I realize this topic is 6 yrs old, however, as a local potter who took classes and went to night school for ceramics as well, albeit without a degree, if I had had all the technicalities dumped on me from the beginning and the strict guidelines, it would have killed any desire I had to enjoy clay. I think the first things to establish are, how do you like the feel of clay in your hands, moving on to experimenting with it to see if you like it well enough to take serious classes, and then college courses where you spend time on how to and when to and why. And by the way, there are many correct ways of getting from point A to point B depending on how you perceive it. I don't think strict rules do or should apply in the world of art. Clay and it's manipulators are constantly evolving. I began at age 56, I will be 76 in August. I love it, I've sold it, I have to have it and to keep making , but I do it my way, always trying new things and I'm still enjoying my passionate and very personal relationship with clay. All this is to explain that a one or two week clay class is to allow who's taking it, to see if this is something they want to pursue, whether for pleasure or profit.