Community education classes offered at Central Arizona College

Community education classes are offered at the Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona College, 805 S. Idaho Road in Apache Junction. Register at For more information, contact Joel Beck, program coordinator, at 480-677-7721 or

Classes include:

  • Pottery on the Wheel: Learn how to use a potter’s wheel, throw various pieces, attach handles, trim pots and apply glazes to finished products. Classes cost $99 each and are 9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays March 20-April 17 or April 24-May 22, or Thursdays March 22-April 19 or April 26-May 24. The cost of supplies is not included in the course fee. Contact the community education office one week prior to the class start date for a materials list. The instructor is KimmBerly Ioane.
  • Creative Acrylic I: Discover how to paint creatively using acrylics in a class 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays March 20-May 1. Lessons include: color theory, brush control, preparing the canvas, the importance of composition and mixing colors while painting a Southwest landscape and a flower of the desert. Students will leave with at least three completed paintings. The class costs $119. The cost of supplies is not included in the course fee. Contact the community education office one week prior to the class start date for a materials list. The instructor is Vanessa Ortiz.
  • Expressive Portrait Drawing: Learn how to bring expressive emotions into portraits using basic techniques. Forget about creating a likeness; instead, artists will concentrate on seeing and drawing the big shapes of dark and light. Students will be encouraged to develop their own distinct drawing style using pencil, charcoal and other media. The class costs $109 and is held 1-4 p.m. Fridays March 23-April 27. The cost of supplies is not included in the course fee. Contact the community education office one week prior to the class start date for a materials list. The instructor is Vanessa Ortiz
  • Introduction to QuickBooks Pro: This course is an introduction to the QuickBooks Pro accounting program for those wishing to become a QuickBooks Pro user or understand the basics of accounting for a small business. The class is also for the small-business owners who want to improve their own knowledge of the program. This course covers the basics and how to use each component including: the installation process, creating a company file, processing accounts payable, processing accounts receivable, reconciling bank statements, managing QuickBooks Pro files for backup and restoration and using QuickBooks Pro in single-user and multi-user modes. The class costs $85 and is held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays April 10-24. The cost of supplies is not included in the course fee. Contact the community education office one week prior to the class start date for a materials list. The instructor is Alice Fields
  • Mah Jongg: Learn the basics of the American version of the ancient Chinese game Mah Jongg. It is a game of skill involving an array of tiles divided into various suits called flowers, winds, dragons, craks, bams and dots. Class costs $10 and will be held 1-4 p.m. Mondays April 2-May 21. The instructor is Sandra Koenig.
  • Gentle Yoga: Yoga is an ancient system that unites body and mind. The practice of yoga offers powerful tools to relieve stress and bring flexibility, strength, coordination and balance to the body. This class is designed for beginners of all fitness levels, as well as for students desiring to revisit the foundations of yoga to deepen their current understanding of yoga and its practice. Learn to focus on breath, body awareness, mindfulness and basic yoga poses that can be easily modified to meet the needs of all body types. Bring a yoga mat, block and blanket to class. Class costs $30 and will be held 9-10:15 a.m. Wednesdays, April 2-25. The instructor is Sharon Corrigan.
  • Spanish for Beginners: Improve communication skills in the second most common language in Arizona. Basic language structure and vocabulary in a conversational style will help participants begin conversing in Spanish. Cost is $65 for the 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays, March 20-April 17 class. The instructor is Mary Marrinan-Menchaca.
  • How to Play Blackjack: Learn how to play the fun and exciting game of blackjack, one of the most popular casino table games. The introductory course will emphasize basic strategy to play with confidence. Different types of blackjack games will be explained with a focus on casino play. This is an informational class with social playing only. Actual gambling is prohibited and no money will be permitted to exchange hands. The instructor is Rod Daniels. Cost is $25 for the 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays March 20-April 3 class.
  • Desert Safety & Survival: Hiking or camping in the Sonoran Desert is an amazing experience, but it can turn deadly if someone doesn’t have a plan and is not prepared. Learn important tips on how to survive in almost any situation. Cost is $25 for a 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 31 class. The instructor is Jay Jay Pelletier.
