Library Blog

Back to Work with Universal Class

Back to Work reminder on a wall calendar

With your PLYMC Library Card, Universal Class gives you access to 500 FREE instructor-led online courses on many subjects, from academic skills to hobbies to general interest, with continuing education credits certified by the IACET.  All the courses are unlimited, instantaneous access. The one limit in Universal Class is that you can only actively work on 5 courses at the same time; however, as soon as you finish a course, you can sign up for another.  So, you can actually take as many courses as you want throughout the year.  The courses are self-paced, which means you can take the lessons within a course when they fit your schedule.  The time limit for completing a course is 6 months. 



For job seekers, you can locate courses by searching the course catalog by keyword. For example, searching Resumes will find the course: Resume Writing 101.  Searching Interview will find the Interview Skills course to help you prepare for job interviews.  Searching Excel, you will find courses in many versions of Excel, including Excel 2019 which is currently installed on all library computers. You can also browse course catalog to locate courses.  There are many subject categories useful for all jobseekers, such as: 

  • Career Training 
  • Computer Training  
  • Office Skills 

When you do choose to take a course in Universal Class, you will find that they are set up with multiple lessons of material to read on the screen and may include some video clips to watch as well. There will be homework assignments which must be completed and submitted for grading.  And there will be tests which are graded. When you submit your homework and tests, there is a delay in receiving your grades.  This is because it is not a computer that grades you.  Everything you submit is sent to the actual certified online instructor who created the course to be graded in person.  So, it will take anywhere from a few hours or more to receive your grade or score on tests and assignments.  Also, if you have questions during a course, you can communicate with the instructor through the Universal Class site. If you successfully pass all the assignments and tests, you will receive a certificate for the course.  Universal Class will store the certificate (which you can download and print) for 7 years.  The reason there is a time limit is because the courses are fully certified.  After 7 years, course material will have changed, so you would need to retake the course to receive an updated certificate. 

Of note with Universal Class is its possibility in fulfilling Continuing Education requirements for job seekers. As every course is fully certified, if you must take continuing education courses in order to maintain your license or certification for job, you may find courses here which your supervisor or licensing board will allow for the CE requirement. You will need to specifically tell them what course you are planning to take in order to check on this.  For example, if you are an STNA, a course on Cake Decorating will likely not work as a continuing education choice.  However, they might accept an STNA taking an Anatomy & Physiology course or a Medical Terminology course. 

Finally, Universal Class, like all our resources, does continually update its course catalog.  Over time, old, dated, and unused courses will be removed and new, updated courses added in. 

This is a great resource to use to improve and gain new skills to add to your resume and become a successful job seeker! 

For more on how to use Universal Class, check out:

Come back next week to check out the library’s online resources for adding a new language to your resume skill section!

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.