Fall is back-to-school season, and not just for kids. It’s an ideal time for anyone who’d like to master a new subject. Do you want to write a young adult novel? Play bluegrass piano? Read French poetry? Copy Old Master paintings? Achieve mindfulness?
Or how about developing your professional skills for the purpose of career advancement? Are you a public employee who wants to learn management techniques? A K-12 teacher who wants to investigate online instructional methods? A therapist who wants to treat people with substance abuse issues?
You can delve into all these topics, and dozens more, by taking fall courses through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. The 2015 fall catalog offers not only many things to learn, but also many ways to learn them. There are face-to-face courses, online courses, multiple-week courses, and one-day courses. There are lectures, retreats, workshops, festivals, support groups, buffet meals, and educational travel experiences. There’s even a class that involves walking through the woods and listening to the birds.
“Learners who want to pursue education throughout their lives need courses that are flexible, diverse, affordable, and available at convenient times and places,” says Jeffrey S. Russell, dean of the Division of Continuing Studies. “That’s precisely what the courses in our fall catalog provide.”
The catalog will be in the July 30 edition of Isthmus, and it comes with a bonus: the Fall Lifelong Learning Giveaway. If you enter by August 27, you could win up to $100 off on a fall Continuing Studies class. Ten randomly selected winners will be notified no later than September 11.
‘Transform your life’
Those seeking enrichment can take courses in visual art, creative writing, dance, music, theater, history, literature, and a wide range of languages. You’ll find the aforementioned buffet meals in French 2 and 3 and Fridays in French: Introduction to French Poetry. Studying French, it turns out, goes better with croissants.
“French culture’s love of good food is palpable in the language,” says Prof. Sage Goellner, “so it makes sense to combine learning French with food.”
Professionals in behavioral health and wellness can choose from courses in aging and long-term care, human services, intellectual disabilities, life coaching, mediation and conflict resolution, mental health, and substance abuse disorders. Among the unique offerings is the Grief Support Specialist Certificate Program, designed for counselors, educators, and other professionals who facilitate healing after traumatic events.
“People who’ve taken the certificate program report that it has transformed their professional lives,” says coordinator Barbara Nehls-Lowe. “The program has helped participants to find jobs in this field or to add desperately needed skills in their current jobs.”
The career-development options include courses for distance educators, managers of all types, and those looking to find a job or change careers.
“Take a look and find the class or program that could transform your life,” says Russell.