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Classes offered

Occupational & Life Skills

OLS is an associate degree program designed for postsecondary adults with disabilities. This degree prepares students to become self-determined, responsible citizens and confident employees. Students develop a career pathway, interpersonal skills, and participate in related internship experiences.

Need more info? Visit the Occupational Life Skills website.

OLS 100 Nutrition Health & Fitness I • 2 Cr.

Examines the concept of a balanced diet, exercise and health, wellness and food safety. Nutritional models are presented to allow the student to understand and build a healthy lifestyle. Prerequisite: OLS 107, 110, and 111 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 101 Nutrition Health and Fitness II • 2 Cr.

Builds upon the concepts taught in OLS 100 to develop personal health and wellness that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Personal plans are developed and implemented. Prerequisite: OLS 100 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 102 Human Sexuality • 2 Cr.

Explores sexual attitudes, beliefs, and stereotypes within the context of the students immediate environment. Students examine adult lifestyles, sexual relationships, reproduction, and responsible sexual behavior. Prerequisite: OLS 107, 110, 111 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 104 Disability Awareness • 2 Cr.

Designed to increase awareness of different types of disabilities within our community. Individuals reflect upon their own disability and when and how to disclose this information. Prerequisite: OLS 110, 143, 170 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 105 Introduction to Communication • 2 Cr.

Covers developing and improving fundamental and effective communication skills. Includes understanding interpersonal communication, active listening, non-verbal communication and communicating purposefully in the community. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 106 Communication in the Workplace • 2 Cr.

Communication in the workplace is unique to the environment. Understanding the use of assertive language, how to manage a conflict, solve a problem, and job finding skills are all related to being an effective communicator. Career networking is introduced. Prerequisite: OLS 105 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 107 Healthy Relationships • 2 Cr.

Explores healthy and unhealthy relationships emphasizing strategies to maintain a healthy relationship in various environments. Disability disclosure in social situations is discussed. Students learn strategies to manage conflict. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program and OLS 110.

OLS 110 Learning Strategies • 2 Cr.

Presents different learning modalities and personal styles to articulate learning needs to others. Covers basic skills such as time management and organization. Students use templates and processes for effective reading and writing practices. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the program.

OLS 111 Learning Strategies in the College Environment • 2 Cr.

Covers specific methods of note taking, actively reading, researching information, writing research papers, presenting and producing effective writing and incorporating personal learning styles for success. Academic disclosure is discussed. Prerequisite: OLS 110 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 112 News and Daily Living • 3 Cr.

Discusses the types of news and how it effects your daily life. Covers the correlation between reality and representation and how various points of view enter into the elements of news and applying it into an article. Prerequisite OLS 110, 111, 140, 141 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 113 Critical Thinking through Writing • 2 Cr.

Identify and practice critical thinking strategies. Students research, analyze, and debate current social issues using argumentative and persuasive formats. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: OLS 110, 111, and 112 and acceptance into the program.

OLS 114 Critical Thinking through Media • 2 Cr.

Explores how media advertising works and why it is so successful with consumers. Analyzes the way buyers are influenced. Takes advertising and correlates it into purchase choices and personal attitudes. Prerequisite: OLS 110, 111, 112, 113 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 120 Personal Finance I • 2 Cr.

First course in the personal finance series. Students participate in developing a foundation of money management, the use of finance tools, and skills necessary for independent financial success. Prerequisite: OLS 110, 111, 140, 141 and acceptance into the program.

OLS 121 Personal Finance II • 2 Cr.

Second course in the personal finance series. Students participate in compiling a spending journal, reflecting on wants and needs that develop into a personal budget. Covers basic financial concepts, safe practices when buying an item online, use of a credit or debit card, and using a savings account. Prerequisite: OLS 120, 141 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 122 Personal Finance III • 2 Cr.

Third course in the personal finance series. Students participate in hands-on activities including creating and using their own budget and balancing accounts. Examines use of credit cards, money scams, and paycheck information. Focus is on applying personal money management knowledge in real and simulated situations to improve how to view and handle money. Prerequisite: OLS 120, 121 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 123 Environment & Our Community I • 2 Cr.

First in a three course series that address our impact on the Puget Sound, the dynamic nature of the physical environment and how people's interactions shape the world around us. Critical thinking and problem solving are used to determine sense of space. Prerequisite: OLS 110, 111, 130 and acceptance to the program.

OLS 124 Environment & Our Community II • 2 Cr.

Second in a three course series. Continues to builds awareness of the Puget Sound by engaging students in the pressing issues facing our communities. Prerequisite: OLS 123 and acceptance to the program.

OLS 125 Environment & Our Community III • 2 Cr.

Third in a three course series focusing on individual connection to place. Students explore their own relationship to the Puget Sound through the lens of service and volunteerism identifying ways they can contribute to the environmental movement. Prerequisite: OLS 124 and acceptance to the program.

