The School of Extended Learning is dedicated to helping learners reach their full potential by offering personal development courses that develop talents, enhance employment skills, promotes career advancement,and personal interests.


  • Civic Engagement




    This 2-day course will ignite your curiosity and empower your voice on constitutional matters.  Enroll for personal  development as non-credit.

    February 25 and March 4, 2017 from 8am-4pm

    Location: Engbretson Hall at Governors State University.  Breakfast, lunch and a We The People textbook will be provided and included in the course fee thanks to a generous grant from the Illinois Center for Civic Education (ICCE).


    Course Fee: $90.00                          Instructor: TBA

    Course Code: CE-GOVT01-01.  Register at

     Your course experience will also be augmented by the opportunity to:

    •    Learn from special guest speaker, Cathy Hawke, Editor of the PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court        Cases from the American Bar Association.
    •    Participate in a live simulated Constitutional Convention!

    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at the School of Extended Learning at 708.534.4393 or by email at


    Registration Home Page   

  • Communications


    Thought Leadership Workshop Series 

    Complete one or more thought leadership workshops or complete all four thought leadership workshops and receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the fourth workshop.

    I.Thought Leadership: Develop Your Personal Brand

     (Part of Thought Leadership Workshop Series)  

    Location: Governors State University

    Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Time: 6-9:00pm

    General Fee: $50 Course Number: CE-BUS14-01

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, and Alumni: $40 Course Number: CE-BUS14-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, PhD 

    Position yourself as a leader in your field by showcasing your expertise, providing insights, education, and ideas. This workshop introduces the concepts of thought leadership, best practices for developing an idea-based personal brand and positioning yourself as a go-to resource.

    By the end of this workshop, you will: 

    ·         Identify your areas of expertise as thought leadership assets

    ·         Conduct a resource inventory that complements your business

    ·         Develop a basic thought leadership strategy

    Registration Home Page   

    II. Social Media Curation: Build Your Online Network

    (Part of Thought Leadership Workshop Series)

     Location: Governors State University

    Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

    Time: 6-9:00pm  

    General Fee: $50 Course Number: CE-SOCM06-01

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, and Alumni: $40 Course Number: CE-SOCM06-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, PhD  

    Develop your curatorial idea-based thought leadership project to build a network using powerful social media tools. In this workshop, you will learn to develop and facilitate your own social media site, as well as how to use discussion, curation, and distribution tools to reach and engage your audience.  

    By the end of this workshop, you will: 

    ·         Learn the basics of how to build and launch your social media site

    ·         Identify how to customize your message for different audiences

    ·         Learn how to seamlessly publish your topic across several distribution channels

    Registration Home Page 

    III. Blogging: Engage Your Online Audience  

    (Part of Thought Leadership Workshop Series)  

     Location: Governors State University 

    Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017  

    Time: 6-9:00pm

    General Fee: $50 Course Number:CE-SOCM07-01

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, and Alumni: $40 Course Number:CE-SOCM07-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, PhD 

    Learn how to develop and maintain your blog with easy-to-use online tools. Gain insights on how to write content that adds value to your business, and craft engaging questions and responses to facilitate lively topic discussion.    

    By the end of this workshop, you will:

          ·Develop your blog concept

         ·Establish and learn to manage a blog site

         ·Learn the basics of monetizing your blog site

    Registration Home Page 

    IV. Getting the World to Listen: An A to Z Introduction to Audio Podcasting

    (Part of Thought Leadership Workshop Series)

    Location: Governors State University

    Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017  & Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    Time: 6-9:00pm  

    General Fee: $70 Course Number:CE-SOCM08-01

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, and Alumni: $60 Course Number:CE-SOCM08-02

    Instructor: Vernon Smith 

    This two-day workshop will cover a range of topics that budding podcasters need to be aware of to produce a credible, consistent internet broadcast that meets their needs. You’ll discover how top podcasters are succeeding and beating big media with less technical and financial resources.  

    By the end of this two day workshop, you will:

    • Determine your podcast’s focus of interests, format, launch date, schedule, and distribution
    • Learn about legal issues of libel, slander, harassment, copyright, and copyright infringement 
    • Learn the basic journalistic standards of accuracy, fairness, and credibility  
    • Learn about sound editing programs followed by a brief demonstration and homework assignment customized to your abilities
    • Gain knowledge in how to fund, advertise, and distribute your podcasts 

    Registration Home Page 

    Pronunciation Boot Camp: Practice Makes Perfect   

    Location: Governors State University

    Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017; Wednesday, May 10, 2017;  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

    Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    Instructor: Akiko Ota, EdD 

    Fee: $65

    This workshop provides participants the opportunity to improve their pronunciation and become more confident speakers.

    Upon completion of this workshop, the participants are expected to:
    • Know how to pronounce sounds of English
    • Speak with appropriate intonation, accent, and pausing
    • Be equipped with self-monitoring and assessment tools

    Course Number: CE-ELLN03-01

    Registration Home Page

    Developing Effective Oral & Intercultural Communication Skills

    Location: Governors State University

    Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    Fee: $45

    Instructor: Akiko Ota, EdD  

    This workshop is for nonnative English speakers who have sufficient command of English and would like to improve their communication skills.

