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IU Northwest CURE offers courses in business, smartphones, art & more

Free and low-cost courses in Senior University and Adult Education are available to learners of all ages

Community Mar 12, 2024

Gary, Ind. — Indiana University Northwest’s Center for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) offers a variety of non-credit courses and educational programs that aim to assist people of all ages gain skills and enrich their lives as we face today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.

CURE offers a variety of learning opportunities for all ages through its Reading Skills, Community Garden, Senior University, and Adult Education programs.

The offerings include:

Reading Skills Programs

Schedule and cost vary
Programs for all grade levels

This popular program is now enrolling for summer! Offered in partnership with the Institute of Reading Development, programs are specifically designed to give students the skills, motivation and individual support they need in each grade level. Students attend weekly classes that build skills and provide great experiences with terrific books. Between classes, students practice reading and complete fun, interactive lessons that develop core skills and build confidence.

Enroll or learn more


Senior University: Medicare 101

1-2 p.m., Friday, March 15
Concurrent via Zoom and in-person at IU Northwest
Registration Deadline: Noon, March 13
Free and open to adults ages 55+

Join Fatima Shabaz, an Indiana licensed agent, at IU Northwest or via Zoom for a crash course in Medicare. This session will discuss Medicare Parts A, B, C and D, Advantage Plans, Supplement Plans and prescription plans. We will also cover penalties and enrollment periods.

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Contemporary Jazz Singers

6-7:30 p.m., Monday, March 18 and Thursday, March 21
Zoom meetings
Registration Deadline: Noon, March 15
Free and open to adults ages 55+

These jazz history sessions will be an exploration of the jazz singers who are practicing their art at this present time. Join Billy Foster, jazz pianist and composer, as we listen to and study the backgrounds of current jazz singers including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, Jazzmeia Horn and more!

Register online


Adult Education/Senior University: Phishing and Identity Theft

1-2 p.m., Monday, March 25
In-person at Crown Point Community Library
Registration deadline: noon, March 14
Free and open to adults of all ages

Phishing is an attempt to trick you into divulging personal confidential information that a cybercriminal can use to steal money or even your identity. If you have email, use social media, or even text on your mobile device, then you are a target for phishing. Join us for this in-person session at the Crown Point Community Library so that you can learn to recognize the signs of phishing and stay safer online.

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6978.


Senior University: Business Building Basics

6-7:30 p.m., Wednesdays, April 3, 10, 17 and 24
Zoom meetings
Registration deadline: Noon, April 2
Free and open to adults ages 55+

This four-part Zoom series will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with resources they can use to start living their dream of business ownership. Led by Tavetta Patterson, entrepreneur and author, these sessions will provide participants with a business plan template, an entrepreneur’s guide for doing business, tools to help focus products and services and strategies for building a debt-free business as well as a successful team.

Register online


Adult Education/Senior University: Would You Save a Life If You Could?

1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10
In-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, April 2
Free and open to adults of all ages

Join Cleonna Henderson, Community Outreach Coordinator with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, for this in-person meeting to learn about saving a life through organ and tissue donation. Participants will learn the importance of donation, how donation works and common myths and misconceptions that surround the donation community.

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6978.


IUN Community Garden: Hummingbirds

12-1 p.m., Wednesday, April 17
Zoom meeting
Registration deadline: Noon, April 16
Free and open to adults of all ages

Did you know there are about 340 species of hummingbirds? During migration, these amazing little birds travel solo for hundreds of miles and often visit the same gardens and feeders when they return. Join Susan Radovich, Master Gardener, for this live Zoom session to learn more about hummingbirds, particularly those likely to visit our region and how to attract them to your yard.

Register online


IUN Community Garden: Introduction to Perennial Flower Gardening

12-1 p.m., Thursday, May 2
Zoom meeting
Registration deadline: Noon, May 1
Free and open to adults of all ages

If you are interested in learning the basics about perennial flower gardening, then join Dolly Foster, Indiana Accredited Horticulturist, for this live Zoom meeting so you can get your garden started off right! Topics covered will include soil fundamentals, watering woes, best tools, limiting pesticide use and Dolly’s favorite plants. We will share tips that have been passed down for years from gardener to gardener that are sure to help with starting a brand-new garden or renovating an established garden. Participants are encouraged to share their questions as well as their own tips and favorite perennials.

