Upright Citizens Brigade Improvisation and Sketch Comedy Training Center

UCBT Course Catalog

Course
Catalog

Table of Contents

  1. Approved Catalog
  2. Philosophy — Mission, Goals & Objectives
  3. Hours of Operation
  4. Enrollment Policies
  5. Program Information
  6. Enrollment
  7. Evaluation
  8. Failures
  9. Make Up Work
  10. Transcripts
  11. Attendance/lateness
  12. Conduct
  13. Leaves of Absence
  14. Suspension & Termination
  15. Reinstatement
  16. Appeals
  17. Mitigating Circumstances
  18. Credit for previous training
  19. Cancellation and refund policies
  20. Complaint Procedure
  21. Procedure for obtaining a refund
  22. Calendar
  23. Tuition and fees
  24. Administration
  25. Faculty

APPROVED CATALOG

The contents of this catalog have been approved by the Board of Directors of the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center. Students are encouraged to read this approved school catalog in order to gain further insights about the Training Center and current courses that are being offered.

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PHILOSOPHY

Mission Statement

The Upright Citizens Brigade Improvisation and Sketch Comedy Training Center's mission is to foster the evolution of comedy by providing its students with the highest quality of professional training in both long form improvisation and written sketch comedy.

Through study and practice, we aspire to instill in our students a passion for the creation of their own unique comedic voice and their continual evolution as comedic performers and writers. The training center's relationship with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre enables it to serve as a laboratory for both accomplished comedians and new students to stage their craft. The Training Center enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the UCB Theatre, a major comedy venue. This allows the Training Center to use the theatre as a laboratory for new students to stage their craft.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Improvisation and Sketch Comedy Training Center (referred to for the rest of this document as the UCB Training Center) provides our students with instruction based on a distinct, proven, "game-based" improvisation and sketch writing curriculum. Our curriculum, originally developed by the UCB, is constantly reviewed and improved by some of the most respected comedians and instructors in the industry.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center is located in the heart of Manhattan, the entertainment capital of the world. In addition to its reputation as one of the most lauded comedy theaters and training grounds in the nation, our location helps us offer our students opportunities to both make valuable connections with other comedians and practice their craft onstage.

We offer our students a myriad of opportunities to learn as students, practitioners, and spectators of our style of comedy. The training center and theater work in tandem to foster this goal, most notably through our policy of allowing students free access to those shows at our theater that illustrate the concepts taught in our classes.

The UCB Training Center is committed to being a vital cultural force in the diverse performance communities of New York City, Los Angeles, and the world.

Goals & Objectives

COMEDIC METHOD

The UCB Training Center, as an institution, shall break down the basics of comedic writing and performance for our students through the teaching of a proven comedic method.

  1. By offering affordable courses on improvisational and sketch comedy, we provide our students instruction in the basics of comedic performance and writing.
  2. By ensuring opportunities to perform on our stages in New York and Los Angeles, we shall help our students hone their voices and take risks before a live audience.
  3. The faculty members of training center shall encourage our students to apply the skills they've learned from our courses in their own projects.

QUALITY INSTRUCTION

The UCB Improvisation and Sketch Comedy Training Center shall offer our students with instruction utilizing a distinct curriculum, built around our proven, game-based comedic method.

  1. All of our courses will be driven by carefully constructed curriculums built around our unique philosophy on comedy.
  2. The principles and rules taught in our courses will help students to better consistently produce comedic material, both when writing and improvising.
  3. Our course curriculums will be periodically reviewed and improved by our faculty adviser and senior faculty members.
  4. Changes and improvement to our course curriculums will be driven in part by feedback from our student body.
  5. The instruction students receive as they move through our core curriculum will be fluid, with lessons organically building on the skills and concepts taught in earlier courses.
  6. The instructors of higher-level courses shall be dedicated to helping our advanced students improve as individual writers and performers.

RESEARCH

The UCB Training Center shall be dedicated to using research as a means to constantly improve our instruction and the learning experience for our students.

