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August 19, 2009 > Find a class for personal enrichment or career advancement

Find a class for personal enrichment or career advancement

Submitted By Shannon Luster

New search engine Courseopedia.com makes light work of finding courses locally from classes in French, Java programming, cosmetology, photography, taekwondo to Islamic art. The site, launched with listings for California schools, will expand to create a nationwide source of information on personal enrichment, vocational and career advancement courses, including those offered by private instructors.

Courseopedia eliminates tedious searches through multiple, online college catalogs, alerts adult learners to local colleges and private educational resources they might otherwise miss and is a central location to browse and finding classes of interest.

Users can go to www.courseopedia.com, enter the kind of class or select course categories from a drop-down menu and enter their zip code for a list of courses matching their needs. Students can leave feedback on courses, programs and schools they have attended for the benefit of others via the "Comments" feature.

Courseopedia currently lists 40,000 courses from 20 California city and community colleges, including Ohlone College, College of the Sequoias, American River College, Barstow Community College, Citrus College, College of Marin, College of the Canyons, Cosumnes River College, Cuesta College, Folsom Lake College, Foothill College, Gavilan College, Imperial Valley College, Lake Tahoe Community College, Long Beach City College, Monterey Peninsula College, Sacramento City College and Taft College. Nearly 70 more California schools will be added by mid-summer.

"Trying to find continuing-education classes is time-consuming and frustrating. The information is scattered across many different catalogs and websites," said Abdullah Yahya, who founded Courseopedia with partners Jawad Ahmad and Haseeb Qawam, after encountering the problem himself. "Courseopedia will be the Monster.com of college course listings: the definitive, easily searchable source of class information for life-long learners."

Courseopedia filters course searches in 10 master categories with subcategories, geographical preferences and advanced search options. There are descriptions, pricing information, locations, direct links and contact details for specific programs. Users can browse course and program offerings by school and easily compare information such as estimated expenses, accreditation status and admissions requirements. The site contains career information such as required training, earnings expectations and related careers for more than 300 occupations.

The search engine is a free avenue for educators and institutions to market their courses and reach more potential students than advertising on Craigslist or at local establishments.

Colleges put much effort into marketing their names but most institutions leave course-marketing to the instructors. By creating an account and uploading classes, instructors and schools can reach their target market through the easily searchable database, providing greater visibility for potential students.

"For instance, a French teacher at a community college needs a minimum of 20 students or his introductory course will be cancelled for the semester. Traditional advertising routes like Craigslist aren't always guaranteed to reach the continuing education student looking to learn French," said Yahya.

Educators and institutions can post courses one-by-one or upload in bulk for free to Courseopedia.com using an Excel spreadsheet template or XML.

For more information, visit www.courseopedia.com

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