Bemis School of Art
818 Pelham Place, 475-2444
Affiliated with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and established in 1919, the Bemis School of Art offers classes for all ages and experiences. A beautiful space to create, experienced instructors and small class sizes converge here to form a veritable Petri dish for artistic growth. Communications director Charlie Snyder is excited about new programs commemorating Bemis' 75th anniversary: "This summer we have a number of classes and workshops that draw from artists in our collection, and special guest instructors like Monica Aiello and George Sanchez."
Cottonwood Center for the Arts
227 E. Colorado Ave., 520-1899
Whether you're an accomplished artist looking to master a new technique, or a newbie looking for a hobby, Cottonwood Artists' School is the place to get your fix. With open studios, weekend intensives, eight-week extended-format classes and monthly exhibitions showcasing regional artists, you might just want to come hang out here all the time (which, actually, you could — along with the other 60-plus artists who call Cottonwood home).
Sheppard Art Institute
6475 Mesedge Drive, 282-2706
For the past 12 years, the Sheppard Art Institute has offered low-cost art courses for adults and children. The center is run by volunteer instructors, including director and founder Kang Lee Sheppard.
International Salon and Spa Academy
5707 N. Academy Blvd., 591-6767
Celebrating its 40th year in the Springs, ISSA offers full- and part-time courses of study for would-be cosmetologists, hair stylists, manicurists, barbers and estheticians. "We are an independently owned school," says admissions representative Heather Galbraith, so unlike other schools affiliated with a particular brand of products, "our students will experience between 12 and 16 different product lines. ... We can pick the curriculum that we feel best suits our students."
Paul Mitchell The School
118 W. Colorado Ave., 636-1426
With a 14,000-square-foot campus located in a former roller skating rink, a 1,600-hour salon professional program that is closely tailored to your own learning style, and friendly, upbeat faculty, this nationally accredited school is one to be reckoned with. At Paul Mitchell schools, student-run Green Teams seek out new ways to recycle, reduce and reuse, and everything from the beauty products to the paper is green. The PMTS-Colorado Springs Facebook page shows there's lots of silly fun for students, with fashion shows and dress-up weeks.
Salon Professional Academy
4388 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 266-9400
Yes, the acronym is SPA. But in addition to wit, Salon Professional Academy places a strong emphasis on business management skills, and with many grads staying in the Springs, SPA helps them get placement in top salons. "Salons actually seek us out more, is what we're finding," says Shannon Ward, director of admissions. "Our students are not having a problem finding work at all. I think salon owners have definitely seen a difference in our graduates."
332 Main St., 390-9898
"Toni&Guy is an international brand, so if you get your training here, you would be able to go anywhere worldwide," says spokesperson Ashley Chandler. "We've had people go to London, we've had people go to Germany. We tend to have more students who are from military families, so they get to travel with their spouse." The program, which trains students as hairdressers and color technicians with additional instruction in artificial nails, manicure, pedicure and facials, is fully accredited and thus able to offer financial aid directly through FAFSA.
Collinson School of Massage
2163 N. Academy Blvd., 310-9297
Collinson offers an initial 600-hour program, which lasts 24 weeks, and an additional 400-hour course, for a total of 40 weeks. New sessions begin throughout the year, with evening offerings for hands-on technique instruction. You get additional credit hours for mentorships, massage practice, study in anatomy and physiology, and completion of a case study. Continuing-ed classes are also offered on topics like reflexology and business skills.
Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy
1490 W. Fillmore St., 634-7347
Offering both 900- and 600-hour nationally and internationally accredited massage therapy programs, CIMT is definitely the place to send your significant other. Classes begin four times a year, mornings or evenings. "Day-to-day we have students who work in our student clinic," says spokesperson Kaitlyn Eans. "Part of their requirements is to provide massages to the public in a student clinic. So everyday we have one to six student therapists working here at the school, providing massages."
1025 Garden of the Gods Road, Suite C, 265-8611
623 N. Nevada Ave., 477-9642
With CorePower's Yoga Alliance-certified 200-Hour Teacher Training, you can learn how to teach yoga fundamentals, as well as become a well-rounded yoga practitioner yourself. CorePower has been training teachers for nearly 10 years, and in Colorado Springs you can focus on power yoga, hot yoga, hot power fusion or yoga sculpt.
Lahiri School of Yoga
Multiple locations, 460-4003
Sati (Lisa) Chappelle and Jessica Patterson train yoga teachers across the country, but they work with Westside Yoga twice a year: for a 230-hour in-depth apprenticeship program that runs January through May, and for an intensive 200-hour course for two weeks in October. Boasting a flexible, democratic teaching style and class sizes of four or fewer, the program conforms to nationally recognized Yoga Alliance standards. The greatest benefit, says Chappelle, is an in-depth understanding of the different styles of Hatha yoga that goes beyond teaching skills: "A teacher comes out well-versed, so they can advise people."
Pranava Yoga Center
718 N. Weber St., 444-8463
Yoga Allliance-registered and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Pranava teacher training program lasts 200 hours spread over seven weeks, with two weekend-long classes and two Wednesday classes per month. Classes average about 15 students and focus on all eight of the "limbs of yoga" (not just asanas). Enrollees begin student-teaching in the second week of class. The new session starts May 28 and ends Aug. 24, and the next won't begin until January, so if you thought 2011 was your year to become a yoga teacher ...
