Explore your interests, expand your world

March 18, 2016

Enroll in leisure and life skills classes in Continuing Education

What if you could have beautifully trimmed flowerbeds sprouting this spring that also produced nutritious food for your family? 

What if you could make new friends (and learn a few new steps) while taking a swing dance class? Or learn Italian for your trip to Florence?

What if there were a place where you could do all of those activities and more? There is: the leisure and life skills classes offered at Johnson County Community College.

Claire Zimmermann, campus farm manager, has taught many gardening classes, including Edible Landscaping and Year-Round Produce. Would-be students itching to get outside can learn to grow food for themselves.

“We teach them that you can grow things year-round without a lot of cost,” she said. Want to plant trees? Consider some fruit trees. Instead of ornamental plants, go for berry plants. “You can trade this non-functional plant with this (functional) plant,” she said.

The ‘fun’ classes

Gardening is just one of the multiple topics offered by JCCC’s Continuing Education program, a division of the college that is intent on educating life-long learners.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to grow your interests, or use the skills you learn in class for your own enrichment,” said Tim Frenzel, a program director for JCCC.

The college, located at College Boulevard and Quivira Road in Overland Park, offers classes like beekeeping, tap dancing and Italian for Travelers. These are just the beginning.

“We offer a broad spectrum of classes because we listen to our students,” Frenzel said. “They’re the classes you take for fun and enrichment. It’s about learning something interesting and having fun while you’re doing it.”

Community is key

In a time when you can learn almost anything by doing a Google search or playing a YouTube video, what’s the point of taking a class with a bunch of strangers?

Those strangers create a community of learners, Frenzel explained. “It’s just more engaging to learn together,” he said.

You’ll also learn more of the “tips and tricks” from an actual instructor and your fellow students.

“For example, Yellowstone (National Park) has three entrances. Which one is the best one to use, based on when you’ll be arriving? Our instructor for the class about traveling to Yellowstone can help you with that because he’s been there many, many times,” Frenzel said.

What to take

The JCCC Continuing Education Catalog has an expansive list of computer classes, career development classes and courses revolving around business.

But under the words “leisure” and “life skills” are these classes. (Topics following reflect only some, not all, of the topics offered):


  • Arts and crafts (painting, knitting, jewelry making)
  • Aviation (ground school)
  • Dance (ballet, West Coast Swing, tap)
  • Foreign language (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish)
  • House and Garden (beekeeping, gardening)
  • Lifestyle (astrology, numerology)
  • Music (guitar, piano, chorus)
  • Photography (camera basics, nature photography, sports photography)
  • Sports and Recreation (fencing, golf)
  • Travel (trip planning)

Life skills

  • Driver’s education and motorcycle training
  • Personal finance (investing, home buying, Social Security)
  • Sign language
  • Writing Center (composing, proofreading, research)

Rates for the classes above vary, so check the JCCC Continuing Education Catalog to weigh your options.

Once you’ve decided upon your fall schedule, you may register for classes online, over the phone, by mail or in person.

There’s so much more to learn, because leisure and life skills classes offered at JCCC don’t just teach you new skills: they expand your world.