How Do I Select A Course For Myself?

Classes are self-enrolled, meaning that you do not need to complete a test or to be assessed to join our classes. Instead, we encourage you to enroll in the course that covers a topic that is interesting to you or that relates to your work. If you want to be able to work on your presentations, join our U15 171: Talk Like TED or U15 170: Presentation Skills courses. If you would like to develop materials for the job market and grants, enroll in U15 115: Writing for Academic & Professional Communication. If you need to produce more academic journal article and want to learn skills and strategies to approach this unique kind of writing, enroll in U15 208: Research Writing for International Students & Scholars.

If you are trying to decide between two options (1405: Conversation about Recent Films and U15 202: Talk to Americans, for example), you are always welcome to email our program manager, Katie Brown. She is happy to offer advice and suggestions based on your goals and experiences. Email her to schedule an appointment to talk or just to learn more!

Are There Online Options?

U15 101: Pronunciation for Clear Communication is our only online offering. This course is being delivered in an online format because of the importance of seeing how mouths move in this course! This class will be conducted using Zoom and some assignments that students complete on their own.

There are also two hybrid writing classes being offered this Spring (U15 208: Research Writing for International Students & Scholars and U15 108: Skills & Strategies for Academic Writing). These courses meet less frequently but offer individual, independent lessons between the course meetings. Conversations will happen in the classroom and online, allowing for interaction. Yet, you will also have the flexibility to complete some assignments throughout the week, viewing lectures and writing independently between class sessions.

Where Are Classes?

Classes are offered on the Medical Campus (in the Farrell Learning & Teaching Center) and on the Danforth Campus (in multiple academic buildings, such as Eads Hall). Traveling between campuses is possible, but there are multiple options offered on each campus! For example, Research Writing for International Students & Scholars; Writing for Academic & Professional Communication; and Presentation Skills for Academic & Professional Settings are all offered on both campuses this Spring! Other classes are offered on only one campus, such as Talk Like TED, which will be on the Danforth Campus this Fall. Be sure to review your options as you enroll.

Instead of meeting in-person, some classes will also have online meetings via Zoom. These meetings will be led by an instructor and be conducted through Canvas. (See ‘Are There Online Options?’ for more details.)

How Do I Join the Classes?

As a Graduate Student, you may have benefits through your department. Usually, we encourage you to enroll in the course and discuss the choice with your department, to ensure that you are receiving all possible tuition benefits.

As a Postdoctoral Appointee or Employee, you may have benefits through the Postdoctoral Tuition Benefit or Employee Benefits. Your registration process is described here.

If you have questions about enrolling, these are excellent questions to send via email to Katie Brown – our program manager.

What Is the Schedule for “Spring” Classes? When Do They Start/End?

Spring Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 18. Your first day of class will, therefore, be January 18, 19, 20, or 24. Classes continue until May 6 with most meeting weekly. There will be a one-week break called “Spring Break” in March. For this week, there will be no class meetings and no homework to be submitted. It is scheduled for March 13-19 this Spring. If you enroll in our only 8-week course (U15 108: Skills & Strategies for Academic Writing – the course will end at Spring Break, with the last class meeting happening on Monday, March 7).

What Does Units or Credit Hours Mean?

A unit or “credit-hour” is how we measure the commitment to a course. A 3-unit course is a bigger commitment in terms of time and energy than a 2-unit course. A 3-unit course will usually meet for three hours each week of the semester (and that’s how we arrived at using “credit hours”). A 1-unit course will meet for only one hour each week, usually. Be aware of credit-hour limits to your benefits. You are able to enroll in 4 credit-hours each semester as a postdoctoral appointee, for example.