OLS 126 Cultural Awareness • 2 Cr.

Increases cultural awareness both locally and globally. Students begin by reflecting on their own culture and examine how cultural diffusion effects the lens in which they see the world. Students explore how culture, gender, race, politics, and religion shape their lives and the importance of diversity. Prerequisite: OLS 111, 113, 114 and acceptance to the program.

OLS 130 Critical Thinking through Science • 2 Cr.

Introduction to the scientific inquiry methods used to develop critical thinking skills as they apply to personal and workplace situations. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 134 Social Change in America • 2 Cr.

Students examine cases of social change to understand how and why change occurs. Students identify and issue and make a plan to initiate or continue with others toward social change in their community. Prerequisite: OLS 111, 113, 114 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 136 Citizenship • 2 Cr.

Examine and debate core democratic values, compare and contrast the organization of governments of multiple countries, examine and observe laws and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, analyze the multiple histories, cultures, perspectives, contributions and/or struggles of various peoples, with focus on people with disabilities. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 140 Introduction To Computers • 2 Cr.

Develops basic skills in touch keyboarding and data entry for personal and workplace use. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 141 Computer Fundamentals • 2 Cr.

Builds on material in OLS 140 with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Includes resumes and cover letters and professional versus personal computer use. Prerequisite: OLS 140 and acceptance into the program.

OLS 142 Computer Applications in the Workplace • V1-3 Cr.

Expands on Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook material covered in OLS 141. Introduces Photoshop and basic publishing applications. Prerequisite: OLS 140 and 141 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 143 Career Portfolio • 2 Cr.

Students begin developing a career portfolio based on courses taken, adding to the document throughout the program identifying personal values and strengths. The information is used to begin a career pathway setting an initial career goal. Prerequisite: OLS 105, 106, 110 and 111 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 144 Office Procedures and Customer Service • 2 Cr.

Covers basic office skills includes filing, faxing, copying, answering telephones, and handling money and customer service skills focusing on the interaction with others and handling conflict. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 111, 141, 174 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 150 Strength & Fitness • 1 Cr.

Students use a variety of fun and innovative techniques such as resistance and cardio exercises to build endurance and core strength. Emphasis is on overall physical conditioning for both strength and flexibility using the Swiss ball tubing, and/or other equipment. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 151 Self Defense for Mind & Body • 1 Cr.

Develop body awareness with basic knowledge about and applications of self-defense including hand and foot techniques, blocks, defense zones, and the eight directional movements. Explore techniques for conflict resolution and philosophy. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 152 Tai Chi for Mind & Body • 1 Cr.

Develop body awareness with basic knowledge and applications of Tai Chi including hand and foot techniques, slow coordinated movements 1-8, meditation level 1-3, breathing techniques, and five elements 1-3. Emphasis on kinesthetic awareness, flexibility and stress reduction. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 153 Qigong for Mind & Body • 1 Cr.

Increase body awareness through basic knowledge and applications of Qigong including hand and foot techniques, slow coordinated movements, meditation, and breathing techniques. Emphasis on kinesthetic awareness of muscles and bones, flexibility, Qigong theory, and stress reduction. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 154 Martial Arts for Mind & Body • 1 Cr.

Develop body awareness with basic knowledge about and applications of martial arts including hand and foot techniques, blocks, and sequential forms. Explore techniques for conflict resolution, self-defense, increased mental awareness, kinesthetic awareness of muscles and bones, flexibility and stress reduction. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 155 Yoga for Life Balance • 1 Cr.

Covers basic Yoga postures, breathing techniques, anatomy and physiology to enhance balance, self control, self confidence, and physical competence. Emphasis is placed on integrating these elements within the individual and into his or her life. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 158 Introduction to the Theatre • 2 Cr.

Explores the theatre experience from a variety of perspectives, including the audience, the playwright, the actor, the designer, and the director. Attendance at a performance on campus is required. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 159 Introduction to Acting • 2 Cr.

Introduces the basic techniques and tools used by the actor. Moving from improvisation to scene work, students learn warm ups, theater games, vocal physical and emotional awareness, listening skills, and beginning textual analysis using objectives, obstacles and tactics. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the program.

OLS 160 Visual Thinking I • 2 Cr.

Introduces students to visual thinking using elements of design and principles of composition. The aesthetic scanning method of visual viewing is introduced and practiced. Classroom experiences cover a wide range of applied art, media and subject matter. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 161 Visual Thinking II • 2 Cr.

Continues and builds upon concepts covered in OLS 160. Focus is on art history including styles, artists, cultures, concepts and techniques. Incorporates two or three-dimensional art activities demonstrating the art history covered. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: OLS 160 or permission of instructor.

OLS 162 Podcasts • 2 Cr.

