There's something for everyone through the Educational Outreach

The Office of Online Services and Educational Outreach provides various services, including outings and personal/professional development classes. 


Regardless of whether you’re taking credit courses at SIUE or not, you can take classes through the Office of Online Services and Educational Outreach. 


Leslie Brock, assistant director of non-credit programs, said that the outreach program has something available for everyone. While attending these classes does not lead to academic credit, they are highly beneficial for personal growth. 


“We offer a variety of programs for people to come in. You just get to come, have fun, and then leave,” Brock said. “The classes are usually used as personal enrichment or professional development.”


Brock said that classes range from learning a new language to training to use Microsoft Office.


These courses include activities like guided meditation, guitar lessons, and pottery classes.


Among these courses are various bread- making classes through 222 Artisan Bakery and creative art classes through the Macoupin Art Collective.


The education outreach program has allowed local business owners to connect with the community, fostering the opportunity to share knowledge and resources.


According to Trevor Taynor, an owner of 222 Artisan Bakery, hosting bread-making classes through the outreach program has enabled him to connect with a larger audience. 


“I just feel really lucky about all this,“ Taynor said. “It's really easy to work with everybody there … It's helped me be able to explain bread more easily to everybody.” 


Taynor said that his classes are catered toward anyone interested in learning about bread.


“Really just anybody that wants to learn the science behind baking,” Taynor said. “I kind of give more understanding in that aspect of things rather than just saying ‘here are the ingredients, mix it together and this is how it turns out’.” 


Marcella Cloud and Brandace Cloud from the Macoupin Art Collective said that the outreach program has generated interest in their other art classes beyond the program, resulting in increased attendance. 


“A lot of the people that come in, will come in for other things, too,” Marcella Cloud said. “They come in and they're super jazzed about what we're doing, and then we hand them the class schedule and they get so excited.” 


Brandace Cloud said that their intention is to get more people involved in the process of creating art, regardless of financial limitations. 


“We don't want that financial barrier to be a barrier for any student,” Brandace Cloud said. We're always willing to work with students, we'd rather have a student in a class than not.” 


According to Alicia Taylor, the Lifelong Learning Institute's Program Coordinator, the Educational Outreach program plays a crucial role in enabling individuals from all over the region to discover, learn, and connect. Through the program, participants can gain new skills, learn about diverse topics, and establish connections with others who share their interests.


Taylor said that in addition to the personal and professional classes, the Educational Outreach program offers services such as a speaker series and tours of local landmarks.


“We do two [faculty-led] lectures every Wednesday during the fall and spring semester,” Taylor said. 


Taylor said the tours include places such as the Missouri Botanical Garden.


Taylor said that Educational Outreach is an important part of SIUE’s mission. 


“SIUE does a lot more for the area communities than just providing educational degrees,” Taylor said. “We really want to help support and lift up the area communities.” 

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