Non-degree programs are crucial in career and personal development, and the University of West Georgia is expanding its local offerings to meet that educational need.
Marty Davis, UWG’s director of continuing education, recently told members of the Newnan Kiwanis Club about his own experience in leaving an industry for which he was singularly qualified to find a better work-life balance – and a new career.
“I decided to take a human resources course online through UGA’s continuing education program,” said Davis said, whose studies gave him the confidence to pursue a master’s degree. “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for that first continuing education class.”
Continuing education classes are offered at both the UWG Newnan and Carrollton campuses, in addition to off-site and online options. They include courses, programs and workshops that do not add credit hours toward a degree.
However, the classes can include licensure or certification often crucial to today’s highly specialized workforce, Davis said. Professional development programs offer individuals professional designations or professional licenses for the state of Georgia.
Designations include certifications in approaches found in popular business models such as Six Sigma and Total Quality Management. Conversely, professional licensure courses are offered in fields where state law demands such credentials, like real estate or insurance agents.
“Word has really gotten out about our courses as people seek ways to gain certification without driving to Atlanta,” said Davis, stating the range of cybersecurity, communications and other courses available. “In total, we have close to 200 professional development courses, any of which we can offer through UWG Newnan.”
But not all of life is about work. Increasing skills can also be about hobbies and having fun. That is why UWG and UWG Newnan offer personal enrichment courses that include such activities as photography, ballroom dance, drone flight basics, knitting, pruning, sign language and activities for kids.
“We offer activities for kids that are learning-based while still having fun,” Davis said.
Classes for children are gaining popularity and have included bridge building with noodles and marshmallows as well as engineering with interlocking building blocks.
“We’re here and we’re available to the community both in Carrollton and in Newnan,” Davis said. “Our purpose is to serve the community, and we are always interested in ideas from individuals or from the business community.”