Continuing Education Programs in Chicago, Illinois

Continuing education programs may be an effective way for adults to enhance their professional credentials and earning power. Continuing education studies can result in a certificate or degree. Two Chicago universities providing continuing education programs are discussed in the following article.

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The Chicago, IL, area offers plenty of continuing education opportunities for adult learners. Here we explore a few of the available schools and some of the programs they offer.

Schools and Programs

Many universities and colleges offer programs with flexible scheduling designed to allow working adults to participate. There are a variety of opportunities in the Chicago area for adult students interested in completing certificate and degree programs. Options for adult learners living in or near Chicago who are seeking this type of education are found in areas such as finance, marketing, writing, communications, and computer systems. In some cases, students can choose to take a few courses or to complete an entire certificate or degree program. The following provides some basic information about two schools in and near Chicago with strong continuing education programs.

Schools At a Glance

Northwestern University

  • This 4-year school is located in Evanston, IL.
  • Courses are available online and on-campus.

University of Chicago

  • This 4-year school resides in Chicago, IL.
  • The school offers courses online and on-campus.

Loyola University Chicago

  • This is also a 4-year school in Chicago, IL.
  • The school has online and on-campus courses.

Northwestern University's Continuing Education Programs

Northwestern University is a private school that offers studies for adults through its School of Professional Studies. The university offers dozens of certificate, bachelor's and graduate programs for working professionals. Among the diverse educational opportunities are programs in the arts, business and information technology.

Philanthropy & Nonprofit Organizations Certificate

This certificate program is designed for professionals employed (or planning to be) by charitable organizations. Three tracks are offered individually - a philanthropy and nonprofit organization track, a fundraising professional track, and a nonprofit professional track. Each track has separate required courses. Core coursework covers nonprofit governance, financial management, grant application processes, fundraising and legal issues in philanthropy.

Project Management Certificate

Instruction in this certificate program focuses on training current and prospective project managers. Professionals learn effective strategies for overseeing personnel, reducing costs, minimizing risks and maximizing efficiency throughout the duration of organizational projects.

Certified Financial Planner Certificate

Students interested in financial planning careers may complete this certificate program. Classes focus on the requirements for taking the CFP Certification Examination. The program may be a good fit for those who work or would like to work in accounting, insurance, brokerage, law and banking firms. Courses can also be taken online.

Bachelor's Degree in Communication

This bachelor's degree program may benefit students working in public relations, administration, marketing and journalism. Focused on helping students become more effective communicators, classes cover media studies, public speaking and rhetorical approaches.

Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems

This degree program provides a comprehensive look at computer systems and their role in today's society. Students learn about telecommunications networks, data management, information security, wireless communications and systems analysis and design.

University of Chicago's Continuing Education Programs

The University of Chicago is a private university providing continuing education courses through its Graham School of Continuing Liberal Professional Studies. Offering many evening and weekend classes, the university aims to help career changers and working professionals advance in their chosen fields. Non-credit, certificate and graduate programs are available in many subject areas.

The Writer's Studio

This program offers courses to those seeking to learn about the craft of writing. Courses are held for two and a half hours, once a week, for a period of four-to-eight weeks. Topics include story ideas, with workshop discussions on published writing, novels, and agents, among other things.

Editing Certificate

Specialized courses on editing are relatively rare, but this certificate program includes multiple classes that focuses on various facets of the craft. There are three levels of instruction in manuscript editing as well as offerings on substantive editing, medical editing and online editing. Each of these courses is available to be taken separate from the certificate program.

Financial Decision Making Certificate

Students interested in banking, brokerage, lending and corporate finance careers may take this certificate program as preparation. Featuring courses in financial accounting, securities and portfolios, corporate finance, the program is intended for small business owners or managers responsible for budget decisions.

Integrated Marketing Certificate

This certificate program for beginning to mid-level marketing, advertising and public relations professionals details creative and practical techniques for selling products and building brands. Students learn basic marketing principles and how they can be applied to television, print and Internet advertising.

Loyola University Chicago's Continuing Education Programs

Loyola University Chicago's School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers several degree programs and professional certificates. Students can choose from on-campus or online learning, as well as some evening and weekend courses.

Graphic Design Certificate

This certificate program totals 18 credit hours and is available on-campus. Students cover topics in visual communication, 2-D design and digital media. This program is not available to traditional undergraduate degree-seeking students.

Organizational Development and Leadership Certificate

This 18-credit certificate program has courses available in the evenings. To enroll students must have completed an Introduction to Communication and Foundations of Organizations course. Students cover topics in leadership theories, leadership culture, conflict management and more.

Bachelor's Degree in Applied Studies

Students in this program can choose from an online option or evening and weekend courses. There is also a Fast track option that offers a hybrid format with online and weekend courses. Students in this program receive a strong foundation in business and communication.

Students near Chicago, IL, can pursue continuing education courses, certificate and degree programs, some of which are available online or in hybrid formats. Students can choose programs in a variety of subjects, including leadership, writing and communication.

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