  • “Trails of the Superstitions” – An Inside Look at the History and Stewardship: This program is introduced with the instructor sharing his 20-year background with the U.S. Forest Service and, more specifically, his 14-year career managing the complex Superstition Wilderness. Next, the “Trails of the Superstitions” video is shown and a follow-up interactive discussion is conducted on the situation in the Superstitions today. The legend of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine is presented and discussed, followed by chilling real-life stories of the instructor’s first-hand experiences with legal and “illegal” miners in the mountain. Questions are taken and the presentation is concluded with inspirational words about the importance of places like the Superstitions and why it is integral to the overall health and wellbeing as a nation to protect and preserve America’s remaining natural treasures. Cost is $25 for the 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 class. The instructor is Gregory Hansen.
  • From Real to Reel, “When the Legend Becomes Fact, Print the Legend”: Explore the real stories behind the historical figures of the West and their celluloid counterparts. Discover the difference between what the silver screen shows about Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane and the real people behind the names. Learn what really caused the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Pat Garrett to go after Billy the Kid and other tales of the Old West. Cost is $59 for the 9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, March 20-April 10 class. The instructor is Charlie LeSueur.
  • Intro to Interior Design: Part I: This is a journey into the field of interior design for both the career-minded student and lifelong learners. An overview of multiple areas of design, including the major principles and elements of design, the use of color, and the development of pleasing color schemes is provided. The course emphasizes how to use various types of flooring, textiles and lighting to enhance interior spaces. It will encourage students to make wise selections from the numerous products available for either your own use or for a commercial or residential client. Cost is $69 for the Tuesdays and Thursdays class March 20-April 3. The instructor is Cheryl Blankenship.
  • Intro to Interior Design: Part II: Continue the journey by expanding on the principles and elements learned in Intro to Interior Design: Part I by creating projects. Basic theories and practical applications are key to creating aesthetically pleasing, functional spaces. This course will help build confidence in making those decisions. Cost is $69 for the Tuesdays and Thursdays class April 5-19. The instructor is Cheryl Blankenship.
  • An Amazing Walk Through the Skies: Enjoy an engaging astronomical overview, presented by Steve Kates, a.k.a. “Dr. Sky,” of the origins, history and current scientific knowledge of our solar system including: planets, moons and other objects; and current knowledge about other solar systems. Learn how to use tools and resources to navigate our night skies and understand a vast history in the role and the future of interplanetary space exploration and science. Lots of hands-on experiences and multimedia entertainment will be featured by “Dr. Sky.” Cost is $65 for the class held 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays March 20-April 17.
  • Basic Landscape Irrigation Guidelines: This course is intended for homeowners, new hires with landscaping companies, material supplier employees and others interested in learning the basics of landscape irrigation systems. PowerPoint presentations, down-to-earth lectures, and real-world product examples are utilized. Several working model controllers (timers in layman’s terms) are used to give students some “hands-on” experience. The importance of reasonable but regular system monitoring and repair is stressed, both in the interest of saving water and of maintaining a healthy desert landscape. Select “war-stories” from real world irrigation projects are presented to support key points and to connect the design and installation concepts described. The instructor is Vern Swanson. Cost is $59 for the 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Thursdays class March 20-29.
  • Beginning Landscape Irrigation Design: Upon completion of this class, the student should be able to design either an overhead sprinkler or drip system for a residential project. To become competent in irrigation design, years on the drawing board and in the ditch are required to achieve professional results and provide the client with a durable, practical and “smart” system that does the job. The goal is to give the student the basic design “tools and rules” as a solid foundation for the next step, depending on the individual’s choices. This course assumes the student has landscape industry experience and preferably some irrigation installation experience. No CAD design program is used in this class; the “old-school” T-Square, drawing board, compass and scale are the tools used. It is important to recognize that the basic “old-school” drafting and design methods, once mastered, will enable you to move forward to an irrigation or landscape CAD program much easier and quicker. Special Note: Students will need some basic drafting tools and a small drawing board. The instructor is Vern Swanson. Cost is $85 for the 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Thursdays class April 3-4.
  • Writing Your Legacy Letter: The Gift of a Lifetime: Interactive instruction designed to produce a loving document that will reveal some personal and family stories for younger family members. Share core values, wisdom, life lessons, and family stories, giving hopes and dreams for the future to your loved ones. This is the gift of a lifetime. The instructor is Betty Bowes. Cost is $29 for the 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays class March 21-28.
  • Market Research for Fun: Consumer research focuses on attitude and awareness. Learn how you or a small business can benefit from questionnaire design, planning and focus groups, exit interviewing, mall intercepts, product testing, secret shopping, music tests, advertising research, and radio station measurements. We will discuss methodology, sampling and market segmentation strategies. The instructor is Mike Pettengill. Cost is $59 for the 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays class March 20-May 8.
