Loyola may be best known for its undergraduate program, but education at Loyola extends far beyond the college years.

Case in point: Continuum, which is offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, offers non-credit classes to people who are interested in studying pertinent academic topics, enhancing career-based skills, or simply expanding  their knowledge of the world.

But these are no typical adult-education courses. Classes are split into four categories of academic areas: humanities; professional development; sustainability studies; and writing, communication, and marketing, and the topics within each of these areas contains a variety of courses. Maria Lettiere, assistant director of academic programs for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, says overall Continuum has about 60 to 70 courses and they “run the gamut” covering a huge range of topics and disciplines.

Though the wide range of classes may seem overwhelming to the casual learner, Continuum is making it easy to choose what classes are right during their upcoming Open House on September 17, in the School of Communication (SOC) lobby (51 E. Pearson), at 6 p.m, which is co-sponsored by the School of Professional and Continuing Studies as well as the Department of Community Relations.  Potential students can get a taste of several different classes by meeting the teachers and learning more about what each class will be like before they make their final decision.  And according to Lettiere, getting a “taste” of classes is actually literal in this case.

“We try to give a sampling of our classes to individuals that come,” she notes.  “This year we have a course in French Gastronomy, so we will have samples of French wine and cheese.”

In addition to the tasty portion of the evening, many classes will be on display, including the “Localvore” series, which explores the issue of eating local foods (also includes a demonstration on how to preserve food), the “Image Business and History Series: Fashion Forecasting,” and “Yoga Series: Mind and Body.” Event participants also will have the opportunity to tour the SOC convergence studio. Lettiere says “we love to integrate any part  of our schools when we can” and notes that it is a good way for potential students to see the resources that Loyola can offer.

Aside from the variety of courses, Continuum also offers varying locations, times, lengths, and prices of courses.  Classes have always been held at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and Water Tower Campus, but this semester Continuum will also feature courses taught at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, as well as the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills. Classes start throughout the month of September, and can range from a one-time seminar to a six- to eight-week course. Discounts are available to LUMA members and Loyola faculty, staff, and alumni.

Ultimately, Lettiere explains that Continuum provides a good way for students to gain knowledge while being a part of something bigger.

“Our students often tell us that not only are Continuum classes practical and affordable, but that the students enjoy being a part of the Loyola community,” she says.

For more information on Continuum and its programs, click here.

Continuum Open House: Thursday, September 15, 6-7:30 p.m., in the School of Communication lobby (51 E. Pearson)