    Participants will learn to:

    • Speak comfortably in small groups
    • Make themselves clearly understood early in a conversation
    • Present main ideas in a short period of time
    • Use appropriate body language
    • Talk within safe and appropriate personal space
    • Determine appropriate conversation topics and learn how to carry conversation without being offensive
    • Use safe strategies to avoid conflict when using a sensitive topic in a conversation

    Course Number: CE-ELLP02-01

    Registration Home Page

    Communication for Nonprofit Managers

     Location: Governors State University

    Dates: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 and Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Time: 9:30 a.m. –  11:30 a.m.

    Fee: $75

    Instructor: Alexis Sarkisian

    Have you ever attended a meeting where attendees did not understand the message that you presented? Did you know that a large percentage of how we communicate is through our body language? Communication is a cornerstone for effective management in any nonprofit organization. Using theory, research, and practice of interpersonal and group communication skills, participants will learn strategies for enhancing their roles as collaborative leaders, facilitators, coaches, catalysts, or mediators.

    This workshop will provide each nonprofit manager with the communication tools necessary to enhance their effectiveness.

    Participants will engage in discussion and hands-on activities that will:
    • Make them aware of the impact of body language
    • Provide an understanding of the communication model
    • Provide strategies to work with a variety of communication styles
    • Identify the characteristics of a strong manager
    • Identify the characteristics of a strong leader
    • Answer the questions:Can a leader be a manager? Can a manager be a leader? Why?
    • Allow them to apply what they learn

    Course Number: CE-BUS18-01

    Registration Home Page  


  • The Knowledge Exchange


    The Knowledge Exchange at Governors State University    


                     Click here to view the TKE Winter 2017 Brochure                           

     For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at

    708.534.4393 or by email at


     For lifelong learners

    • Unique and diverse non-credited courses

    • Reasonable price

    • Designed for retired and semi-retired learners

    • Relaxed and friendly environment

    • Encouraging shared learning and the free exchange of opinions and ideas


    $73 for the first class

    $28 for any additional class    


    Governors State University

    1 University Parkway

    University Park, IL 60484

    Lunch break between classes serves as a great time to enjoy lunch with other Exchange students, continue the classroom discussion, share ideas and participate in Lunch and Learn lectures when offered.  The GSU cafeteria is open, seating available.

    Questions? Contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393.


    Morning Session 10am-12pm


    Morning sessions (10 a.m. - 12noon) / 8-week classes


    Europe in the Sixteenth Century

    Class Co-Leaders: Myras and Linda Osman

    After the sixteenth century, Europe and the world were never the same.  This class will explore the pivotal events of this century of radical change.  We will begin with the Age of Discovery that brought great wealth and a new awareness of the wider world.  Next we will look at the causes and impact of the Reformation that destroyed the monolithic power of the Roman Catholic Church.  In addition to Luther’s Reformation, we will examine reformers such as Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and John Knox as well as the English reformation.  Other topics will include: the role of Charles V and his son Philip II in defending the Roman Church; the religious and dynastic wars in France; the challenge of the Ottoman Empire and the changes in culture, the arts and science. 

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-01


    Play Reading

    Class Leader: Lynne Clayton

    The Knowledge Exchange welcomes GSUs Lynne Clayton as our new Play Reading class leader!  Awaken the thespian inside by reading these plays aloud with Lynne and your classmates: Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (including translation) Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.  If time allows, Miller’s The Crucible will also be read. Class will also enjoy discussions of various other aspects of these works. Copies of the plays will be provided on the first day of class.  No experience is necessary; the goal is to bring the plays to life and to have fun!!

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-02


     Afternoon Session 1-3pm

    Afternoon Sessions (1 – 3 p.m.) / 8-week classes


    Great Decisions

    Class Leader: Brock Harring                                                                                                     

    As a staple of the winter curriculum, Brock Harring returns to facilitate the Great Decisions program which is designed to enhance your knowledge of international events through discussions with others interested in foreign policy.  The text for the course is published by the Foreign Policy Association stating its mission “to help stimulate constructive and informed citizen participation in world affairs.”  Topics for discussion in the 2017 series are as follows: The Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum and Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan.   The Great Decisions book is available for $25.00 in the GSU Bookstore; please call 708.534.4558 to order.

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-03



    Win, Lose, Punt or Play: Sport in Film

    Class Co-Leaders: Bill Byrnes and Suzanne Patterson

    For better or worse, sports are an important part of modern life all over the world.  Since filmmaking began, sports have been a compelling subject for both filmmakers and viewers.  The best sports films tell us about ourselves and the world around us; they have the power to uplift us, but they also challenge us to think about broader issues in our society.  Eight uniquely sport-themed films will be screened and discussed including classics such as Bang the Drum Slowly and Chariots of Fire as well as lesser known gems such as Wondrous Oblivion and The Mighty Macs.

    NOTE: Class time 1-3:30p.m.

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-04 

    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or