I am a big fan and user of the Drupal content management system, so I get a lot of friends and colleagues who ask me for advise about learning it.
When my advise is sought, I am always eager to share my enthusiasm for Drupal, but I am equally honest about how difficult the learning curve can be for non-programmers, versus a more simple plug and play CMS like WordPress. Drupal is powerful, flexible, and highly scalable, but it can be a challenge to learn and do well.
Although I am happy to help get them stared on Drupal, and point them to good beginner resources, I don’t actually teach Drupal. Instead I try to steer them towards affordable or free local classes or user groups.
SLO Bake Internet Solutions is offering a couple such programs over the next two months, both of which are within a day’s drive of Orange County.
On March 18-19, they are conducting a 2-day workshop in Santa Barbara, California, which includes 3 training sessions covering Drupal Basics, Drupal Administration, and Drupal Theming ($500 for the package).
On March 31 – April 1, they offer a 2-day intensive Drupal Fundamental workshop in Reno, Nevada for $600. On April 2 they offer a single day Drupal 4 Education workshop (also in Reno, for $300) targeted towards schools and libraries.