9 online classes to help you keep on learning in 2021

Mother and two daughters on laptops around at table at home.

In a world that’s constantly changing, University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Studies is here for you. Building on a foundation of educational excellence, we have transitioned all of our upcoming classes online for the winter/spring 2021 season. Whether you’re taking a class for personal development or professional enrichment, we know your continuing education goals are important to you and that learning can never stop, even during a pandemic.

These nine classes are just a small sample of the many online programs we’re offering in early 2021. We invite you to further explore these or any of the other classes in our catalog that pique your interest or spark curiosity.

Behavioral health

Designed to help you support the well-being of your clients, our behavioral health classes meet continuing education requirements for maintaining licensure for social workers, psychologists, professional counselors and others. Upcoming classes include:

  1. Motivational Interviewing: Advanced Skills Practice. Learners who want to enhance their learning and practice of Motivational Interviewing (MI) will benefit from the lectures, discussions and small-group practice offered in this intermediate-level class. See program page for prerequisites. This live, online class begins February 9.
  2. Cultural Humility to Cultural Reverence for Human Services Professionals. Learn to better serve and work with diverse client populations and teams. You’ll explore the four principles of cultural humility: self-reflection and lifelong learning, client as expert, community as expert and institutional self-reflection. This online class begins March 4.
  3. Grief Support Specialist Certificate. Become specialized in a growing and needed field with this transformational certificate program. You’ll learn from renowned experts in this cohort-designed program, which previous participants have described as “life changing.” This live, online class begins April 15.

Leadership, management and workplace skills

Regardless of your current position, these classes for professionals, leaders and supervisors can help you develop the skills and knowledge to grow as a leader and contribute to your organization’s goals. Upcoming classes include:

  1. Managing Your Brain for Managers: The Neuroscience of Leading Self and Others. Managing people can be difficult and stressful, especially in today’s technology-accelerated workplace. Learn how recent discoveries in neuroscience can help you manage stress and interpersonal reactions, and improve your ability to lead. This online class begins March 4.
  2. Practical Workplace Negotiation Skills for Everyday Issues. Learn to confidently and successfully negotiate at work — and in life! — by exploring and practicing different negotiation strategies. You’ll identify your natural negotiation style and learn how to work with its strengths and opportunities. This online class begins March 10.
  3. Leading for Racial Equity Series. Transform your commitment to racial equity into anti-racist leadership in this new three-part series. Explore the key features of an anti-racist organization; learn to apply equity-focused analysis to budget, program and policy decisions; and discover how to interrupt institutional barriers to recruit, hire and retain racially diverse staff. Part 1 of this online series begins March 25.


Engaging experiences for all lifelong learners, our humanities programs can help you expand your understanding of the world and develop your own brand of self-expression. Upcoming classes include:

  1. French 1, 2, 3 or 4. Fine-tune your French, no matter your level, with our sequenced language classes. You’ll cover the foundational skills with grammar, pronunciation, listening and reading as you practice speaking with your instructor and a small group of classmates each week. These online classes begin February 9–17.
  2. The Big Bands 4. Swing into this study of big bands with legendary UW Marching Band director Mike Leckrone as your instructor. There’s no prerequisite for this class, which will cover classic big band and dance orchestra recordings, along with some one-hit wonders. This online class begins February 16.
  3. How to Write Compelling Fiction 1. Bring your fiction writing to life. Designed for writers of all levels, this class covers beginnings, point of view, plot, dialogue, characterization and more. Instructor Angela Rydell is an award-winning author and a favorite writing instructor. Begin this online class anytime; complete by June 30, 2021.

There are many more online classes and programs to explore at UW–Madison Continuing Studies. Thank you for inspiring us with your dedication, persistence and desire to achieve your goals and dreams — even in unusual times. We’re committed to evolving to accommodate your needs and look forward to seeing you in class soon. Search our catalog of offerings.