UW Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education Courses for Professional Development in Advancement and Prospect Research

7 Jun 2023 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Thanks to APRA Wisconsin’s Amy Disch Memorial scholarship, I was able to take a professional development course at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education.  Many of the sessions, like the one I attended, are held just one day and the cost of the class was covered by the scholarship funds.  They have in-person and live virtual sessions to offer.  Link here.

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Continuing Education offers many classes, programs and certificates for professional development, accreditation and learning.  I took the Excel II class, as I feel somewhat proficient in Excel, but wanted to learn more and sharpen my skills.  They offer three Excel classes at different levels based on experience and are held for typically 8 hours in one day either in-person at their downtown Milwaukee office or live online through Zoom.  Since my Excel skills were learned post-college and through experience alone, I was happy to be able to take an official course to learn more and refine my skills.

The class I attended taught us to create and manage spreadsheets to manipulate data sets using formulas, such as conditional formatting and pivot tables.  We also learned different configurations, add-ins, specialized functioning, advanced sorting and data slicers.  In addition to the class itself, you get a really nice soft cover book outlining in great detail everything you learned in class.  I found this book super helpful as it went through exactly what we learned and I could take notes as we practiced our data functions.  The class is lead by an instructor and you get to practice and test out the material with time to ask questions as you go.  I highly recommend taking any of the Excel classes if you want to learn more about functionality, formulas and shortcuts (there were many I did not know!) to sharpen or advance your data skills.  The class was affordable, easy to sign up and attendance was well worth it.  I will most likely take Excel III in the future to learn more ways to use data in my everyday work more efficiently. 

I would highly recommend any class at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Continuing Education.  From an advancement/research perspective, there are many beneficial classes, programs and certificates offered.  In particular, the school offers a certificate in non-profit management, very similar to graduate programs offered at the university level, but this one is much cheaper, easier to access and can be completed without having to apply to graduate school.  The certificate is 14 courses, many offered nights and weekends, and each course can be completed in a few days rather than an entire semester.  It is affordable and applies real-life case studies to many different facets of non-profit work including leadership, strategic planning, employee management and fundraising. 

Other certificates to note for prospect research/advancement professionals to note:

• Python

• New Manager/Supervisor

• Data Analysis

• Digital Marketing

• Grant Writing

• Project Management

• Emerging Leaders

Thank you to APRA Wisconsin for the award and the scholarship funds to allow me to attend this class and learn new skills.  In addition, thank you to the APRA Wisconsin nomination committee and all of you who work tirelessly to help our chapter members advance our careers.  Remember to nominate an APRA Wisconsin member next year and they may be able to receive a professional development scholarship like I did! 


Written by Erin Olson. 

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