Register online


Senior University: Introduction to Email and Internet

10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Fridays, May 3, 10, 24 and 31 (no class on May 17)
In-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, April 18
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you have a functioning knowledge of computers (i.e., you can access an email account) and are ready to take the next step, then join Chelsea Whittington for this 4-part, in-person series! The email component of the series will introduce participants to basic email terms and actions such as forwarding messages, attaching photos and documents and sending messages to multiple parties. The internet component will define basic internet terms and teach participants how to access and surf the internet safely. This session will be held in a computer lab at the IUN campus.

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Smartphones III for Androids

2-4 p.m., Tuesdays, May 14, 21 and 28
Concurrent via Zoom and in-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, April 30
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you’ve taken Smartphones I and II, then get ready because the advanced smartphones course you’ve been waiting for is now open for enrollment! Led by technology wizard, Brittany Taylor, these sessions are designed for those who are ready to do more than just send texts and make phone calls with their Android smartphones. Participants will learn how to use GPS, type directly on a PDF, lock apps and so much more!

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Plein Air Watercolor Sketching

1-3 p.m., Wednesdays, May 15, 22 and 29
In-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, April 30
Free and open to adults ages 55+

Join Deb Weiss, a state-licensed, 30+ year visual and art history educator, for this introductory-level class in which will be exploring the use of watercolors as a sketching tool outdoors on the IUN campus. Not precise or intimidating, this process will be about looking, not thinking. Watercolor is a portable medium. We will use it as a simple, colorful impression - visual notetaking of a scene or still-life. Like impressionism, our watercolors will be instant and light-filled, let it be lighthearted and whimsical! Our pieces will be small in size but filled with information and character. Participants will produce many pieces quickly, without thought or pressure.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Smartphones III for iPhones

2-4 p.m., Thursdays, May 16, 23 and 30
Concurrent via Zoom and in-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, April 30
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you’ve taken Smartphones I and II, then get ready because the advanced smartphones course you’ve been waiting for is now open for enrollment! Led by technology wizard, Brittany Taylor, these sessions are designed for those who are ready to do more than just send texts and make phone calls with their iPhone smartphones. Participants will learn how to use GPS, type directly on a PDF, lock apps and so much more!

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: COPD: Living Better Together

12-2 p.m., Friday, May 17
In-Person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: noon, May 2
Free and open to adults ages 55+

Join Jillian Nelson, Nurse Practitioner and Family Medicine Specialist at Oak Street Health, for this in-person presentation on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). During this session, participants will learn about what COPD is, risk factors, prevention and treatment options.

Register online

All others can call 219-980-6907.


Adult Education: Absolute Courses

24/7 Access; All classes start new every month
Cost varies; courses for adults and young adults/teens

Online fundamental courses are informative, fun and convenient. Fundamental courses include instructor-led courses and self-paced tutorials. Instructor-led courses run for six weeks with monthly start dates and feature an instructor-moderated discussion board so that you can interact with your classmates. Self-paced tutorials are designed for completely independent learning, without instructor moderation, and can be started at any time. Complete any course entirely from home, at any time of the day or night. Popular courses include Speed Spanish, Accounting Fundamentals, Introduction to Microsoft Excel and A-to-Z Grant Writing.

Enroll, learn more or view all Fundamental courses


Adult Education: Career Training Programs

24/7 Access; start at any time
Cost varies; courses for adults

The online, open-enrollment Career Training Programs are designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional-level positions for many in-demand occupations. Our programs are designed by a team of professionals from each respective field, providing you with effective web-based learning programs. Instructors/mentors are actively involved in your online learning experience, responding to any questions or concerns, encouraging and motivating you to succeed.

Enroll, learn more or view all Career Training Programs


Adult Education: Comprehensive Career Tracks

24/7 Access; start dates vary
Cost varies; courses for adults

These online Career Track programs offer students a chance to hone their skills in a variety of professions—from the arts to healthcare to web development. All programs are available in a self-paced format and have opportunities for national certification, externship placement, and/or career support.

Enroll, learn more or view all Comprehensive Career Tracks


About the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence

The Center for Urban and Regional Excellence at Indiana University Northwest engages the university and the community in partnerships that jointly formulate programs and policies to support thriving Northwest Indiana communities. The Center works collaboratively with organizations in all sectors to address challenges and co-create solutions in diverse areas including economic development, government efficiency, nonprofit leadership development, public safety, transportation policy, environmental sustainability, health disparities, and arts and culture.

IU 2030: Service to our State and Beyond

IU Northwest will improve the lives of the people and economic vitality of Northwest Indiana and beyond by fostering and strengthening collaborative relationships that promote, build and sustain the well-being of the campus and our communities.

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