High school and college may seem like a lifetime of learning, but once you’ve finished it may feel as if it happened too fast. What do you do when you want to keep learning, but are no longer a traditional student? For many women in the Triangle, the remedy of choice is to sign up for continuing education classes.
These programs can mean a number of different things, from enrolling in university credit courses, often part-time, to enrolling in non-credit courses taken simply for personal enjoyment. The format isn’t confined to the classroom. Many students make use of distance learning, which can involve interactive online courses or videotaped material.
Luckily for women in the Triangle, many institutions of higher education here have wonderful continuing ed programs that can mold to any lifestyle.
These five schools offer some of the largest and most comprehensive programs around. Whether you want to get computer training or take a class on Russian history, check out what’s available.
At Duke, you can explore academic courses for either credit or noncredit, earn a professional certificate and learn from experts in many fields.
For those with ultra-busy workweeks, Duke’s Weekend and Evening Courses offers a flexible schedule.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, formerly the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement, presents a variety of liberal arts and science courses to suit the interests of participants. Showing that learning and fun can be synonymous, the organization sponsors special interest groups from book and photography clubs to a band and chorus.
Durham Technical Community College
The college boasts a veritable buffet of courses from which to choose — everything from cosmetic and culinary arts to retail estate and management.
A main focus of Durham Tech is providing opportunities like these for people who want to improve their job-related skills or prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce.
However, those looking to pick up a few college classes haven’t been forgotten. They can register for online and on-site non-credit courses in a mind-boggling array of fields, such as digital photography, anatomy and web design.
North Carolina State University
Wear your Wolfpack red with pride at the McKimmon Center for Continuing Education, which serves more than 17,500 continuing students annually.
The Office of Professional Development sets up non-credit training in areas like energy management, marketing and e-commerce through seminars, conferences, online classes and certificate programs.
The Computer Training Unit, in both online and on-site courses, specializes in hands-on instruction and certification in a wide swath of technology.
The Encore Program for Lifelong Enrichment is aimed at adults over 50. Encore provides short, non-credit courses, study trips, special events and extracurricular activities. Past highlights have included a Colorado train tour and a visit to the Won Buddhist Temple in Chapel Hill.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Over in Tarheel country, the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education has a number of programs for those who are out of school but still seeking to further their learning.
The Professional Development and Enrichment Program puts together non-credit workshops for professional education. Current subjects include paralegal certification and retirement planning while past topics have ranged from Dutch studies to combating sex trafficking.
BRIDGES is an intensive professional development program exclusively for women in higher education who seek to gain or strengthen their academic leadership capabilities.
The General Alumni Association at UNC sponsors the Carolina College for Lifelong Learning. Designed for local alumni and Chapel Hill residents, it designs short classes on liberal arts, lectures related to the community and faculty research, book discussions and study trips.
Wake Tech Community College
The divisions of the college’s continuing ed program cater to just about any educational interest.
The Business and Industry Service Division administers instruction for industrial, clerical, supervisory and management occupations.
The Evening Division gives credit and noncredit courses for gaining skills or for personal enjoyment.
The Education Services and Technology Division addresses a rainbow of interests from acquiring skills in human resources to speaking a foreign language.
The Plus-50 Initiative is a series of classes and events designed to help those over the age of 50 focus on a new career, plan for retirement or just expand their knowledge.
Continuing ed programs can be found in many more schools across the Triangle. If you are looking for different curriculums, explore these, too.
ECPI Technical College
Miller-Motte Technical College
Cary campus: 532.7171
Raleigh campus: 723.2820
North Carolina Central University
530.7620 • 530.6324
508.2214 • 508.2293
Raleigh campus: 546.8237
Durham campus: 361.1028
Raleigh campus: 878.9900
Research Triangle Park campus: 466.4400
Garner campus: 890.7500