National Personal Training
Institute of Colorado
4305 Beverly St., 877/215-2643
Do you like to sweat in your free time? Check out NPTC and learn how to become a personal trainer and actually get paid to hang out at the gym. This cool organization is all about creating a "whole health'' mentality, with a melding of body and mind and nutrition. Its optional internship programs include other fitness centers or even a paid internship at the University of Denver. Students also learn the business side of personal training, with topics such as legal, marketing and networking education.
6551 N. Academy Blvd., 578-5777
Do you cringe at meeting a White Russian in a dark alley? Perhaps it's time for you to attend Bartending Academy. With evening classes in both one- and two-week options, and a 98 percent job placement record, this is the place to go if you want to mix drinks like a pro. The $299 tuition includes training, textbooks, placement and state certification. (FYI, a White Russian is vodka, Kahlua and cream.)
Paragon Culinary School Inc.
505 Popes Bluff Trail, 578-5740
Have you ever been complimented on your kitchen skills? Take it to the next level and work toward becoming an executive chef in three years. Started seven years ago by Black Bear Restaurant chef Victor Matthews, Paragon offers seven classes per week, with less than 20 students per class. Its in-house payment plan is simply icing on the (well-baked) cake.
Air Academy Associates
1155 Kelly Johnson Blvd., #105, 531-0777
If you dream of synergizing backward overflow and wake up thinking you're Jack Donaghy, it's high time you took yourself to Air Academy Associates for corporate leadership training. Offering Six Sigma training and certification as well as a bevy of open-enrollment training sessions, AAA will let you overhaul your managerial skills.
Center for Creative Leadership
850 Leader Way, 633-3891
The world renowned Center for Creative Leadership rests on a beautiful 66 acres of land, where the undeniable view of Pikes Peak accents the center's aesthetically pleasing facility. The center however, is not just a pretty building, its programs offer a diverse range of portfolios that serve over 80 Fortune 100 companies and more than 20,000 individuals per year. The Colorado Springs facility stands as one of three training locations in the United States, with other international locations in Belgium and Singapore. CCL's programs focus on the impact of organizational leadership and maximizing the effectiveness of CEO's and their employees. Costs vary by program and their detailed descriptions are available on their website.
2790 N. Academy Blvd., #238, 596-4545
If the training or certification you need falls under the heading of IT or management, LeaderQuest is a natural place to get it. Best known for providing hands-on instruction on leadership development and systems like SQL Server, SharePoint and Cisco, LeaderQuest also partners with Microsoft to offer more than 400 product-specific courses with certified coaches.
1947 Aviation Way, 573-2236
Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen; flight school is about to commence. Step into A-Cent's life-size flight simulator or fly the real thing. A-Cent is "Colorado Springs' only insurance-approved initial and recurrent training facility," says its website, and is "an IFR all-weather terminal area facility. That means that fewer days may be lost due to weather."
Springs Truck Driving School
and CDL Testing
890 Dublin Blvd., Suite B, 448-9401
"Contact us NOW to learn about our amazing rates," the website says, but the Springs Truck Driving School resisted our best efforts to find out about those amazing rates via e-mail or phone. With experienced instructors and accommodating class schedules, a little phone-tag may be worth the effort.
5026 N. Academy Blvd., 528-5596
Whether you prefer small classes during the day, weekends or evenings, or one-on-one training, the tech specialists at Voelker Research offer a flexible schedule and "cost-effective" rates for training in all things Apple. It'll run you through everything from MS Office or OS X Basics to advanced instruction in Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.
UCCS Academy of Lifelong Learning
1861 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., #100, 255-3498
Designed with students age 55 and older in mind, the ALL program makes it possible for lifelong learners to participate in regular UCCS courses without writing papers or taking exams. ALL also features 250 online courses, allowing participants to study from home at any time of the day, as well as various on-campus experiential learning activities.
LearningRx Training Center
1130 Lake Plaza Drive, #100
7075 Campus Drive
What can I do to improve the speed of my own brain? How do I get my kindergartner to focus? Glad you asked. LearningRx provides state-of-the-art cognitive reasoning development for every age (elementary through adult, college students and seniors). The idea behind brain-training may sound rather mystical, but actually has tons of studies to back it up.
Pikes Peak Library District
Various locations, 531-6333
Free classes are available at every library branch, and range from Facebook basics for the 55-plus set to Tai Chi and genealogy. Check the handy online calendar to search by date, subject or age group.
PILLAR Institute for Lifelong Learning
202 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., Suite I, 633-4991
PILLAR offers more than 100 low-cost classes and excursions each quarter, and its online newsletter details them all. Topics include art, literature and writing, health and wellness, and legal and financial.
School District 11 Continuing Education
Multiple locations, 520-2384
Want to learn to belly dance? Speak Italian? How to organize your life? District 11's inexpensive classes provide the community with all sorts of evening opportunities to learn some new skills.
Distance learning Resources
CCCOnline works as a conduit, delivering courses from the 13 brick-and-mortar Colorado community colleges — plus Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont. — all online.
A distance-learning provider with a twist, ed2go not only provides online classes, but also contracts with local colleges and schools to get you course credit for those classes at your institution of choice.