Woman in flannel shirt with student quote, "Moving between the text, videos, slides, and quizzes made it easy to complete at my own pace."

On-demand institutes

On-demand institutes are comprehensive, non-credit courses developed by university faculty at the affordable tuition rate of $99 per course. Online registration is open and ongoing. After completing registration, the participant will gain access to the online course within 5-10 business days. The course is divided into units with various readings, short videos, and supportive documents to explore a set topic. Participants can access the course 24/7, for up to six months after registration, to explore and complete the course material. Faculty are available for support via the online platform e-mailing system.

Current on-demand institutes

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

20th Century Labor History

History can provide critical lessons for today. Through the exploration of recent labor history, learn not only the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ and ‘why’ unions and workers’ rights have evolved to what we know today. Explore the U.S. labor movement’s modern victories and defeats, seeking lessons to point a way forward.

Topics include:

  • How the National Labor Relations Act came about
  • The surge of labor organizing in the 1930s and 1940s
  • The growth of unions in the public sector
  • The impacts of the PATCO strike, globalization, and the transformation of work
  • Signs of future labor movement renewal

Tuition: $99.00

Register now

Essentials for Union Stewards

Union members know their workplaces better than anyone, and effective stewards are one of a union’s most important assets. Stewards are the eyes, ears, and embodiment of the union in the workplace. This Essentials for Union Stewards institute is designed to prepare members to understand labor in the economy, know their legal rights, recognize potential grievances, and investigate and assist bargaining unit members in the workplace and in grievance or investigatory meetings. The institute is self-guided and accessible 24/7, giving students the flexibility to study and learn at their own pace. Becoming a steward requires taking on more responsibility than being a member, but this class prepares students to confidently fulfill that role and find the satisfaction of making a real difference in their workplace.

Tuition: $99.00

Register now

Fundamentals of the Family and Medical Leave Act

Most workers understand that employees at workplaces with 50 or more employees have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for either their own serious health condition or that of a close family member. But applying the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in practice gets complicated. Which employers are covered? Who are close family members? What conditions are covered? How does leave taken during COVID-19 interact with FMLA? This course is designed for any worker curious to know more about the FMLA and worker representatives responsible to help workers navigate the process to learn the essentials of workers’ FMLA rights.

Tuition: $99.00

Register now

Enrollment info

Registration is always open! Register online here. Participants will receive access to the online course within 5-10 business days and have six months to complete the course. After successfully registering for classes, you will receive two important e-mails:

  1. Immediately, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that you have successfully registered.
  2. Within 5-10 business days, you will receive an e-mail prompting you to create an ID to access the online class platform.

Register now

After completing registration, you will automatically connect to a secure online payment site. Tuition is accepted only online at charge.wisc.edu/schoolforworkers and is due at registration. Please note that on-demand institutes are non-refundable.  

University of Wisconsin–Madison provides equal opportunities in programming. If you need an interpreter or have a disability and require accommodations, please make your request at registration. You may also make this request by contacting the School for Workers office at schoolforworkers@dcs.wisc.edu or 608-262-2112. Requests are confidential.

Providing access to high-quality labor education to advance worker empowerment and facilitate workplace improvements.