Elective credits give college students the perfect opportunity to learn about some new and interesting topics.
Students who have some extra room in their schedules generally opt for classes like painting or philosophy. But many colleges and universities offer a vast and diverse array of subjects for students to explore.
Here are just a few of these unique courses offered at Salt Lake Community College.
Engineering the Guitar
Engineering the Guitar is simple: a class where students build their own electric guitar. Students start with a basic wood cutout in the shape of a guitar and learn how to sand, paint, solder and assemble the components to make a functional instrument.
Learning about music theory and the physics of the guitar are also important elements of the class.
“The class is for every skill level, so anyone can learn to jump in,” says course instructor Christopher Timm. “We get some really experienced people, and some who have never operated a screwdriver before.”
Timm says there is ample room for creativity in the class. Students can customize their guitars by changing the shape of the headstock, bringing their own electronics or hardware, or etching the wood with a laser printer. However, it is Timm’s opinion that some of the best guitars are the simplest.
For students who want to learn how to cook, SLCC offers classes in baking, hospitality and the culinary arts at Miller Campus. Topics range from basic Food Prep courses for beginners to Baking and Cake Decorating courses for advanced students.
Other program electives include the study of international cuisines, including courses that focus on French, Asian, Indian and Latin American origins.
“Food is a common tie that binds all cultures, religions and ethnicities,” says associate dean Jeffrey Coker. “Everybody’s gotta eat.”
The Culinary Arts program also houses its own garden and greenhouse, which allows students in the Sustainable Food Systems class to plant, maintain and harvest their own fresh ingredients.
The SLCC Music Department offers a commercial music class, where students form groups and perform music from different genres of their choice like jazz, country, rock, heavy metal or pop.
“The biggest thing is learning how to make a group, getting together, making a plan and getting over stage fright,” says student guitarist Nate Perkins.
Many students have recorded and released their music while at SLCC, like Jason Kennington, whose heavy metal band Yeti recently released a 4-song EP.
The Music Department also offers where students can learn about music theory, take private vocal or instrument lessons, and even join the SLCC choir or orchestra.