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Professional education & lifelong learning don't mean easy

Professional education and enrichment classes and certificates are rigorous and demanding. Our classes and certificates are selected and vetted because they contribute to our mission, enriching lives and careers.

Professional Education & Lifelong Learning

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers a wide array of classes and programs for members of the Richmond community that don’t earn college credit but meet professional education and lifelong learning goals. We offer classroom-based programs, and in conjunction with our educational partners we offer boot camps and a wide array of online courses and programs.

Search the Think Again schedule and browse our Areas of Study for our professional education and lifelong learning classes. Or review our Professional Programs for additional learning opportunities. 

Our classes, programs and certificates can be used for professional development or to explore new topics and ideas. Take a class to improve existing skills or add new skills. Or earn a professional certificate to improve your chances at promotion or to retool for new career opportunities.

Free Professional Education Classes

In response to an unpredictable job market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve collaborated with our partner in education MindEdge to offer the following free classes for those who may need to build or improve skills relevant to most occupations and careers.

Introduction to Critical Thinking 

Register online. Critical thinking is an intellectual model for reasoning through issues to reach well-founded conclusions. It may be the single-most valuable skill that one can bring to any job, profession, or life challenge. Being able to ask the right questions, critique an argument, and logically dissect an issue occur constantly in the workplace and our lives. This introductory-level course is designed to help learners define and identify critical thinking and reasoning skills and develop those skills. Self-paced with MindEdge.

Personal Creativity

Register online. Through tools and exercises drawn from Adrian Brown’s book, Creativity & Innovation, this course seeks to help unlock the creativity within individuals. By stimulating creativity through various techniques (mind-mapping, DO-IT, SCAMPER, right and left brain thinking) participants learn to tap into their personal creativity and apply it to organizational challenges. Chapters of the book are included in the course as PDF downloads. No additional purchase is necessary. Self-paced with MindEdge.

Creativity in Teams & Organizations

Register online. Spurring creativity in teams can be very challenging, but could also be the difference between a successful team and an unsuccessful one. This course looks at spurring creativity and innovation in teams and organizations. Drawing on the latest academic thinking, it outlines the key factors for creative teams. Further, the course focuses on tools and techniques designed to yield more productive thinking in collective settings. Participants learn about a number of targeted tools, including brainstorming, Discussion 66, Provocation, and others, to generate fresh thinking in smaller group settings and in their organizations. Self-paced with MindEdge.

Beer Brewer Professional Certificate Award Ceremony - February 2020
Beer Brewer Certificate Award Ceremony
Beer Brewer Certificate Award Ceremony
Beer Brewer Certificate Award Ceremony
SAT Prep Weekend Workshop

“The tips and tricks were super helpful and definitely saved time. I got through all the reading questions with a few minutes remaining. Tell future students that it works!!! Just trust the process and relax and it all goes smooth!”

— SAT Prep Weekend Workshop student 

Spanish Level I

“Thanks again for such wonderful and educational Spanish classes! I feel like I learned SO much in such a short amount of time, and the Powerpoints are so helpful as a reference and refresher to have on hand! You were so patient and helpful, I would recommend your class to anyone.”

— Online Spanish Level I student

Cultural Perspective Weekend

“Thank you for planning the amazing weekend for us. I had a lot of fun and I’m glad I took [the class] for the second time. It was a totally different experience and I enjoyed it a lot.”

—Francinny Amarante, au pair

It's All About Light: Photography

“I like how Tom [Veazey] taught us the importance of light in photography, and also how to have fun with the camera!”

—Au pair

Meditation & Mindfulness

“Marc McGahee was a terrific teacher, and has a very contemplative approach that helped this skeptic learn the foundations of meditation and true relaxation!”

— Student, Introduction to Meditation & Mindfulness

Fund Development Institute

“This was probably the most singularly important course in my development as a nonprofit professional. The integrated approach interacting with panels of Richmond’s best and brightest in the field was extremely helpful in building my understanding of fundraising and raising the quality of the sector. ”

— Victor McKenzie, Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC), Summer 2019

Meditation & Mindfulness

“It was a great experience. I’ll do some of these activities, because mindfulness is very helpful for my life.”

— Student, Introduction to Meditation & Mindfulness

Grant Writing Institute

“This course is essential to my success in the philanthropic world. It has taught me how to engage with funders, value the necessity of cultivating relationships with those in my community, and understand that having a program that is outcome based is key to the success of a nonprofit.”

—LeAnn Rutledge, Americorps Alumni, 2018 Grantwriting Institute

Fund Development Institute

“Whether you have been in fundraising for 10 years, or are brand new to the field, everyone can benefit. You’ll take strategies with you that you can begin applying to your work immediately and can continue to use for many years to come.”

— Amy Dickstein, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Winter 2019

Art Exploration Weekend

“I loved to take this weekend class. I could figure out skills I didn’t know I had.”

—Au pair from Brazil

Art Exploration Weekend

“I had so much fun this weekend. Being creative in any form just helps me to relax and find peace. I would definitely do it again!”

—Au pair from Germany

Art Exploration Weekend

“It was a terrific experience! The painting was sooo much fun and so relaxing. It put Henri Matisse in a perfect context.”

—Au pair from Germany

Art Exploration Weekend

“Best techniques I’ve learned about art, something I hadn’t done in ages. Worth every minute spent, all thanks to the instructors. Thank you!”

—Au pair from South Africa

Strategic Communications Institute

“This was the most comprehensive and practical marketing & communications training I have ever head. It truly focused on everything that I worry about on a daily basis at work. I have so many great ideas I can take back and implement! It was great having a cohort of peers to help brainstorm ideas with!”

— Kristin Vigaro, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, Fall 2018

SAT Prep Weekend Workshop

“My son’s SAT score went from a 1380 to 1510 with your weekend workshop. He is at Virginia Tech and plans to obtain a master’s degree in math in four years as he had amassed so many credits that he entered as a junior.”

—Parents whose son took SAT Prep Weekend Workshop 

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