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Las Positas College non-credit classes are opportunities for the community to get invested. The non-credit classes provide social and practical skills for anyone who can join, for the low cost of free.

An English as a second-language coordinator, Leslie Payne, and automotive professor, James Weston, invited passionate students to take on non-credit classes in their respective programs.

The return of in-person classes has led to the numbers of students who take English as a second language, or ESL, non-credit classes increasing.

“A non-credit class is free for students,” said Payne. “We offer mirrored classes which means credit and non-credit students are in the same classroom together learning the same things with the same expectations and if they don’t pass the class they have to repeat it even though it is non-credit.”

The only difference between mirrored classes and typicalones is that the non-credit class does not affect your overall GPA. The non-credit students who attend mirrored classes act the same as students earning credits, with homework and testsl. ESL non-credit classes are based on grammar and writing skills and are able to be repeated.

“These classes are beneficial to people who cannot afford college, giving students an opportunity to learn and they take off pressure from students who need not to worry about credits or units,” Payne said.

Non-credit classes are proving to be beneficial to students in the ESL department because it’s cheaper to register a non-credit class. Even if you pass the class you can repeat it just to master the skills, something that’s not possible in the credit classes.

“The classes are filling a big void and need for students and community members who want to improve language skills at work and even in the community,” Payne said. 

ESL classes have since enrolled eight classes for grammar and writing and some of the students are professionals working, for example, as doctors, dentists or retirees seeking to improve quality of language skills.

If you want to join the ESL noncredit class a student should take an assessment test to help you find the right level class.

The non-credit automotive lab classes has also taken over much of what used to be done in the automotive club before the pandemic. The club used to meet every Wednesday consisting of former and current automotive students.

The automotive club was designed to help students who couldn’t retake the automotive class and lab to be able to have access to the shop and work on cars. The auto club was more of an out-of-class affair involving going to car shows in the Bay Area, showcasing cars on club days and sometimes working on vehicles in the lab.

Due to the pandemic, the club failed to attract new members. The automotive department then decided to add four noncredit lab classes to accommodate those who seemed to be interested in working on cars.

Automotive department staff Mr. James Weston invited automotive passionate students to take the auto lab classes if they still want to use the shop because the club stopped meeting. 

John Savantha, a former automotive student, was happy with the idea  to add more lab classes and noncredit.

“I wish they had done this when I was still taking classes so I could have enrolled in the lab class every semester,” he said. 

Mike Havistor, a student majoring in mechanical engineering, said, “I will definitely add the lab class next semester. I miss working in the workshop.” 

To enroll in any non-credit class, prospective students simply follow the normal application process. Some non-credit classes may require students to pay for supplementary material even though tuition is free.

Farai Mutiro is a freelance writer for the Express. 

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