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IU Northwest’s CURE offering courses in reading, smartphones, filmmaking and more

Variety of free and low-cost courses are available for learners of all ages

Community May 14, 2024

Gary, Ind. — Indiana University Northwest’s Center for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) offers many 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. CURE is now enrolling for summer offerings:

Reading Skills Programs

Schedule and cost varies
Programs for all grade levels

This popular program is now enrolling for summer! Offered in partnership with the Institute of Reading Development, these 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: COPD: Living Better Together

12-2 p.m., Friday, May 17
In-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, May 9
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. Caregivers and concerned loved ones are also welcome to attend.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Introduction to Knitting

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, June 13, 20 and 27
In-person at IU Northwest
Registration deadline: Noon, May 30
Free and open to adults ages 55+

Join Jane Whedbee, fiber artist, knitter and designer, for this beginner-level knitting series. Participants will learn the fundamental terminology and methods needed to follow a basic knitting pattern. This will include learning casting on (starting), mastering the core stitches and patterns and binding off (finishing) a piece of knitted fabric. Knitting needles (size 8), yarn and other basic materials will be provided.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


IUN Community Garden: Square Foot Gardening 101

11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday, June 4
Zoom meeting
Registration deadline: Noon, June 3
Free and open to adults of all ages

Join Damon Bazziel, President of the Gary Food Council and Gary Urban Farming Initiative Gardener, for this live Zoom session to learn about the square foot gardening method. Considered a highly efficient gardening system, it is great for raised beds or small plots of land and can be utilized by gardeners of all skill levels.

Register online


Adult Ed/Senior U: Managing Money: A Caregiver’s Guide to Finances

12-1:15 p.m., Tuesday, June 18
Concurrent: Zoom and in-person at IUN
Registration deadline: Noon, May 30
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you or someone you know is facing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another chronic illness, it’s never too early to put financial plans in place. Join the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter in person at IUN or on Zoom to learn tips for managing someone else’s finances, how to prepare for future care costs and the benefits of early planning.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6978.


IUN Community Garden: The Gift of Healing Herbs

6-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, June 25
Zoom meeting
Registration deadline: Noon, June 24
Free and open to adults of all ages

Join Victoria Jostes, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener, for this live Zoom session to learn about healing herbs. Eons ago, humans figured out that certain plants have positive effects on the body. In this presentation, we will investigate several commonly known herbs that have been utilized for hundreds, even thousands of years, in folk medicine.

Register online


Senior University: Silver Screen Filmmakers Club

3-5 p.m., Fridays, July 12 through October 18
Hybrid: Alternates in-person at IUN and online
Registration deadline: Noon, June 27
Free and open to adults ages 55+, priority given to ages 65+

Ever dreamed of making a movie? Then the Silver Screen Filmmakers Club is for you! This free hybrid workshop is geared toward people aged 65+ and is sponsored by a Lifelong Learning Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. Members will learn how to shoot short documentary films on their phones and work as production teams. Additionally, members will learn a brief history of filmmaking, basic graphic design, color theory, video editing techniques and audio tips. If you do not have a phone or a mobile device to use in class, IUN’s CURE is generously providing equipment to borrow (limited number/selection). The course is being taught by Award-winning writer/ filmmaker, Jessica Renslow, and graphic design guru, Gretchen Sipp.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Smartphones IV for Androids

2-4 p.m., Tuesdays, July 16, 23 and 30
Concurrent: Zoom and in-person at IUN
Registration deadline: Noon, July 1
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you’ve taken Smartphones I, II and III, then get ready because the advanced Android smartphone course you’ve been waiting for is now open for enrollment! In this concurrent series, Brittany Taylor will teach participants how to use emojis, bitmojis, memojis and QR codes, as well as how to create flyers and memes with their Android smartphones.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


Senior University: Smartphones IV for iPhones

2-4 p.m., Thursdays, July 18, 25 and August 1
Concurrent: Zoom and in-person at IUN
Registration deadline: Noon, July 1
Free and open to adults ages 55+

If you’ve taken Smartphones I, II and III, then get ready because the advanced iPhone course you’ve been waiting for is now open for enrollment! In this concurrent series, Brittany Taylor will teach participants how to use emojis, bitmojis, memojis and QR codes, as well as how to create flyers and memes with their iPhone smartphones.

Register online

All others call 219-980-6907.


Adult Education: Fundamental 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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