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.


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  • 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

    Room: GMT 107

    Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Time: 6-9 p.m. 

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

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Doctoral Students, and Alumni: $40

    Course Number: CE-BUS14-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, Ph.D. (Read Bio

    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

    Room: GMT 107

    Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

    Time: 6-9 p.m. 

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

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Doctoral Students,

     and Alumni: $40  Course Number: CE-SOCM06-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, Ph.D. (Read Bio

    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 

    Room: GMT 107

    Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017  

    Time: 6-9 p.m. 

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

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Doctoral Students,

    and Alumni:$40 Course Number: CE-SOCM07-02

    Instructor: Deborah James, Ph.D. (Read Bio

    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

    Room: GMT 107

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

    Time: 6-9 p.m.  

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

    Discount Fee for GSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Doctoral Students, and Alumni:$60 

    Course Number: CE-SOCM08-02  

    Instructor: Vernon Smith (Read Bio)

    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

    Room: B2202

    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

    Room: B2200

    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    


                          View the Spring 2017 Brochure Here                           
                                                 REGISTER HERE FOR SPRING CLASSES                                                                                                          

     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.



    8-week sessions (10:00a.m. - 12noon unless otherwise noted)


    A History of Innovation  

    Class Co-Leaders: Myras and Linda Osman

    In this class we will explore innovations that changed the way we live and helped make the modern world. Key technologies will include the electric light, refrigeration, measuring time, glass and lenses, recording sound, water purification, modern metals and locomotion. We will use the PBS documentary film, How We Got to Now as well as two other documentaries on the creation of the early steel industry and railroads. Although not required, those interested might want to read How We Got to Now; Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson.

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-05  



    Hitchcock Looks at Fascism  

    Class Co-Leaders: Jeff Decker and Suzanne Patterson 

    Alfred Hitchcock is recognized as one of the greatest film makers in the history of cinema. This class is intended to be an examination of his earlier and more obscure films which were designed to inform his viewers regarding the evils of the emergence of fascism.  While his more famous films will not be represented here, some iconic scenes in the history of film as pertaining to Hitchcock will be recognized and analyzed during classroom conversation.  The movies scheduled for viewing and discussion span the years 1934 through 1944 and include Sabotage (an extremely dark and rarely seen film), the original The Man Who Knew Too Much - no Doris Day here!, The 39 Steps, Secret Agent, and Lifeboat.  

    NOTE: class time 9:30a.m.-Noon  

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-06  


    Afternoon Classes

    8-week classes / 1:00 - 3:00p.m.


    CW & Reconstruction: 1864-68

    Class Co-Leaders: Bill Mitchell and Scott Dominiak

    This year, co-leaders Bill and Scott are using a different approach to their civil war history class. Several significant events within the 1864-68 time period will be viewed through film and discussion.  In prior years lecture dominated the class and films were used sparingly; this year will be the opposite with lecture at a minimum.  The Battle for Atlanta, Sherman's March to the Sea, The Passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, and Reconstruction will be among the topics to be viewed on film and discussed.

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-07  



    The Life and Times of Art and Music  

    Class Leader: Ron Small with special guest leader Betty Delinck

    Ron Small returns with a second class offering, this time exploring art and music as they relate to each other during various time periods.  Class sessions will review the sociopolitical influences on art and music during the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods.  Class will include lecture, discussion and multi-media presentations with Ron and Betty covering Music and Art respectively.

    Course Code: CE-TKE01-08


    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or