Instructor Interview: Lourdes Venard

What course(s) do you teach in the UCSD Extension Copyediting Certificate program?

I teach Copyediting I, Copyediting II, Copyediting III, and the Business of Copyediting. I’m also creating a new course on AP (Associated Press) style and am the lead instructor for the program. A few years ago we began revamping the program, adding more lessons and resources to each class; I’ve either restructured the courses myself or have overseen other instructors as they revamp courses.

How long have you been teaching there?

I’ve been teaching for the Copyediting Certificate program since 2011.

How did you get involved in the program?

Someone in the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) had posted about openings in the program, so I applied. At the time, I had been teaching as an adjunct instructor at a New York state university. But I prefer online classes.

What is your goal for your students in your courses?

To come away with enough copyediting knowledge to immediately begin working as a copyeditor. Students progress through light, medium, and heavy edits, with the final class consisting of a heavy edit of a manuscript. For the Business of Copyediting course, we prepare students to start their own editing business. It’s a relatively new course and has been very popular.

What kind of feedback have you received and successes have you seen from your students?

I keep in touch with some former students and am pleased that many of them have gotten jobs as editors or have started their own successful businesses. Many of them credit what they learned in the program and say it has helped open doors. It’s great to see them post their certificates, when they get it in the mail, on social media. They’re proud of completing the program—and they should be! We also encourage students to network with each other; a few have formed mastermind groups to support each other or formed groups on social media. I love to see them maintain these friendships and networking opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about teaching in the program?

I enjoy seeing people at the very start of a new career. Our students mostly come to the program after having had other careers or jobs; nevertheless, they have had a lifelong love of the written word and interest in editing and proofreading. So it’s wonderful to see students finally start on this path—and to help guide them, of course.

What advice do you give students in your courses who want to build a copyediting career or business?

They should know they don’t have to do this alone. In fact, it’s difficult to build a career or business without networking among other editors. I still get work and referrals from former journalism colleagues (my previous job). It’s vital that they seek out and create these networks, which can easily be done by joining editorial organizations and becoming involved.

What else would you like to share with potential students about the value of the program?

I believe that we not only have a solid program, but we have instructors who not only have years of experience in editing but who also truly care about students. Every week, we have conversations on how to better serve the students and whether we should tweak or add anything to the classes. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes! 

For more information about UCSD Extension copyediting courses visit:

Tags: SD/PEN, UCSD Extension, Lourdes Venard, San Diego Professional Editors Network, Copyediting certificate, copy editing, copyediting, copy editor, copyeditor

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