Python for Beginners

  • course details
  • Dates and time: 6 – 8 p.m., two evenings per week, October 2024 (dates to be announced), registration in September
  • Location: Online, instructor-led live sessions
  • Number of sessions: 8 sessions
  • Instructional fee: $995, reduced fees available (see Cost section below for details)
  • Format: Zoom videoconference

Computers are immensely powerful tools but programming them can feel daunting. In this class, you will use the Python programming language to explore the basics of programming. You will get a solid foundation, think about computational problems programmatically and learn to make the computer work for you.

If you are ready to learn programming and want to start developing Python programs, this course is for you!

What you will learn

  • How to write Python programs
  • How to perform basic data processing tasks in Python
  • How to think programmatically about solving problems

What are graduates saying?

"Course was excellent, covered the basics of what I think it would take to get started with python in a work environment"

"Professor is great! He is a fun teacher to learn from. Even when the python was out of my league, I could pick up and understand what he was talking about"

"PACE is amazing. I work 40-60 hours a week and have kids. PACE makes additional education easy for me"

Who should attend

Anyone who would like to establish a foundation in programming in a widely used language, so they can put their computer to work solving problems and crunching data.

Course content

A typical course covers the following:

  1. Intro session — Program overview, setting up Python, basics of variables and types
  2. Logic, flow control and loops
  3. Arrays, dictionaries and data organization
  4. Functions and breaking down problems
  5. Object-oriented design, classes
  6. Interacting with files, basic data processing
  7. Python modules
  8. Python for automation and other fun things

Applied learning model

  • In- class examples and exercises focused on real-world tasks
  • A variety of “take home” problems to (optionally) practice between classes

Student materials

  • Course materials will be provided electronically
  • All required software is available for download for free
  • You will need an environment with Python 3.9
  • Setting up such an environment will be covered during the first class


Paul Bonamy

Paul Bonamy holds a Doctorate in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University, where he focused on computer security. He teaches a variety of computer science courses at WSU Vancouver. Originally from Michigan, he still doesn’t understand how one can have “winter” without snow.


The instructional fee is $995. There are limited number of seats available for employees of small businesses with fewer than 150 employees ($498), non-profits and educational institutions ($249), and for current WSU students ($100) and employees ($249). All instructional fees are per person and include a nonrefundable administrative fee of $75. See Registration for details.

The registration fee is the same regardless of residence.

Meetings and format

The course is delivered via Zoom videoconference with live instruction. To attend, you need a computer with webcam, microphone and high-speed internet.

Each Zoom session allows for live interactions with the instructor and other students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Assignments and other materials will be available online through a web-based learning management system.

Certificate completion

  • Attend at least six of eight sessions