  1. The Academic Supervisor will review historic, current, and new comedic content related to the performance or instruction of improvisation and sketch writing in order to make improvements and adjustments to our curriculum.
  2. Students in the improv program will be encouraged to make research a part of their learning experience by reading selected instructional books in conjunction with their courses.
  3. Instructors in the writing program shall refer to and present celebrated sketch comedy in class and will encourage their students to improve their own writing by viewing as much sketch as possible.
  4. The UCB Training Center shall be home to a library of books, magazines and other publications written about comedy performance, writing, acting, directing, etc.

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

The UCB Training Center shall uphold its belief that performance is an essential part of training for comedy writers and performers.

  1. Our belief in the importance of learning as active practitioners of the comedic arts will be reflected in the many performance opportunities given to current and former students that the UCB Theatre.
  2. Most courses in improvisation and sketch shall include at least one performance on the UCB Theatre Main Stage.
  3. Some former and current advanced students shall be given a chance to perform regularly on house teams as a part of Harold Night (for improvisers) and Maude Night (for writers and sketch actors.)
  4. Students of the writing program shall be encouraged to workshop their material in exhibition slots set aside specifically for them on our main stage.
  5. Students of the improvisation program who take it upon themselves to create new improvised shows shall be able to submit these shows for consideration to the Artistic Director. Many of these shows shall be given exhibition slots on the main stage.
  6. The theater hosts shall continue to hold monthly open-mic nights for improvisation and sketch so that students can perform with different people in front of an audience.

CONNECTIONS

The UCB Training Center shall remain committed to maintaining our reputation as a meeting ground for working professionals in comedy.

  1. Many students shall be given unique opportunities to perform for the casting directors, agents, managers, and other industry professionals who also frequently attend shows at our main stage.
  2. The Training Center is committed to ensuring that many of its graduates and current teachers are working comedy professionals who will maintain connections with the Training Center, returning to either teach or perform at the Theatre.
  3. Those studying at the UCB Training center shall be able to benefit from the excellent reputation we have established among working professionals in the entertainment industry.

COMMUNITY

The UCB Training Center shall remain devoted to remaining the center of a thriving community of performers and students of comedy.

  1. The staff of the UCB Training Center shall continue to work in order to ensure the Training Center's reputation as a destination for like-minded individuals who are serious about receiving professional training in comedy to meet each other.
  2. The presence of the administrative offices on site at the training center will help reinforce our open-door policy in regards to communication between our students, staff and administration.
  3. Our on-site student lounge shall continue to foster a sense of community by serving as a meeting place for all students and teachers, regardless of level.
  4. Students shall be offered free admission to many of the improv and sketch shows at our theater, making it another place for all members of the community to interact.
  5. Our open mic shows, :improv jams," and shows where students can apply to perform shall continue to cultivate a community where most students feel that they belong.

SELF-EXPRESSION

The Training Center shall make one of its primary objectives to help our students learn how to use our methods to develop their own comedic voices.

  1. Our courses in improvisation and writing shall serve as laboratories for our students to experiment with their own ideas and performance or writing style.
  2. Our teaching staff shall actively encourage our student body to use our proven methods to create new, unique, and original comedy.
  3. We shall be dedicated to offering quality instruction to everyone interested in learning the basics of comedy writing and performing, helping those people who may not necessarily be interested in making a career out of comedy find ways to express themselves.

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HOURS OF OPERATION

The UCB Training Center, located at 145 West 30th Street, 4th Floor, is open for operation from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturday, and from 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm on Sunday.

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ENROLLMENT POLICIES

All students applying to enroll in entry level classes at the Training Center will first have to fill out our enrollment agreement, either on paper or online, stating that they understand all of the following:

  1. That they have signed the enrollment policy and, by doing so, are agreeing to our terms and conditions.
  2. Students must be 18 years old. (16 and 17 year olds need permission from a parent in writing.)
  3. Student has agreeed to pay full tuition price for the course. Placement is not secure until payment is received.
  4. Students must attend the full duration of the course
  5. Students are expected to see at least two live improvisation or sketch comedy performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre during the duration of their course. (eight week courses only)
  6. Students must be on time to class.
  7. Students agree that they will be held financially responsible for a portion of the course tuition should they decide to drop the course within a week of its first session (see Tuition & Fees)
  8. Students agree to adhere to the expected behavior outlined in our code of conduct.

