Continuing education can be for professional development or personal enrichment. (Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has many people exploring new career goals, hobbies, and expanding their minds. And one of the best ways to do all three is to enroll in continuing education courses.

Continuing education courses are noncredit classes offered at colleges and universities on Long Island as well as at local libraries and many area school districts. Offerings range from one-time classes on painting or boosting one’s self esteem to a series of lectures on cooking or learning new technologies — and virtually every topic in between.

The best part? Many are now offered remotely due to COVID-19, making it easier for those who have trouble fitting continuing education into their busy schedules. Here is how to find such classes.

With more than 100 local libraries in communities across Nassau and Suffolk counties, there are plenty of options available regionwide. Just visit your neighborhood library’s website and search for the continuing education or adult services section to peruse upcoming course offerings. And make sure to register early in case they fill up. 

While some classes are limited to library cardholders, others are not, so attendees can often take classes at a neighboring library. Additional online course offerings can be found at

Like local libraries, there are also more than 100 school districts across LI and many of them also offer continuing education classes. But unlike many libraries, local school districts don’t require attendees to have a membership card to sign up. Attendees can also sign up for classes outside their district.

There are more than a dozen colleges and universities on the Island and of those, five are a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system: Stony Brook University, Farmingdale State College, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Nassau Community College, and Suffolk County Community College. Each boasts an array of continuing ed classes drawing on their top-notch professors’ expertise. Find offerings online.

Like their SUNY counterparts, Long Island’s private institutions of higher education also tout hearty continuing education course catalogues for people looking to expand their horizons. They include Hofstra University in Hempstead, LIU Post in Brookville, Adelphi University in Garden City, Molloy College in Rockville Centre, St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, and Touro College, which has multiple campuses.

Register today!

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.