Your guide to classes, programs, and colleges that can help you learn something new

Fall is fast approaching and many people, including adults, are getting into the back-to-school spirit. In St. Louis and the St. Louis area, you can choose from a host of local continuing education courses for this year and spring 2023. If you’re an adult looking to sharpen your job skills, change careers, or just learning something new, like a language, you’ll find plenty of local options. Here are some colleges, universities, and programs in the area where you can hone your skills and grow.

Harris-Stowe State University

At Harris-Stowe State University’s Continuing Education Department, you’ll find Certificate in English Language Studies programs, which offer a robust set of options for the English language learner looking to improve their fluency. This Thurgood Marshall College Fund member school is committed to achieving success in speech and comprehension. Prior registration is required.

Launch Code

St. Louis’ innovative LaunchCode is a nonprofit that helps people learn to code, land tech jobs, or hire tech talent. What makes LaunchCode unique is that it offers free coding courses to successful applicants. LaunchCode programs include Fundamentals, Code Skills (which includes their popular Immersive CodeCamp), Employment Prep, and Job-Ready. LaunchCode also offers programs specifically designed for women in technology. LaunchCode graduates have been hired by Spectrum, Express Scripts, Boeing, Edward Jones, Microsoft, Centene and Mastercard.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University’s Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) courses are an ideal way to re-immerse yourself in learning. Their mission is “to provide relevant and personalized experiences designed to prepare both traditional students and lifelong learners to meet the changing workforce demands of business and industry”. Their PACE courses are both credit and non-credit, and they’re designed to help working professionals hone their skills for today’s rapidly changing career market. PACE certificate courses and programs are affordable and designed to fit into your busy schedule.

Logan University

Logan University of Chesterfield (formerly Logan College of Chiropractic) is a specialty college for people in chiropractic and health sciences. Here, continuing education learners can take part in specialized seminars. Topics for the 2022 seminar include acupuncture, risk management and a women’s health symposium. Logan University also offers multiple opportunities to participate in its 100-hour Basic Acupuncture Certification Course.

Maryville University

The University of Maryville’s online certificate programs cover a variety of topics, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, UX/UI, and software development. Maryville also hosts continuing education workshops focused on different topics.

Missouri Baptist University

At Missouri Baptist University, you’ll find degree options designed for adult learners, which the university defines as “individuals who have been out of high school for at least five years and are working, or whose education was interrupted in some other way”. Missouri Baptist’s adult and online courses make it easy for busy professionals to continue their education.


NPower is a local option that offers free technical training for those looking to start an exciting career in technology. Their popular Tech Fundamentals program is a 23-week course designed to help you master the basics of computing in an applicable and practical way. This accredited course is offered at Harris-Stowe State University and St. Louis Community College.

Ranken Technical College

Ranken offers students many professional programs, certificate programs, and training courses. Ranken’s certificate programs include automotive maintenance, control systems technology, fabrication and welding technology, and more. Ranken doesn’t want cost to be a deterrent — the college says its goal is to help every student get the financial support they need.

St. Louis University

Saint Louis University offers online courses through the School of Professional Studies (SPS). These courses are “designed for working adults” and the curriculum is held to the same academic standards as SLU’s colleges. SLU offers online bachelor’s degree programs, online certificate programs, and online master’s degree programs. The programs are taught on an accelerated schedule to help their learners achieve their personal and professional goals quickly. Rather than a 16-week semester, courses are offered in eight-week periods. Through SLU’s SPS, students can earn up to 30 credit hours per year. SPS courses are affordable, and lower rates are available for military, veterans, and first responders.

Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University’s continuing education and professional development programs are designed to promote personal and professional development. SIU offers a mix of online and in-person courses to suit all of your learning style preferences. Their online courses include classes in subjects such as accounting, business, career training, college readiness, computer applications, teaching, and education. The SIU also offers a five-week sign language interpreting course designed to help interpreters improve their skills. This course is offered online.

St. Charles Community College

At St. Charles Community College, continuing education programs focus on computing and technology, the health profession, and industry/environment. If you’re a professional working in healthcare or technology, this is the place to get a head start on your learning and stay ahead of the professional curve.

St. Louis Community College

St. Louis Community College (SLCC) has a diverse and inclusive community dedicated to learning, and its continuing education programs offer a wide range of courses available to the adult learner. SLCC offers over 700 courses for learners and registration is currently open. Classes cover topics such as personal computing, fine arts (drawing, painting, flower arranging), cooking classes, photography, finance, religion, genealogy, and many more.

University of Missouri-St. Louis

University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Professional Development and Continuing Education (UMSL) programs are the perfect way to get your feet wet and dive into new learning opportunities without the high price tag found at some other universities. The Chancellor’s Certificate Programs and Specialty Chancellor’s Certificate Programs at UMSL are non-credit courses for which you can earn a certificate. Current programs include Public Policy Administration and the Computer Science Education and Training Center. Specialized programs include courses in data analysis, web page design, Python, and more. These courses are available virtually and the instructor is present during the entire course. UMSL’s in-person classes are conducted at their West County campus.

University of Washington

At the University of Washington, you will find a plethora of continuing education and professional studies. The university offers in-person and online courses, which are available on a part-time basis to accommodate professionals with busy lives. Financial aid is available for learners and employee tuition assistance is available for Wash employees. U. Some mature students may audit select undergraduate courses through the Wash College of Arts and Sciences Daytime Auditing Program. U. Students will not receive credit or grades for the course as it is intended for personal enrichment.

For older adults who want to pursue an education alongside other adult learners, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Washington U. is the perfect opportunity to learn with others like you. OLLI is aimed at students aged 50 and over; its courses are non-credit and non-graded. Courses offered include the study of subjects such as architecture, creative writing, economics, music, and philosophy. OLLI organizes workshops and related field trips for its students. Classes are offered in eight-week periods throughout the academic year, and they meet at the West Campus in Wash. U. Wash’s Coding Bootcamp. U. is for adults who want a career in web development.

Webster University

The Center for Innovation and Professional Development at Webster University is a one-stop-shop for all of your continuing professional education needs. The Center offers online courses and professional training programs to prepare you for a new career or strengthen your skills in your existing career. Courses offered cover topics such as business, computer applications, hospitality, and law. For those who dream of living and teaching abroad, Webster’s 220-hour online advanced TEFL certification program may be right for you. Taking TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) courses like this will make you eligible to apply for TEFL-specific jobs in places like South Korea, Brazil, Cambodia, and beyond.

Sam D. Gomez