January 29, 2013

Non-credit courses provide lifelong learning opportunities at ASU

Posted: January 29, 2013
ASU's new Continuing Education website provides a comprehensive list of the more than 180 non-credit courses available to the public.
Photo by: Brandon Sullivan

Arizona State University is increasing its reach and educational impact in local and global communities by making a variety of non-credit courses more accessible to the general public.

This week, ASU is launching a new Continuing Education website that will serve as a central catalog for all non-credit offerings at ASU. In addition, ASU is expanding resources dedicated to creating new non-credit course offerings.

Non-credit courses have long been an enjoyable way for people to take up new hobbies or develop their creativity. They can also assist in career development or lead to a new vocation through a certificate program. ASU has a tradition of offering numerous non-credit offerings at campus locations, and at venues throughout the Phoenix area, in Tucson and Flagstaff, as well as online.

The website, created by ASU Online and the University Technology Office, provides a comprehensive list of the more than 180 courses available to the public. Geared toward the adult learner, these courses may be taken for enjoyment purposes or to fulfill a professional need. Those looking to take courses do not have to be ASU students to register, instead, simply a member of the public looking to pursue lifelong learning.

Julia Rosen, associate vice provost at ASU Online and Extended Campus, says the initiative is an extension of the existing efforts, which have already brought together more than 12,000 participants.

"We believe that continuing education can help people in various areas. This is an opportunity for ASU to create a cohesive space for the community at large to engage with one another and pursue their professional or personal goals," she said. "Many come to keep their skill set current and are seeking a business or technical certification. Others may be looking at trying something they always dreamed of doing or learning about."

Individuals may use the Continuing Education website to learn about the breadth of offerings. Courses are searchable by area of interest allowing users to dive right into the subject matter they are seeking. Class prices vary depending on the subject and they are all not-for-credit, although some courses do provide a certificate of completion or offer the training required for an industry certification. The majority of the courses will be available in person, however, some are available online.

For example, professionals looking to advance their career may register for the Strategic Planning Boot Camp offered by the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and taught in Mesa. Those looking to channel their inner Ken Follett may take a historical fiction-writing course taught online by the Virginia Piper Writing Center.

Matthew Krull, a former student in the program, enrolled in a Lean Green Belt class via the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and said the experience of being able to enhance his development is invaluable for his career in the supply chain industry.

"The learning experience has already paid for itself by giving me the tools and knowledge to help identify lean opportunities," he said. "The professors really showed how you could apply what we were learning to a normal working environment, using examples that were very applicable to real-world scenarios."

To learn more about continuing your education, visit https://ce.asu.edu/p/. Academic units looking to become involved with the program may contact Julia Rosen at Julia.Rosen@asu.edu.