  • Ranger Tales-Accounts of a Lifelong Backcountry Ranger: Gregory Hansen has successfully worked for over 20 years as a Backcountry Ranger and Manager, Regional Wilderness Program Leader, National Outdoor Education Coordinator and International Wilderness Management Program Leader for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service. Students will be awed by the first-hand experiences of a life-long backcountry ranger as they listen to tales of dangerous animal encounters, cantankerous human confrontations and perilous search-and-rescue missions. A collaborative discussion is facilitated on how such powerful field-based experiences helped drive many of the local, regional, national and international decisions the instructor was directly engaged in. Questions are entertained and the presentation concludes with a quote from our first ecologist, Aldo Leopold, meant to instill student support for the quality stewardship of our public lands. The instructor is Gregory Hansen. Cost is $25 for the 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday March 20 class.
  • Volcanoes-What, Why, Where and How?: Designed for the non-geologist as an introduction to the fascinating study of volcanoes, this course covers the basics of volcanology including types of volcanoes, location of volcanoes (including Arizona volcanoes), types of lava and other materials ejected by volcanic eruptions. Specific volcanic disasters will also be studied. The instructor is Amy Mellinger. Cost is $35 for the 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays March 22-29 class.
  • Numbers: Influencing Our Lives Part I”: The use of numbers dates back centuries and can be used to enhance your everyday life. Explore ways to describe the nature of existence based on numbers. Discover the strength, character and essential influence numbers have on our lives. Develop a better understanding of the universe and yourself based on the assertion by Pythagoras that all things can be reduced to numbers and expressed in numerical terms. Special Note: Bring water and either snacks or lunch for a 30-minute break. The instructor is Romualda “Rommy” Banaszczyk. Cost is $75 for the 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays class March 22-April 5.
  • Numbers: Influencing Our Lives Part II: Continue exploring ways to describe the nature of existence based on numbers. Part II will be tailored to the outcomes determined by the participants in Part I. Special Note: Bring water and either snacks or lunch for a 30 minute break. The instructor is Romualda “Rommy” Banaszczyk. Cost is $75 for the 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays class April 12-26.
  • Honoring the Veteran-The Significance of Veterans in Native American Indian Cultures: Veterans have always been amongst the most highly respected individuals in Native American communities. Starting with a traditional Ponca Veteran’s Honoring Song, explore the importance of and meanings behind male and female Veteran Societies, dances, songs and artwork. Students will have the opportunity to learn through participation in meaningful discussions pertaining to the roles of veterans in Native American cultures and will be inspired by a Ponca Veteran’s Quitting Song at the conclusion. The instructor is Gregory Hansen. Cost is $25 for the 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 class.
  • Osteoporosis-Simple Steps for Treatment and Prevention: Current estimates have osteoporosis affecting about 10 million people in the U.S. Explore ways which will help identify who is at risk for this disease. Discover the methods used to diagnose this condition. Learn the latest trends for treatment and management. Does diet play a role? How effective are medications at slowing down or stopping the progression? Should you continue to exercise and, if so, what type of exercises should you be doing? The instructor is Dr. Sonny Sampedro. Cost is $29 for the 9 a.m.-noon Thursday, March 1 class.
  • Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy People: Have you ever wanted to learn the guitar but simply find it difficult to find the time? In just a few hours you can learn enough about playing the guitar to give you years of musical enjoyment, and you won’t have to take private lessons to do it. This crash course will teach you some basic chords and get you playing along with your favorite songs right away. Bring your acoustic guitar. Special Note: The cost of supplies is not included in the course fee. Contact your local Community Education Office one week prior to the class start date for a materials list. The instructor is Craig Coffman. Cost is $25 for the 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, March 29, class.
  • Beginning Computer Skills: Develop basic computer knowledge and learn how to navigate Microsoft Windows. Specific topics include desktop, icons, task bar, help screens, scrollbars, mouse practice, word pad, resizing and moving windows. The instructor is Paul Zubel. Cost is $29 for the noon-3 p.m. Thursday, April 12, class.
  • Beginning Adobe Photoshop: Learn how to use the tools, layers, palettes and attributes in Adobe Photoshop. With these tools, there is no limit to what you can do or create with your favorite photos or artwork. The only limitations are in what your mind can create. The instructor is Gene Middleton. Cost is $75 for the 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, March 20-April 24 class.

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