For higher-level courses, students must also meet all stated prerequisites and, in some cases, receive approval from the instructor before gaining admittance to the class.

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PROGRAM INFORMATION

The Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center offers two programs of study: Improvisation and Sketch Comedy.

Improvisation Program

The Improvisation Program is designed to teach our students about the basics of long-form improvisation. Long-form improvisation is a performance in which a group of people mutually creates interconnected scenes, on the spot, from a single audience suggestion.

Our Improvisation Program teaches our students to build these scenes around "the game." The concept of "the game" is central to the method taught in our program. "The game" is the single, specific comedic idea that makes a scene funny. We teach our students how to work together to discover that specific idea and then explore it as many different ways as they can imagine throughout the course of one improvised scene.

The goal of the Improvisation Program is to teach our students how to work as a group to use "the game" to perform the original long-form improv performance piece called "the Harold." The Harold is a series of interconnected scenes inspired by a single suggestion. Characters, ideas, and themes appear and reappear throughout the piece and eventually connect, completing the piece.

The Improvisation Program is comprised of four core courses, Improv 101, 201, 301, and 401. In order to complete the Improvisation Program, students must successfully complete all four of the core courses.

In addition to the core courses we also offer instructor-driven, master class courses, as well as performance workshops in which students learn and or create a unique form of improvisation.

We also offer various special workshops in improvisation. These workshops cover a diverse range of topics and can be anywhere from one day workshops to four-week sessions.

Sketch Comedy Program

Our Sketch Comedy Program is designed to give our students instruction on the basics they need to write and refine short, comedic scenes. These scenes are built around "the game," a single, specific comedic idea. Our core sketch courses expose students to a variety written sketch formats.

Our sketch courses are designed to help our students develop a writing portfolio, the discipline to rewrite their work, and their individual voice. Our courses also allow our students to experience writing in a professional environment, giving them an opportunity to both give feedback to others, as well as incorporate feedback into their own work.

The goal of the Sketch Comedy program is to teach our writing students to take their pieces from first draft, all the way through a staged sketch performance.

We offer advanced and elective courses in specialized areas of writing that include writing a one person show, writing in the style of Saturday Night Live, sitcom writing, and preparing a writing packet.

IMPROVISATION PROGRAM — COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Improv 101 — Improv Basics

Students will learn the fundamentals of long-form improvisation. Core concepts covered include using character agreement to make your scenes succeed, developing character, character status, object and environment work, “playing at the top of your intelligence,” and heightening (finding ways to make your scenes get funnier from start to finish).

This course also introduces the specific vocabulary of the UCB Training Center.

This course meets for 8 sessions that are each 3 hours long. At the end of the course, students will take part in a class performance, generally held at the UCB Theatre. Graduation is also contingent upon students seeing at least two improvised shows at the UCB Theater before the end of the course.

Class Size: 16 Students


Improv 201 — Game of the Scene

Prerequisites: Completion of Improv 101 within previous two years

The UCB Theatre Training Center bases their curriculum around the idea that all quality individual comedic scenes focus in on one central comedic idea – this idea is referred to as “The Game” of the scene.

This course will focus on teaching students how to use the idea of “The Game” to create their improvised scenes. Students will be taught how to identify “games” within their scenes, and how to use the concept of heightening to properly play out their scenes once they have them. (Heightening is finding new ways to make your scenes get funnier from start to finish.) The class will heavily focus on learning how to use patterns to fill out comedic scenes based around one central “game.”

Students will also be introduced to the idea of “second beats,” or returning to scenes, characters, and concepts from earlier in an improvised piece.

This course meets for 8 sessions that are each 3 hours long. At the end of the course, students will take part in a class performance, generally held at the UCB Theatre. Graduation is also contingent upon students seeing at least two improvised shows at the UCB Theater before the end of the course.

