For 10 years, New Era Computers has taught students to bend computers to their will with software-wrangling classes that congregate in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. Instructors employ individual attention and hands-on learning to unveil the mysteries behind Microsoft Word (a $180 value), Excel (a $225¬–$275 value), PowerPoint (a $180 value), Access (a $225–$275 value), or the accounting prowess of QuickBooks (a $225 value). Beginning courses impart basic skills, while intermediate courses delve into more complex studies and allow students to build their own scale model of the Internet. Classes meet in two-hour sessions, either twice a week for three weeks or three times a week for two weeks. New Era Computers' schedule lets prospective students peruse a convenient timeslot and teaches them how to introduce themselves in binary.
Quail Run Creamery's co-owner, Scott "Dominic" Catino, draws on experience crafting soft cheeses and pampering the sustainable farm's bleating denizens to teach interactive classes to groups of up to 20 people. Sessions kick off with a tour of the dairy, which lets students learn how artisans prepare creamy delights and dispels conspiracy theories about Superman's role in the process. After a presentation on the history of cheeses, which is peppered with intriguing facts and trivia, tongues quiver in anticipation of a cheese plate. Coupled with tastings of Oregon wines, the platter parades seven different classifications of cheese that run the gamut from soft and mild to hard, complex, and brooding.
Brains need workouts, too, according to the founders of Braingystics, a licensed Brainobrain learning center. Here, adults, seniors, and children aged 4–14 hone their abilities to listen, learn, and tackle nearly any problem that comes their way. The center’s whole-brain development program revolves around games, coaching, and brain training that incorporates neuro-feedback, music therapy, and multisensory exercises. As kids hone their math and reading skills, they build confidence, creativity, and a vocabulary as broad and sophisticated as an ocean with a British accent. To help all children achieve their true potential, the center offers learning assessments and therapy for gifted children as well as those with challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism-spectrum disorders. Seniors can attend classes that use both instructor-based and technologically enhanced exercises to keep mental faculties sharp and improve emotional health. Adults 18 years and older can also benefit from brain training, beginning with an assessment to determine mental fitness and continuing with small-group classes or one-on-one coaching, which can enhance focus, memory, and communication skills, and even help with weight-loss and stress-relief efforts.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
To best prepare their students for the unexpected, the NRA- and DPSST-certified instructors at RazorSix Tactical fuse modern mixed martial arts techniques with operational training based on historical units such as the WWII Office of Strategic Services and the U.S. Navy Seals. Within a controlled environment at either the client’s home or the business’s gym, they create combat scenarios based on actual street fights and demonstrate basic survival techniques. Outside the gym, the staff’s passion is in creating equipment based on its signature design theory.
Staffed entirely by DMV–certified instructors, Oregon Driver Education Center has been filling potholes in the knowledge of novice and experienced drivers since 1987. The center's masters of the open road send teens and adults on the path to earning their driver's licenses and maintaining clean driving records with comprehensive DMV drive test prep courses and defense driving classes. With an intimate understanding of the unique challenges facing Oregonian motorists, ODEC also offers an Xtreme Driver Control course that focuses on navigating vehicles through rain, ice, and throngs of rabid snowmen. Additionally, the center's specialty courses teach precautionary practices to medically at-risk drivers.