff members – including Lady J – receive 15 percent discounts on classes and sign up for the raffle. A choice of gifts – including travel mugs and reusable bags – were also handed out.
The winners of the raffle are Regina Alayvilla, $99 electronic voucher for a class; Christine S. Kadir, a $50 electronic voucher; and Pamela Klein, a $25 electronic voucher.
"We thought maybe 10 people would trickle in, so to get over 40, plus a dozen instructors, was very exciting," said Jocelyn Winn, also known as Lady J, administrative assistant and main host of the event. "It was fun for the staff, and students were comfortable in this environment giving feedback, which is very helpful for us."
There were elements of serendipity to the event as well. One woman came in to sign up for several classes and met Italian instructor Paola Barcaccia, who got the woman excited about registering for the Italian Conversation class after her retirement this spring. In another case, film and screenwriting instructor Simone Bartesaghi assured an 18-year-old filmmaker that he would qualify for the Advanced Screenwriting class because of his experience, despite his youth.
Some instructors took an extra step to be welcoming. Yoga instructor Lois Leonhardi – who will be teaching the brand new Spring Cleanse class this spring – brought in a crock-pot full of her homemade French lentil stew. Student Jodi Shannahan loved the dish so much she asked Leonhardi for the recipe.
"It was a real blast for us, particularly when we had several students and instructors crowded into our office, creating an exciting energy," said Alice Meyering, Program Coordinator of Community & Contract Education.
Meyering and Winn said the idea of the Open Houses came out of a discussion between them about how rewarding it's been to meet those students who come into the office to register in person.
"We live in a time that human-to-human interaction doesn't occur very much," Winn said. "We wanted to get people in to meet us in person, to show we're friendly and open, and to invite their candid feedback and suggestions for new classes. Many times we will create classes based on the demand of our community."
The Open Houses were so successful that Community Ed plans to do them again – only this time on a Friday or Saturday to attract more people who can't attend during the week.