9 interesting continuing education courses to take this summer

May 21 2021, 8:07 am

We’ve collectively had a lot of time to reflect over the past year, using all those free moments at home or outside to do some true introspective thinking.

And apparently, this extra space to ponder has led many people to contemplate their employment. Last October, a report by recruitment company Hays revealed that 49% of Canadians were seriously considering leaving their current role. While this figure may be slightly different today, it’s evident that many are looking to change the direction of their careers.

Exploring options for continuing education is a fantastic way to do this, allowing you to dip your toes in a growing industry or perhaps build on the skills you already have to discover if growth in your current role is the right fit for you.

Since many adult courses are affordably priced, they provide low-barrier access to education, and you only need to be aged 18 or older (with a high school diploma) to register.¬†That being said, we’ve compiled a selection of engaging summer courses at¬†Emily Carr University of Art + Design to consider.

Introductory Web Design

Since the onset of the pandemic, many businesses have made the switch online to better serve their customers. By taking this introductory course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of website design, from the technical to aesthetics and writing HTML and CSS code. Upon finishing the eight-week program (with one class per week), you’ll have coding skills, knowledge of browser and device compatibility, graphics, CMS, and usability to transition your career online.

Intermediate Web Design

If you already have the basics of web design down, you can boost your employability by taking this eight-week course and delving into the intermediate side of things. Expanding upon the fundamentals introduced in the aforementioned course, this program explores modern¬†JavaScript, advanced selectors, flexbox layout, preprocessors, transitions and animation, CSS blend modes, and more. In just two months, you’ll be able to create responsive, complex web apps, opening doors to¬†high-opportunity occupations in BC.

Introductory Adobe InDesign

The seamless design and page layout you often see in your favourite newsletters, books, and magazines could very well be a product of the powerful tool that is Adobe InDesign. In this four-week course (12 hours total), students learn how to use InDesign for tasks like generating and formatting text, digital production and output, combining digital assets, and multi-page design, in addition to colour as it relates to print and production.

Vancouver Public Art

Vancouver is renowned for its installations and public artworks, and during this two-week course, you can immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant art scene, learning about the stories behind iconic pieces. Led by a local¬†artist and educator, this hybrid course offers students (and their friends) insight into the role of public art within society and community spaces. This course will also help you discover new sites and participate in discussions about space- and place-making in our local neighbourhoods.

En Plein Air: Discovering Nature

If exploring and learning in the great outdoors and online sounds appealing to you, this four-week course — led by a local artist and educator — could be what you’re looking for. The ‘plein air’ method takes you outside of the studio to observe natural spaces and the changing details of weather and light. Students will have the option to use drawing or painting techniques and materials to create studies of landscapes, flora, and fauna, ultimately capturing how natural environments are subject to change. You can join the course with a friend in your bubble, too.

Photo Story: Spaces, Places, and the Everyday

This 12-hour hybrid course gives photography enthusiasts another reason to create outside with four classes led by a local artist and educator. You’ll learn about the history of street photography, self-portraits, the ethics of documenting people in public spaces, lighting techniques, viewer perspective, and so much more. When you complete the workshop, including self-guided tours, assignments, and virtual group discussions, you’ll walk away knowing different approaches to captivating visual storytelling.

Summer Institute for Teens

Summer education options at Emily Carr University of Art + Design are not limited to adults. There’s a Summer Institute for Teens (SIT) taking place online through July that offers intensive classes taught by professional artists, designed to help pre-university students get ready for the next step in their creative careers and teens who wish to deepen their learning and cultivate their interests and skills. Classes include everything from 3D Animation to Architecture and Environmental Design, and the course concludes with an online exhibition of work by the students.

Meanwhile, for students aged 13 to 15 who wish to learn something new, there’s a Junior Art Intensive program taking place over two weeks in July. Working with professional art instructors, students will explore 2D and 3D art-making, developing their talents through drawing, painting, animation, and soft sculpture throughout the program.

Introductory WordPress

Whether you’re looking to add website management skills to your resum√©, launching your own blog, or helping a friend establish a web presence, this introductory course will take you through the popular content management system WordPress. You’ll learn how to install WordPress, make posts, pages, galleries, plus evaluate and use numerous WordPress themes and plugins — to safely develop and produce different sites, keeping them secure with content backed up.

Introductory Adobe Photoshop

Anyone curious about venturing into design, photography, or media as a hobby or a profession could benefit from learning about the creative potential of Adobe Photoshop. Over four weeks, this 12-hour course takes students through raster image processing and photo editing, addressing how to apply knowledge to practical projects using basic image manipulation, channels, paths, blending, and more.


Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a hub for multi-generational learning in BC — with students as young as 12 in its youth programs¬†— and hobbyists in their 70s taking individual Continuing Studies courses.

To discover more web and digital design skills courses for adults, hybrid summer workshops, or register your teens for the SIT or Junior Art Intensive program, visit ecuad.ca/cs.

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