Class Size: 16 Students


Improv 301 — Harold Structure

Prerequisites: Successful Completion of Improv 201 within previous two years

If you took Improv 201 in January 2010 or later, you cannot enroll in this course until you receive written notice that you have successfully completed Improv 201. If 10 days have passed since your graduation performance and you have not received this information, please email the registrar at [email protected] for NY classes or lindsay[email protected] for LA classes.

This course introduces students to the long form improvisation structure known as “The Harold,” developed by Del Close.

In the first four weeks, students will study “Group Games”, scenes that involve multiple performers. Instruction will focus on teaching students a number of different ways to approach performing these group scenes. They will also study a variety of “Openings”, which are stylized methods of using an audience’s suggestion to generate enough content to support a half hour long improvised performance piece.

In the second four weeks of the course, students will put all of the techniques learned in Improvisation 101, 201, and the first four weeks of 301 into action by putting together fully formed Harolds.

This course meets for three hours a week for eight sessions. At the end of the course, students will take part in a class performance, generally held at the UCB Theatre. Graduation is also contingent upon students seeing at least two improvised shows at the UCB Theater before the end of the course.

Class Size: 16 Students


Improv 401 — Harold Workshop

Prerequisites: Completion of Improv 301 within previous two years

Improv 401 serves as the end official \"end\" of our improv program. This course offers students the chance to strengthen their individual skills while giving them more practice with the long form improvisation performance known as the Harold. Additionally, the course will introduce new openings and exercises about playing without fear, emphasizing group ownership, and bringing more of themselves to their scene work.

One goal of the course is to help students perform stronger scenes. The instructor will use the first half of the course to identify and troubleshoot any weaknesses that the individual players may be demonstrating.

The other goal of the course is to allow students to continue to perform full Harolds. The instructor will use \"side-coaching,\" or feedback given during an improvised piece as it is happening, in order to facilitate success in the students\' improvised scenes. The instructor will also give notes after each performance in order to enhance and improve the quality of future performances.

This course meets for three hours a week for eight weeks. Students will perform in two class performances, generally held at the UCB Theatre – once halfway through the course and once at the end. Graduation is also contingent upon students seeing at least two improvised shows at the UCB Theater before the end of the course.


SKETCH COMEDY PROGRAM — COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Sketch 101 — Sketch Comedy Writing

This course is an introduction to the UCB philosophy on sketch comedy, specifically using “the game” to write short comedic scenes. Each week students will engage in writing exercises that will explore different sketch formats. Students will be exposed to different methods for turning funny ideas into even funnier written sketches. Students will leave the class with an understanding of popular sketch formats and a portfolio of writing.

No prior sketch writing experience is necessary – the only requirement for this class is a desire to write and learn. Students should be prepared to work outside of class, preparing sketches for presentation in every class. Students will be required to see two live sketch shows before the end of the course.

Class Size: 12 Students


Sketch 201 — Developing Professional Tools

Prerequisites: Completion of Sketch 101 within previous two years

This class will help you foster your individual voice as a writer as you are held to weekly writing deadlines. This class will offer you opportunities to pitch ideas to others and collaborate with other students on assignments in class. You will also get to hone individual pieces through rewriting.

Students must bring a sketch to the FIRST session of class. This sketch should be no longer than four pages. This first sketch should be written utilizing the concept of the \"Game of the Scene,\" taught in Sketch 101. Students should be prepared to devote time outside of class to completing new writing assignments for every session.

The class will end with each student receiving individual feedback from the instructor on their own sketch packet.

Students will be required to see two live sketch shows before the end of the course.

Class Size: 10 Students

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Enrollment

Courses in improvisation and sketch comedy programs are offered on a rolling basis.

Most courses meet in the evening, once a week. There are also some courses available in the afternoons.

On occasion, our training center will offer special intensive classes that meet multiple times a week over the course of one to four weeks.

