Online Skill-Building Modules

The CCPD has compiled the following list of online free skill-building modules. We would welcome your suggestions for additional free, asynchronous online courses.  We recommend that students take advantage of these resources to build skills outside of the classroom.

LinkedIn Learning

  • Step 1: Get a Kalamazoo Public Library Card Note: You can definitely take advantage of signing up online, but your card (thus, access) will expire 60 days after doing so. If you sign up in person (or sign up online and then visit the mobile library or one of the physical buildings), your card will be good for three years.
  • Step 2: Choose from thousands of online courses to learn in-demand skills from real-world industry experts. 


Computer/Programming Skills

  • Wall Street Oasis offers a free Excel Crash Course
  • w3schools – offers free courses in HTML/CSS, JavaScript, HTML Graphics, SQL/PHP/ASP, XML and more.
  • Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 9 different programming languages including Python, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, AngularJS, and Ruby, as well as markup languages HTML and CSS.
  • You don’t have to be considering a career in IT to benefit from learning to code. By knowing even the fundamentals of tech, you’ll both understand more about how the tools you use every day work and be able to complete more tasks on your own (a.k.a., not have to wait for tech’s help when something goes awry). Sign up for the Skillcrush 10-day Bootcamp to learn the basics of the languages used to create websites, HTML and CSS, and wield your new tech superpowers to code your first web page.
  • Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners is just one of the free courses provided at Udemy.
  • Become advanced (or intermediate) in Excel.
  • Grow your PowerPoint skills.
  • Become advanced in using Outlook.
  • Build expertise in Microsoft Teams.
  • Learn Salesforce, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, and other skills in Trailhead.

Online Marketing

  • Online Advertising from OPEN2STUDY – Learn how to set realistic and measurable campaign objectives, identify the steps involved in digital campaign planning, and understand the process of selling an online ad program.
  • Email Marketing – Sign up for an account with MailChimp, one of the most popular email marketing services, and work through its Getting Started guide. Then pick a group of people and shoot out an awesome newsletter to them. Visit Email Design Guide for advanced formatting tips.
  • SEO for SEO Beginners from Udemy – Heard of SEO, but never got the chance to understand what it actually is? Learn the three pillars of powerful SEO and get to the top of the search results.
  • Getting Started With Email Marketing from Skillshare – MailChimp’s Allyson Van Houten teaches you how to craft an email marketing strategy.

Social Media

  • Social Media 101 – Email marketing provider Constant Contact created this online tutorial to get you started on building your social media presence across all of the top social networks—from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
  • Learn how to use the free Hootesuite program to schedule social media.
  • Get certified in Social Media Strategy for free at Hubspot Academy.

Content Management System (CMS) / Blogging

  • CMS stands for “Content Management System”—it’s a tool for handling online content like web pages, blog posts, images, videos, e-commerce, and so on. So any company with any content at all has a CMS. While they’re all a little different, once you learn one, you can figure out almost any other. Make a site just for fun (or finally launch that blog you’ve been dreaming of) with WordPress and start getting to know how a site’s backend works. You don’t have to actually publish anything; by just spending time learning how all the pieces fit together, you’ll gain knowledge on what it takes to go from idea to completed post. If you need help getting started, check this tutorial for design tips and the WordPress “Blogging University” for post creation tips.



Participate in Virtual Experiential Learning

  • Sign up for free on Parker Dewey and apply for micro internships.
  • Join Forage for free and participate in self-paced, on-line experience programs in a wide range of career fields from human rights to venture capital, developed by major organizations across the world.


  • Entrepreneurship 101: Who Is Your Customer? From edX – Originally taught through MIT, this class includes case studies of entrepreneurs in mobile apps, 3D printing, and international development.
  • Entrepreneurship and Family Business from OPEN2STUDY – Interested in learning about entrepreneurial characteristics and psychology, intrapreneurship, or family businesses? Study everything from the role of power and politics in businesses to managing the family while managing the business.
  • Build. Measure. Learn. Lean Startup SXSW 2012 from Udemu – Recorded at SXSW Interactive 2012, this course provides all the presentations from the Lean Startup event. You’ll learn lean startup methodology from some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and startup experts like Steve Blank, Scott Cook, and Todd Park.
  • Learn to build your own business with SCORE.

Social Justice

Are we missing something? Please submit additional asynchronous course links to Rachel Wood.