By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 28, 2001 at 5:04 AM

Looking for something to do in your spare time -- how about brushing up on your computer skills or learning to play the guitar? The Milwaukee area offers plenty of alternatives to our undeniable desire to loaf. Just because you have spent your four-plus years in college and somehow earned your degree does not mean your educational experiences are now limited to the History Channel. has done the research for you, so get out your backpacks and sharpen your pencils for our guide to continuing education.

No matter what your interest, there is a class for you. Milwaukee-area universities and technical colleges offer flexible scheduling and a variety of activities for you, friends, family or fellow colleagues to choose from. Whether it is after work during the week or on the weekend, courses are offered to fit your busy schedule.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The UWM School of Continuing Education, one of the 12 schools and colleges that comprise UWM, offers a University Outreach program with courses intended to help build your knowledge and skills for work, recreation or creative expression. Courses are offered throughout the metropolitan Milwaukee area; including in the Plankinton Building (above The Shops of Grand Avenue), the Jewish Community Center and Milwaukee County Historical Society.

Terry Gillick, Senior University Relations Specialist, said 30,000 students enroll in UWM's 1,500 classes annually.

"Students take courses for a number of reasons: to enhance their careers, upgrade knowledge and make themselves more marketable to current and prospective employers," Gillick said.

A wide variety of courses is offered through University Outreach. Whether it is for your own personal enrichment or you are looking to advance through the ranks at your job, they literally have hundreds of choices: travel, antique collecting, childcare, and architecture, are just a few. Of special interest is the extensive list of Milwaukee-related courses.

Classes with a local twist include: Behind The Scenes at Milwaukee's Field of Dreams -- Tour Miller Park, Ethnic Milwaukee With Frank Zeidler and John Gurda, Milwaukee's Ethnic Bakeries: A Delightful Culinary Tour, and Barns of Wisconsin and Rural Heritage.

UWM also offers conferences, seminars, lectures and even a college for kids, which allows kindergartners through seventh graders a chance to experience everything from archaeology to theater.

To learn more about University Outreach, check out or call (414) 227-3185.

Milwaukee Area Technical College
It's never too late to attend classes at MATC (the median age of their 63,000 annual students is 31). The Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs offer courses at four campuses throughout the Milwaukee area: Milwaukee, West Allis, Oak Creek and Mequon.

A variety of choices and reasonable tuition could make MATC the choice for you. Personal enrichment courses include Basic Motorcycle Rider Safety and Brewery Science.

For your business needs they offer customized training, technical assistance, seminars and workshops.

To learn more check out or call (414) 297-7673.

Marquette University
MU has 300 courses in technology, business management and professional development. The Corporate Outreach and Professional Development programs offer customized on-site training.

The "Lessons in Leadership Speaker Series" offers top-notch professional lectures, while the Reading Institute is designed to increase comprehension, phonics and study skills for children and adults.

For more information, or call (414) 288-7345.

Milwaukee School of Engineering
The Lifelong Learning Institute at MSOE offers evening and undergraduate programs. Like to read? Maybe the Great Books Series is for you. Seminars, certificate programs and other short courses are offered.

The Project Management program offers the assistance your company needs. Team Building, Leadership, Customer Service, Planning and Scheduling are a few of the programs they offer to take your business to the next step.

Contact (800) 332-6763 for more information or log on to

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
MIAD has more students in its Continuing Education program than in their degree programs.

More than 1,200 students, from beginners to alumni, take fine art and design courses like animation and video design. The courses range from one day to 12 weeks and include Water Based Painting at The Domes and educational travel programs.

For more information check out or call (414) 291-3273.

Milwaukee Art Museum
The museum offers a variety of studio and gallery classes for adults, teens and children of all experience levels. Small class ratios offer students the attention they need.

Whether your interest is in painting, purchasing or restoring art, the museum offers a class for you.

Call (414) 224-3826 or visit for more information.

Cardinal Stritch University
Stritch offers professional and personal development programs. Classes help with managing personal finances and keeping up with the latest computer technology.

An interesting program for anyone 55 or older is the Elderhostel. Take a weekend off to socialize and learn at colleges or resorts throughout the world.

Visit or call (414) 410-4244.