All course enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are responsible for choosing the course date and time that fits into their schedule. Courses are generally offered by demand.

For the full list of courses currently enrolling, please visit our website at ucbtrainingcenter.com

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Evaluation

Students are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Students do not receive formal grades. Promotion to the next level is contingent on the following criteria: attendance, seeing shows, and a demonstration of course concepts through application in performance or writing.

Students are allowed two absences per course, with no guarantee of make-up classes. If a student misses a third class, he or she will be dropped from the course and have to repeat the level.

Students are expected to attend two live performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre during the course of their class. These performances provide students with an opportunity to see course concepts put into action, and are considered a vital supplement to their work in class. Improv students must see improvised shows and sketch students must see written shows. Students who fail to meet the two show requirement will be forced to repeat the level.

The instructor evaluates students throughout the course. Instructors look for the demonstration of an understanding or the application of core concepts from each student during in-class performances. Students demonstrate their understanding through discussion or the application of these concepts in improvised scenes for improv classes, and in their writing for sketch classes.

The instructor uses proficiency checklists to keep track of each student's progress with course concepts. If the instructor feels that a student has not demonstrated a passable understanding of the concepts, the student will not be promoted. These students will be instructed to repeat the level (or another lower level course) if they want to continue their studies at the UCB Training Center.

The Training Center Manager will notify students who do not meet necessary promotional criteria via e-mail. Students are given specific reasons why they have not been promoted. They are told what specific skills and concepts they need remediation in. A specific course is recommended for remediation in these areas.

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FAILURES

Students who fail to meet attendance and show requirements are subject to failure. Three absences or a failure to attend two performances pertaining to their course of study will result in failure. In these instances, students are allowed to repeat the level.

Students who exhibit inappropriate conduct as described in this catalogue may also be removed from the class and receive a failing grade. The Academic Supervisor, Training Center Manager and Managing Director will review the studentÕs behavior through interviews with both student and instructor in order to determine if the student will be allowed to enroll in future classes at the Training Center.

Instructors are expected to fail any student that they feel demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of basic course concepts. In order for a student to receive a failing grade, the student's abilities should be on a remedial level such that they would be hindering the progress of their peers if promoted. In these instances, decisions made by the instructor are final. The Training Center Manager will notify students of failure via e-mail.

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MAKE-UP WORK

Make-up classes are not guaranteed. Make up classes are NOT MANDATORY in order to pass.

The UCB Training Center will accommodate students for up to two make up classes. Students who need to miss more than two classes will be asked to repeat that course level. Students should not enroll in a class if they know that they will have to miss more than two of the sessions.

Students who are given make-up classes will be placed in another class at the same level, covering the curriculum that they missed when absent. If a corresponding make-up class is not available, the student will not be able to make up the class. Classes are considered "closed" to make-up students once two extra students have been placed into a class.

Scheduling a make-up class is the student's responsibility. If the student does not contact the Training Center in a timely fashion, the make-up request may be denied. As soon as a student knows that they have to miss a class, they should contact the Training Center Manager by telephone.

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TRANSCRIPTS

The Training Center maintains online student transcripts, permanent attendance records, personal information, and other records, as applicable, in order to keep record of the progress of each individual student who studies with the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center.

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ATTENDANCE/LATENESS

Students are expected to attend all eight classes. Two absences are allowed in the event of an emergency or scheduling conflicts. In order to maintain class integrity and foster a sense of ensemble among students, no more than two absences are allowed.

Upon a third absence, the student in question will be removed from the course and asked to repeat the level if they plan on continuing their studies at the Training Center. Students who are removed from a course before the fourth class are eligible for a partial refund.

Students are also allowed to appeal their removal from the course by contacting the Training Center Manager by telephone. Circumstances that could result in having the removal waived include documented death in the family, severe injury or illness, etc. The decision to reinstate a student is solely up to the discretion of the Training Center Manager. If the student is reinstated, a third make up class will be made available to them.

