It didn't surprise me to find out this was Heather's first semester teaching (fall '03); she's pretty timid, which was unfortunate when we did class critiques, which weren't very useful since most of the class refused to comment on anything. If you need someone who will hold your hand and tell you what to do to improve, find someone else. Nevertheless, for sheer time spent in the class (5 hours a week) and on homework, I made great progress.
Being a great artist when you begin is NOT necessary-- the class didn't teach me anything I didn't do in Drawing 2 in high school. It's pretty basic material: line, texture, light, form, perspective, still-life, charcoal, pencil, ink. Bonus: nude models! Be warned-- it does cost a lot of money for supplies (maybe $70) --but you don't have to buy everything they recommend.