John Kennedy, 49, butcher
Favorite class Even though his “job does not require correct comma placement,” Kennedy favors classes in Loyola University’s Communication Department.
Favorite instructor Kevin O’Connor, a certified speaking professional who owns a consulting company and holds degrees in education, counseling psychology and pastoral studies.
Get schooled Sign up for the Interpersonal Communication class at Loyola University Chicago School of Continuing and Professional Studies (820 N Michigan Ave, Lewis Towers 401, 312-915-6501). The class teaches students how to improve communication in personal and professional settings. 8 weeks, starting in late August. $615 per unit.
Frank Fons, 48, business architect and project manager
Favorite class Using an $8,000 Workforce Investment Act grant, Fons signed up for project management training at DePaul University, which helped him transition into full-time project work.
Favorite instructor Beth Ardolino. “She has had countless real-world examples of project obstacles and what she used to overcome them [and] integrated student work experience into the class.”
Get schooled The 20-week Project Management Certificate Program at DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education (14 E Jackson Blvd, suite 1010, 312-362-6300). Classes run September through late February. $3,600.
Antoinette Hansen-Anguiano, 50, legal administrator
Favorite class “After being unemployed for three years, I received my certificate [from the Paralegal Program at DePaul] volunteered for two weeks, and was employed by the third week,” Hansen-Anguiano says.
Favorite instructor Cheryl Kettler, an adjunct professor at DePaul College of Law and an attorney specializing in taxes and employee benefits. “Excellence is her standard, allowing for a stable foundation for our future endeavors.”
Get schooled The 17-week Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education teaches all the basics you need to know through classroom and online instruction, (14 E Jackson Blvd, suite 1010, 312-362-6300). Begins mid-September. $5,995.
Burt Schultz, 72, retired
Favorite class After losing his wife of 30 years, Schultz turned to the Graham school to “open another door for my life to continue” with classes like Great Conversations, where leading University of Chicago scholars lecture on a variety of topics such as education reform and philosophy.
Favorite instructor Bart Schultz (no relation), a senior lecturer in philosophy and director of the Civic Knowledge Project. “He manages to secure wonderful speakers with thought-provoking, interesting and sometimes controversial topics.”
Get schooled Great Conversations at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies (1427 E 60th St, 773-702-1722). Year-round. $30 per lecture or $70 for three-lecture series.