Prompt attendance is required from all students. Students are encouraged to make it to their classes on time so that they can participate in all warm-up exercises prior to the performance of scenes and other exercises. When students arrive, the instructor needs to explain exercises and concepts again. This is considered to be too disruptive to be allowed.

The instructor will not allow students in who arrive more than fifteen minutes late to a class. The class will then be counted towards one of the student's allowed absences. A student who arrives more than fifteen minutes late to class on three occasions will be dropped from the course.

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CONDUCT

Every student of the UCB Training Center has a right to learn and practice his or her craft in an open, non-threatening, creative environment. The Training Center is strongly committed to fostering a sense of community and all students, teachers, and administrators should respect each other as peers in this community.

The UCB Training Center considers itself a forum for the open exchange of ideas. All students have the right to express themselves without a fear of censorship or judgment. Exploration of content dealing with race, gender, sexuality, etc. is allowed, although we aim for such content to be dealt with in a creative, intelligent manner and never in the spirit of hurtfulness or mockery.

If a student is ever uncomfortable with the subject matter displayed, performed or referenced or is given an assignment that makes them uncomfortable, they may choose not to participate.

In order to create an open, non-threatening, creative environment, students are asked to agree to certain ground rules in regard to class conduct before enrolling in a class.

Inappropriate class conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consumption of drugs, alcohol, or use of tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) during class
  • Wanton destruction of physical class space, which includes but is not limited to the walls, chairs, lights, doors, and other Training Center property
  • Inappropriate verbal, physical or sexual conduct with others students or the class instructor.
  • Bringing uninvited guests to class

Additionally, students are asked to help foster a creative and supportive learning environment without distractions. Since long form thrives off of support, students are asked to support their fellow classmates while in class by abstaining from eating, writing or reading text messages, using cellular phones, or talking while fellow classmates or teachers are talking.

Inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated and will result in suspension and removal from class.

In the event of any dangerous, criminal, or violent behavior at the Training Center or related facilities will result in termination. Termination is final and the student will not be permitted to take any further classes at the UCB Training Center.

Students who wish to appeal their removal from class should follow the appeals procedure.

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LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Requests for a leave of absence may be approved by the Training Center Manager if the student demonstrates that such a leave is imperative. Requests must be submitted in writing to the school director.

Leaves are granted for only serious reasons, at the discretion of the Academic Supervisor. A leave of absence will be granted for serious illness or injury if the student can provide a doctor's note. Leaves of absence will also be granted in the event of a death in the student's family, provided that the student can provide any requested information. Other circumstances are dealt with on a case-to-case basis. Decisions in these other circumstances will be made at the discretion of the Training Center Manager and the Academic Supervisor.

If the leave is approved, the student, upon his or her return, will be placed in a course at the same level in which he or she left. The student will be expected to start this new course over at the first session, regardless of how far along the student was in the previous course when the leave of absence began.

If the student has not participated in a UCB Training Center course within the past two years, the student should contact the Training Center Manager to see which level they will be re-admitted to.

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SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION

A student may be subject to suspension or termination if they demonstrate any inappropriate conduct as described in this catalog. Students may also be removed from class if the Training Center staff is notified of any threatening or inappropriate interaction with other students or instructors outside of class or off campus. Any such alleged incident of inappropriate behavior happening on or off campus that is reported by an instructor or another student will be reviewed the Training Center Manager and Academic Supervisor. Suspension or termination in these instances will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Based on the specific circumstances of an incident, a student will either be placed on suspension or terminated from his or her program of study.

If a student is placed on suspension, they will have an opportunity to appeal their suspension in writing. If they fail to do so or if their appeal is denied, they will be placed on academic suspension and will be unable to attend class for one full calendar year from the time of the incident.

In the event of any dangerous, criminal, or violent behavior, the student will simply be terminated from the school. Termination is final and the student will not be permitted to take any further classes at the UCB Training Center.