Podcasts combines acting, listening, and speech. Students practice adequate breathing and speaking to build confidence when reading scripts aloud and at the microphone. By listening to podcasts and classic radio dramas, they expand their imagination through the "theatre of the mind". Students also write scripts of their own and develop characters for recording, and learn how changes in voice tone can influence those characters. And they collaborate to create a performance ensemble, culminating in a taped podcast. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 163 Critical Thinking through Film • 2 Cr.

View and analyze a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and historical fiction films. Decode character, plot, organization, ideas, themes, imagery, cultural influences, and symbolism. Interpret implied meanings from a film and connect them with other films, stories, or events. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 164 Historical Analysis through Film • 2 Cr.

View and analyze a variety of non-fiction, and historical fiction films. Emphasis on understanding film in society to reason, evaluate, connect stories to the real world, and classify them in terms of fiction, non-fiction, and historical fiction. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 165 World Culture Analysis through Film • 2 Cr.

View and analyze a variety of non-fiction, and historical fiction films and make connections between films and world culture. Students examine and describe how films express the world in spatial terms, human interaction, and cultural uniqueness. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 166 Music Appreciation • 2 Cr.

Music is a key element of all cultures across space and time. Designed to give students an appreciation for how the finer elements of music are deeply shaped by the culture of technology and time. Offers critical thinking skills and an appreciation for multiple perspectives. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the program.

OLS 167 Mindfulness • 2 Cr.

This course will focus on the experiential foundations of mindfulness. The benefits of mindfulness for physical and emotional well-being will be explored and practiced. A review of literature, formal mindfulness practices, and informal strategies for everyday mindfulness will be practiced during class and assigned outside of class. Reflective learning practices required. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 168 Walking and Jogging • 1 Cr.

Walking and Jogging promotes fitness through walking, jogging, or a combination of both. Students will create a fitness program to strengthen the heart, tone muscles, and improve walking performance. Students will keep a journal tracking individual exercise plans and incorporates elements of physical and emotional well-being. Students will learn coping strategies that help with executive function deficits, ADHD, autism, and other learning differences. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 169 Apps and Technology • 2 Cr.

Technological applications are a mainstay in daily life and in the workplace. Understanding their use and how to apply to different situation is key for success in organizing daily life and being productive. This course will introduce the students to different apps and then they will learn to apply those apps to make life and work more accessible. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the program.

OLS 170 Self Determination • 2 Cr.

Using strengths, skills, and accomplishments students assess personal needs and accommodations. Includes effective assertive communication to have needs and accommodations considered or met. Students set measurable goals and develop an action plan. Prerequisite: OLS 105, 110 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 171 Self Determination in the Workplace • 2 Cr.

Presents methods for advocating for yourself in a professional environment during an interview, how to ask for accommodations, and ask for help as needed. Includes interviewing skills both in group and one on one situations. Covers basic knowledge of ADA, labor laws, unions, and OSHA. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 111, 170, 174, and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 172 Workplace Problem Solving • 2 Cr.

Applies problem solving techniques and strategies to various workplace situations to help students handle any difficulties. Also covers resumes, cover letters and job searching techniques. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 111, 174 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 174 Career Exploration • 3 Cr.

Continues OLS 143. Develops a career pathway from information gathered through research, career assessments, job clusters from testing results, and job site observations. Specific career goals are set with measureable outcomes. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 111, 143 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 175 Field Experience I • 6 Cr.

Combines practical work experience with course objectives. Focuses on strengthening time and task management skills, clear and professional communication and utilizing job search resources. Students are required to participate in no less than nine hours per week at their internship site. Prerequisite: OLS 171, 172, 174 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 176 Field Experience II • 6 Cr.

Examines and discusses participation and communication in the integrated internship experience. Focuses on workplace problem solving, practicing job search, practical interview techniques and portfolio assembly. Students are required to participate in no less than nine hours per week at their internship site. Prerequisite: OLS 171, 172, 174, 175 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 177 Workplace Readiness • 2 Cr.

Presents skills needed to participate professionally in the workforce. Includes securing an internship site and examines and updates professional publications. Students discuss and construct a professional network, and examine and experience current interviewing styles. Interviews are scheduled and conducted. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 171, 174 and Acceptance into the program.

OLS 179 Controversial Issues in the Workplace • 2 Cr.

Examine controversial issues in the workplace such as gender or racial discrimination, the ADA, harassment, sweatshops, and unions through case studies, related court cases and laws and current news stories. Structured to accommodate special needs learners. Prerequisite: OLS 170, 171, 172 and acceptance into the program.

OLS 180 Individual Study • 2 Cr.

Students develop a plan with a faculty advisor that includes further education, learning objectives, worksite experiences or activities, and evaluation specific to their career pathway. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 171, and OLS 174, and permission of program manager.

OLS 199 Individual Study in Occupation and Life Skills • V1-2 Cr.

Students develop a plan with a faculty advisor that includes further education, learning objectives, worksite experiences or activities, and progress and evaluation specific to their career pathway. Prerequisite: OLS 106, 171, 174 and acceptance into the program.