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

Fall is around the corner, and many people—adults included—are getting into the back-to-school spirit. In St. Louis and the St. Louis area, there’s an abundance of local continuing education courses to choose from for this year and spring 2023. If you’re an adult who wants to sharpen your professional skills, change careers, or simply learn something new, like a language, you’ll find many local options. Here are some colleges, universities, and programs throughout the area where you can hone your skills and grow.

Harris-Stowe State University

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


St. Louis’s innovative LaunchCode is a nonprofit that helps people learn how to code, land a job in tech, or hire tech talent. What makes LaunchCode unique is that it offers coding courses for free to successful applicants. LaunchCode’s programs include Fundamentals, Code Skills (which includes their popular Immersive CodeCamp), Employment Prep, and Job-Ready. LaunchCode also offers some programs specifically designed for women in tech. LaunchCode’s 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 dive back into learning. Their mission is to “provide relevant, 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 credited and non-credited, and they are designed to help working professionals sharpen their skills for today’s fast-paced career market. PACE classes and certificate programs are affordable and designed to fit into your busy schedule. 

Logan University

Chesterfield’s Logan University (formerly the Logan College of Chiropractic) is a specialized university that caters to people in chiropractic and health sciences. Here, continuing education learners can participate in specialized seminars. 2022 seminar topics 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

Maryville University’s online certificate programs cover a variety of subjects, including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, UX/UI, and Software Development. Maryville also hosts Continuing Education Workshops centered on different subjects.

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 at least five years and in the workplace, or whose education has otherwise been interrupted.” Missouri Baptist’s Adult and Online courses make it easy for busy professionals to continue their education. 


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

Ranken Technical College

Ranken offers students many vocational 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. 

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University offers online courses through the School for Professional Studies (SPS). These classes 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 at an accelerated schedule to help their learners meet their personal and professional goals quickly. Rather than a 16-week semester, courses are offered in eight-week terms. Through SLU’s SPS, students can earn up to 30 credit hours per year. SPS classes are affordable, and lower rates are available to military, veterans, and first responders. 

Southern Illinois University 

Southern Illinois University’s Continuing Education and Professional Development programs are built to promote personal and professional development. SIU offers a mix of online and in-person classes to fit whatever your learning style preferences may be. Their online classes include courses in subjects like accounting, business, career training, college readiness, computer applications, and teaching and education. SIU also offers a five-week Sign Language Interpreter Course designed to help interpreters boost their skills. This course is offered online. 

St. Charles Community College

At St. Charles Community College, Continuing Education programs are centered on computers and technology, the health profession, and industry/environmental. If you’re a professional working in health or technology, this is the ideal place to get a leg up on your learning and stay ahead of the professional curve. 

St. Louis Community College

St. Louis Community College (SLCC) boasts a diverse and inclusive community dedicated to learning, and its Continuing Education programs have a wide range of courses available to the adult learner. SLCC has over 700 courses for learners, and registration is currently open. Classes cover subjects like personal computing, fine arts (drawing, painting, floral arrangement), culinary classes, photography, finance, religion, genealogy, and many more.

University of Missouri-St. Louis 

University of Missouri-St. Louis’s (UMSL) Professional Development and Continuing Education programs are the perfect way to get your feet wet and dive into new learning opportunities without the hefty price tag found at some other universities. UMSL’s Chancellor’s Certificate Programs and Specialized Chancellor’s Certificate Programs are non-credit courses for which you can earn a certificate. Current programs include Public Policy Administration and the Computer Education & 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 for the entire course. UMSL’s in-person classes are taught at their West County campus.  

Washington University

At Washington University, you’ll find a plethora of continuing education studies and professional studies. The university offers both in-person and online courses, which are available on a part-time basis to accommodate working professionals with busy lives. Financial assistance is available for learners, and employee tuition assistance is available for Wash. U. employees. Some adult students can audit select undergraduate courses through the Day Audit Program at Wash. U.’s College of Arts & Sciences. Students will not receive a credit or grade for the course as it is intended for personal enrichment. 

For older adults looking to pursue studies alongside fellow mature learners, Wash. U.’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is the perfect opportunity to learn with others like you. OLLI is for students aged 50 and above; its courses are non-credit and ungraded. Courses offered include the study of subjects like architecture, creative writing, economics, music, and philosophy. OLLI facilitates workshops and related field trips for its students. Courses are offered in eight-week terms throughout the academic year, and they meet at Wash. U.’s West Campus. Wash. U.’s Coding Bootcamp is for adults looking to build a career in web development. 

Webster University 

Webster University’s Center for Innovation and Professional Development is a one-stop shop for all your professional continuing education needs. The Center offers online courses and career training programs to prepare you for a new career or strengthen your skills in your existing one. Courses offered cover topics like Business, Computer Applications, Hospitality, and Legal. For those with dreams of living and teaching abroad, Webster’s online 220-Hour Advanced TEFL Certification program may be right for you. Completing TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses like this one will make you eligible to apply for TEFL-specific jobs in places like South Korea, Brazil, Cambodia, and beyond.


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