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REINSTATEMENT

In order to be considered for timely reinstatement of active status after termination, the student must initiate the appeal process, described on page 17 of this catalog. All appeals must be put in writing. All appeals are to be reviewed by the Academic Supervisor and the Managing Director of the Training Center. The student will be notified of his or her reinstatement via e-mail four to six weeks after the Training Center administrative staff receives the appeal. If the student's appeal is granted, he or she may be unconditionally reinstated and will be allowed to register for courses in the upcoming cycle.

If a student is placed on academic suspension, he or she will be able to return to class after one full calendar year, barring any further action on the student's behalf that could result in suspension or termination.

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APPEALS

Students who have been terminated or placed on suspension are eligible to appeal. Students wishing to appeal must act in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • All appeals must be sent in writing to the Managing Director either by e-mail or directly to the Training Center. The written appeal should contain the student's full name, phone number, and e-mail address.
  • Appeals should clearly state the reason(s) for unsatisfactory process or behavior.
  • The student must appeal within 7 days of the negative action.

The Managing Director and Academic Supervisor will review the student's appeal and respond in writing with a decision within four to six weeks after receiving the appeal. Decisions reached by the Academic Supervisor and Managing Director are final and not subject to further review.

If the student's appeal has been approved, the student may continue conditionally at the Training Center for the upcoming cycle. If the appeal has been denied, the student will be dropped from any courses he or she is enrolled in for current cycle. If the student has registered for courses in the upcoming cycle, the Training Center will automatically withdraw the student from those courses and give the student a full refund.

If the student does not choose to write an appeal within 30 days, he or she will be placed on academic suspension and may not attend classes for one full calendar year.

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MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

In order to successfully appeal a negative action, in some cases the student will have to demonstrate that there were "mitigating circumstances" which interfered with the student's progress at school. Mitigating circumstances must fall within the following guidelines:

  • The circumstances were temporary in nature.
  • The circumstances were beyond the student's immediate control (health problems, death in the family, etc.)
  • The circumstances are to be appropriately resolved by the time the negative action is to be lifted.
  • In the judgment of the Managing Director and the Academic Supervisor, the student has demonstrated an understanding of the inappropriate nature of the behavior that resulted in his or her suspension, and he or she has expressed a desire, willingness, and ability to change this behavior.

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CREDIT FOR PREVIOUS TRAINING

Students who have studied comedic acting and writing at other institutions are welcome to apply for advanced standing. The Training Center Manager and Academic Supervisor will review all cases on an individual basis.

Advanced standing allows experienced students to skip improvisation level 101 and begin the program in 201. The vocabulary and core concepts taught in improv 201 are unique to the UCB Training Center and every student in our student body must take it.

Advanced standing will only be granted to students who have studied extensively at institutions the UCB Training Center deems to have a similar style and comedic vision. The institutions in question must meet the same standards of quality and educational integrity we strive for at the UCB Training Center. Currently, the UCBT offers advanced standing to students who have studied at IO Chicago, IO West, and the Second City. All previous students of these schools must still apply for advanced standing. Students of other institutions may also apply for advanced standing; their experiences will be reviewed and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The UCB Training Center reserves the right to contact the administrative staff of those other institutions that students cite when applying for advanced standing to seek reports and opinions on the student's previous experiences.

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CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES

If a student wishes to withdraw from a course, they should inform the Training Center Manager immediately. Refunds may be issued for courses upon student withdrawal under the following provisions:

8 Week Courses

  • A full refund (minus the $25 processing fee) is available only when withdrawal notification is received by noon (12pm) three days prior to the start of the course. For example, refund requests for a Monday night class must be received by Wednesday at noon. Requests for Saturday or Sunday classes would have to be received by Tuesday at noon.
  • Withdrawal from a course between noon three days prior to the start of the course and noon of the preceding business day will incur an additional rush processing fee of $25. For example, if you request a refund for a Monday night class on the preceding Wednesday night, you will receive a refund for the cost of the course minus $50.
  • Withdrawal from a course after noon of the preceding business day will incur an emergency rush processing fee of $85. For example, if you request withdrawal from a Monday night course on Friday at 3pm, you will be reimbursed for the price of the course minus $110.
  • For withdrawal after the start of the first session of the class, students will receive 60% of the tuition.
  • For withdrawal after the start of the second session of the class, students will receive 45% of the tuition.
  • For withdrawal after the start of the third session of the class, students will receive 30% of the tuition.

