ICAF Classes



FA001     Culture & Diversity 

Social patterns in the United States are undergoing rapid change. Our citizenship has become increasingly diverse as people move here from all over the world. In this course we will explore issues relating to these changing demographics. Through assigned readings, written exercises, exams, and a final project, we will examine such issues as culture shock, adaptation, channeling behavior, and the arts as a bridge as we look at the systems of culture, the experience of our lived differences, and the impact this has on clients, creative arts facilitators/therapists, and healthcare services.


FA002     Group Process & Creative Arts for Facilitators

In this course students examine group dynamics and the group experience in a variety of creative arts settings. Basic principles are reviewed with a focus on the process and  application of group creative arts approaches in non-clinical settings. Areas of focus include methods, skills, the role of the facilitator, group participant roles, and understanding group dynamics.


FA003     Human Growth & Development Across the Lifespan 

The focus of student work is the study and exploration of normal human growth and development across the lifespan. Through various theoretical lenses we will examine the milestones, developmental tasks, and life changes that take place from the neonatal stage through end of life. Areas of focus include the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development during infancy, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle years, and later life, and the issues we face during these stages.


FA004     Required Reading

ICAF certification training has a required reading component. All candidates must enroll in Required Reading (the online course) in order to complete the reading work. Each Required Reading title has an assigned writing component that students must complete—but only for titles that were not read as part of another online CELA course:

  • The Origins of Music, Wallin, Merker, & Brown
  • The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa
  • The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists, Mary Jane Jacob & Michelle Grabner
  • The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes
  • Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith, and what to Eat for Dinner, Ellen Kanner
  • Tending the Soul’s Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times, Denise Rushing
  • Chinese Gardens, Lou Qingxi
  • A Handful of Quiet, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh

Prerequisite: you must be accepted into the ICAF Certification Program or have permission from the Director to take this course


FA005     Art Entwined with Life 

In this course students will pause and examine the intersection of self, brain, soul, and the creative arts. Each week we’ll focus on a specific creative arts area and artist, their life, and their work as we explore the elements and connections of self involved in creating art and in our communication through the arts. Together we will review and consider how our brains participate in the experience of the arts, how we perceive and engage in the arts through all our senses, and the intrinsic significance of the arts as a positive catalyst for deep learning, insight, and growth.

FA006     Facilitation Skills 1: Supporting Populations through the Creative Arts

In this class ICAF candidates will examine various populations, their emotional, health, and developmental needs, and how best to support these individuals and groups through the creative arts.  Facilitation Skills 1 is the first step in laying the foundation for the students’ fieldwork experience (which is done in Facilitation Skills 2) and their professional work as creative arts facilitators.

Prerequisites: (1) successful completion of all General Education courses; (2) successful completion of required reading titles as marked above that need to be read and writing assignments completed prior to enrolling in this class; (3) successful completion of required Arts Area coursework.   


FA007     Facilitation Skills 2: Putting it all Together  

ICAF certification has a 37.5 hour fieldwork component with 50 hours of individual supervision that are required. Fieldwork is conducted at CELA-approved sites. Students must enroll in FA007 in order to complete their supervised fieldwork.

Prerequisite: successful completion of FA006 Facilitation Skills 1: Supporting Populations through the Creative Arts





AA001   Exploring the Aural 1 

Beginning with music fundamentals, (pitch, rhythm, meter, themes, harmony, consonance, dissonance, etc.,) and moving to more advanced concepts of sound and semiotics, students will examine music of various genres, time periods, and cultures through the lenses of western aesthetics and their own subjective responses, building and developing their understanding of what music is, its language, and its purpose.


AA002    Exploring the Aural 2 

Building on concepts learned and explored in Aural 1, this course examines the environment of sound, its purpose, its meaning, and our perceptions. Through assigned readings and listening experiences, students will examine specific sound effects and aspects of music in such terms as musical aesthetics, acoustics, urbanism, sociology, and textual and media expressions, as they deepen and expand their understanding of the language of music within the culture of sound.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Aural 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA003    Exploring the Visual 1 

In this course students will examine visual arts, their nature, function, and relationship in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, and graphics. Through course readings, written assignments, and live artwork visits, students will explore visual perception while considering elements of design including but not limited to composition, medium, line, shape, scale, contrast, movement, texture, color, style.


AA004    Exploring the Visual 2 

Continuing the exploration of the visual arts begun in Visual 1, students will focus more closely on the language of the visual arts as it pertains to perception and design. Through readings, writing assignments, and in-person artwork visits, students will explore various aspects of perception, the artists’ mediums, how we make meaning through the visual arts, our  interrelationship with the natural and built environments and the arts and how they impact our experience of the visual arts. Students will consider these relationships and the multiple layers of conversation between artist, medium, artwork, and audience.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Visual 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA005    The Work of the Writer 1

In this creative wrting course students will explore various elements of craft. Through the lens of different genres, we will focus on creative writing craft areas including authentic voice, symbolism, characters and characterization, narrative structure, and point of view. Engaging with assigned creative reading texts, assigned listening/sound experientials, assigned videos, and through their own writing, students will explore how different techniques are used to construct narratives, make meaning, and relate and interrelate with the world around them in such genres as creative nonfiction, poetry, short story, myths & fairy tales, detective fiction, children’s literature, memoir, film, and sound. Students will be given weekly writing assignments and be provided with opportunities to workshop their creative writing output.


AA007    Detective Fiction

This course examines detective fiction, its history, the Golden Age, and some of its most influential authors. Assigned readings may include such authors as Wilkie Collins, E.C. Bentley, Josephine Tey, Arthur W. Upfield, Gervase Fen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. James. Students will explore predominant types of detective fiction, main formats, and the characteristics of the genre with special attention to conventions, culture, rule breakers, how authors’ lived experiences influence their work, stylistic components, and the writer’s process.

Prerequisite: successful completion of AA005 Work of the Writer: Elements of Craft 1  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA008     Exploring the Culinary 1: Foundations

Exploring the Culinary 1 provides students with foundational information about the role of food and the sharing of meals in our lives as well as indifferent cultures. Students examine food from an historical perspective and through the lens of various food journalists / food authors and chefs that includes our relationship with food as well as the role of food in society.


AA009     Exploring the Culinary 2: Changing the World with Food   

In this class students will explore the lives and work of several chefs and food specialists whose passion, skill, knowledge, and dedication are impacting our world in significant ways. Chefs include but are not limited to Diana Kennedy, Alice Waters, Jose Andres, Claudia Roden. Through a close look at their lives and work, students will be given opportunities to explore sample menus and prepare dishes as they dive deeply into various philosophies about food and the impact of our food choices on an individual and global basis.

Prerequisite: successful completion of AA008 Exploring the Culinary 1: Foundations


AA999      Individualized Focus 

In this option CELA will create a class that meets CELA standards and program goals and has an arts area of focus for which there is no other CELA online course available.  Currently, arts areas CELA would consider this option for are: horticulture arts and movement arts. Should a request and application for this option be approved, students must allow approximately 3 Sessions for the course to be created.  Contact us for further information.

Prerequisite: departmental approval


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CELA courses support each student’s personal, academic, and professional growth through individualized mentoring and positive student-instructor relationships.