FREE Gale Courses can help employees enhance skills

If you are an employee who would like to gain valuable work-related skills but do not have a lot of money to shell out on expensive courses, or an employer who would like to help an employee gain those skills, the Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library has a great FREE system that can help.

Gale Courses have returned to the local library system. It’s a online learning platform that offers access to hundreds of instructor-lead on courses on a variety of business skills and services such as Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Project and more. They also have specific courses on sales, supervision and management, customer service, social media, project management and more.

Leadership and management and business software are two particular areas of developmental courses that Gale Courses offer free of charge. There are even classes that can strengthen non-profit businesses, particularly a slew of grant writing classes that could help your organization get money for your valuable services.

Best of all, the local library has gone through some painstaking measures to make sure your privacy is secured and this long-trusted method of learning has returned to our area.

But don’t take my word for it. I did a little question and answer session with Jenn Slone, Digital Services Team Leader, about Gale Courses:

What do you need to take Gale courses? Library card, internet access? Anything else?

To access Gale Courses, you only need a CRCPL library card, internet access, and an email address.

How interactive are the courses?

Unless otherwise specified, all courses run for six weeks, with two lessons posted each week of the course.  Each lesson is accompanied by a short, multiple-choice quiz, and some lessons may have a hands-on assignment.  The course concludes with a final exam.

Each lesson is accompanied by an interactive discussion area.  When you need help with a lesson, all you have to do is post your question in the course discussion area, where the instructor, his or her teaching assistant, or one of your fellow students will respond.

How can small businesses take advantage of the Gale courses offered by the library?

Gale Courses offers hundreds of courses that can help small business owners and employees grow themselves and their businesses.  In fact, many courses are tied directly to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest growing occupations.  Courses are offered relating to Accounting, Business Communication, Grant Writing, Management and Leadership, Project Management, Sales and Marketing, Starting Your Own Business, Real Estate, Healthcare, and General Business Skills.  The course list for computers and technology is vast and caters to all skill levels.  Courses are available for the Microsoft Office Suite, Photoshop, Lightroom, Quickbooks, programming and database management, computer security, and much more.

Are there any courses that could help strengthen non-profits?

Absolutely!  Gale features courses such as Starting a Nonprofit, Nonprofit Fundraising Essentials, Nonprofit Management, Social Media Marketing, Grant Writing, Event Planning, among others.

Is the course structure learn at your own pace, or is it in a classroom pace?

The course structure is a somewhat flexible classroom pace.  Two lessons are posted per week during the course.  Students who do not access lessons one and two by the Tuesday two weeks after the course start date will be automatically dropped from their courses.  (Students who are dropped will be able to enroll in later sessions.)  In order to maintain access to Gale Courses, students must remain active in their courses.  Some elements, like weekly discussion boards, may only be available during time set by instructor, and all coursework must be completed by the close of the session.

To read more about Gale Courses, click on the image at the top of the screen or here.