After the fourth class, there are NO Refunds or Partial Credits.

Intensives and Advanced Study

  • A full refund (minus the $25 processing fee) is available only when withdrawal notification is received by noon (12pm) three days prior to the start of the course. For example, refund requests for a Monday night class must be received by Wednesday at noon. Requests for Saturday or Sunday classes would have to be received by Tuesday at noon.
  • Withdrawal from a course between noon three days prior to the start of the course and noon of the preceding business day will incur an additional rush processing fee of $25. For example, if you request a refund for a Monday night class on the preceding Wednesday night, you will receive a refund for the cost of the course minus $50.
  • THERE IS NO REFUND AVAILABLE if you request a withdrawal from a course after noon of the preceding business day to the start of class. Withdrawal requests for weekend classes must be received by noon on the preceding Friday.

1-2 day workshops, Practice Sessions

Because of their lower price, most workshops are non-refundable.

Switching Classes

If a course has not started and the student wants to switch into a different section of the course that has also not started, the student may do so. The student will still be held to the provisions of the Refund Policy. In some circumstances, the student will have to pay a monetary penalty to switch.

Once the course has started the student cannot switch into a different section.

For extenuating circumstances concerning cancellation and refund policies, the student should contact the Training Center Manager.

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COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Any student who feels discriminated against or wronged in any way, be it by a fellow student, an instructor, or any employee of the training center has the right to file a written complaint within seven days of the alleged violation.

All complaints must be in writing.

The Academic Supervisor and Training Center Manager shall maintain a written record of each complaint that is made. The Academic Supervisor shall also send the complainant an e-mail acknowledging the complaint and requesting further information if necessary

The Academic Supervisor shall, within 14 days of receipt of such complaint, commence an investigation of the alleged violation and shall, within 30 days of the receipt of such written complaint, issue a written finding. The Academic Supervisor will interview all persons involved and, if necessary, disciplinary action will be taken against any faculty, staff members, or students involved and found in violation of school policy.

The Academic Supervisor shall furnish the findings of the investigation to the person who filed the complaint and to the staff members or other students cited in the complaint. Once a resolution is reached all parties involved will be notified.

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PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A REFUND

All refund requests must be in writing.

Students seeking a refund or a partial refund, assuming that their withdrawal from class follows all provisions outlined in our Cancellation and Refund Policies, should either call or send an e-mail to the Training Center Manager as soon as they have decided to withdrawal. The Training Center Manager will act on each refund request within 30 days of such request.

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CALENDAR

The Training Center is closed:

New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th, Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving and the following weekend.

Classes are not offered the last two weeks of December, resuming January 2nd.

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TUITION AND FEES

Most eight-week courses at the Training Center are offered at $400 for the eight-session courses. Some courses that involve extra costs may charge a higher tuition.

Most four-session courses are offered at $175 for the four-week session.

One-day optional practice sessions are periodically offered to level 101-301 improv students. Students pay $10 for each individual three-hour practice session.

Special workshops, seminars, and other events are priced based on the nature of the individual event. These prices will be announced upon confirmation of the event and will be made public at our facility and at our website.

Failure to withdrawal from a course within three days to the start of the first class will incur a $45 administration fee.

There are no other charges or fees beyond course tuition at the training center.

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ADMINISTRATION

Alex Sidtis, Managing Director

Joe Wengert, Academic Supervisor
Will Hines, Associate Academic Supervisor
Erik Tanouye, Director of Student Affairs
Dylan Snowden, Registrar
Joey Price, Assistant Registrar

Curriculum Committee: Alex Sidtis, Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Michael Delaney, Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Anthony King, Shannon O'Neill, Charlie Todd, Joe Wengert

Curriculum Committee members attend curriculum development meetings, provide feedback and suggestions for changes and updates to the curricula, and work with the Faculty Advisor to create new curricula.

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