Did you know that the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UAEX) offers a variety of online courses, completely free of charge? Some of these courses are agricultural. Others cover human sciences. But as long as you have regular access to a computer, you can learn about raising chickens, collecting soil samples, and developing community food systems, as well as nutrition, aging and personal finance, among other topics.
Agricultural Education For Adults
Have you held a private pesticide applicator’s license in the past five years? If so, you can take a $20 online re-certification class in order to renew your certification. You can also get certified to apply Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides.
Want to try raising chickens? There’s a free, online Introduction to Backyard Poultry class.
Wondering what biotechnology is and how it affects everything from farming to medicine? Try the Intro to Biotechnology course.
Worried that your soil may have nematodes? It’s better to find out early, before your crops are destroyed. Did you know that there’s a right way (and a lot of wrong ways!) to collect a soil sample? This course will teach you the right way.
Interested in horticulture? Master Gardener is an intense program that will teach you about annuals, perennials, shrubs, fruit, and vegetables. You’ll learn what, when, and where to plant.
Agricultural Education For Kids
UAEX also has some courses that are especially designed for children. The Animal Science course gives youth enrolled in 4-H an introduction to caring for and managing the health of farm animals.
The Soybean Science Challenge is really two courses—one for students and one for teachers. Its goal is to promote interest and innovation in soybean farming.
Social Science Courses
LeadAR wants to develop strong social and economic leaders throughout the state, via helping future leaders develop communication and professional relationship skills, while also familiarizing them with the most pressing political and social challenges in Arkansas. One of the goals of this course is to foster solution-seeking urban and rural partnerships.
Promoting Senior Mental Health and Preventing Suicide is aimed at anyone who has a senior in their life that they love, as well as those who work with seniors or who want to take an active role in protecting the mental health of the seniors in their community. Introduction to Gerontology looks at aging through a more systemic lens, delving into Arkansas-specific and nation-wide impacts of aging.
Personal & Professional Development Courses
UAEX offers a personal finance course as well as a course to guide parents in teaching children about managing money. You can also take courses in childcare, nutrition and Arkansas county government. “Introduction to County Government” helps you understand how county governments budget and allot resources, as well as how decisions are made.
The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an amazing resource, and in some cases, can even help you get professional certifications. See the full list of online courses at the UAEX website.