Professional Development

How to Start Your Own Successful Business

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Class instructor, Dave Armstrong will share with you how to develop and grow a successful venture and use real world examples from his personal experience of starting and operating several businesses. This class is intended for people who are looking for a model to help them get started and follow it to success. Intrapreneurs are welcome too! Many forward-thinking companies encourage their managers to think like entrepreneurs when developing new business strategies and products.

A few of the critical steps that will be covered:

What is an entrepreneur?

Developing and validating your business idea

  • How to create a plan
  • How to get financing
  • Testing the Big Idea
  • Building a dynamic organization
  • Creating a marketing plan with sizzle
  • And more…

 Your instructor, Dave Armstrong, is the Executive Director of the Barron County Economic Development Corporation and works daily with aspiring entrepreneurs. Dave has started, developed and sold two profitable businesses and, purchased and integrated 14 businesses as part of an industry roll up. He has also held executive management positions for several companies. He was an alderman in the City of Rice Lake for four years, is President of the Law Enforcement Foundation of Barron County and the Rice Lake Cable Commission and is an active supporter and member of several organizations in Barron County including the Rice Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays,  February 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26
6:00-8:00 PM
Ritzinger Hall Room 228
Fee: $79


Propel Your Online Marketing to the Next Level

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This three part interactive workshop will help take your online marketing efforts to the next level. Topics will include optimizing your business Facebook page to encourage engagement; harnessing the power of LinkedIn; and successful email marketing to develop new clients and motivate existing customers. 

Part 1: Optimizing Your Business Facebook Page - You will learn methods for scheduling posts, building your fan base, and cultivating engagement with potential customers, and how to use Facebook advertising.

Part 2: Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn - You will learn how to enhance your profile, post targeted updates, and appropriately connect with other professionals

Part 3: Successful Email Marketing - Learn how to create and send an effective email marketing campaign that gets the bottom-line results you’re looking for.

Your instructor, Shelly Cedarblade, is the owner of Woo! Social Media Marketing. Since 2010, Shelly has been helping individuals and small businesses connect with clients and customers using the power of online marketing. She is an experienced instructor who is passionate about helping others grow their business through the use of online marketing. For more information on Shelly, go to

Class meets Friday, April 10
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
UW-BC Student Center – Cedarside Room
Fee: $59       Box Lunch included in fee


Taking Excel® to the Next Level in Analytics and Problem-solving

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This class is designed for the user who knows how to develop a spreadsheet, but sometimes struggles to put together the logic required to use Excel effectively and to draw the right conclusions. This class will be interactive and provides the opportunity to customize learning to the student’s own business and problem-solving needs.

Week One: Review of Excel functions and capability   

Week Two: Work on sample problems to help you develop the logic, layout and formulas to analyze common work problems

Week Three: The last class will be focused on solving problems that are unique to class participants.  They will be invited to submit problems typically found in their business, and solve them through the direction of the instructor. Confidentiality of information will be respected.

Your instructor, Ted Simpson, has taught at the college level for over 25 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Technology and has written numerous textbooks on computer networking and operating systems. Ted owns and operates a local computer business and has travelled extensively. His diverse life and work experience is reflected in his teaching methods and enriches the learning environment.

Classes meet on Wednesdays, February 11, 18 and 25
6:00-8:00 PM
Ritzinger Hall Computer Lab Room 202
Fee: $59.  Fee includes textbook, in good used condition provided by instructor.

Personal Leadership

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This course will explore topics related to personal development and growth through contemporary thinking and tools. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their Emotional Intelligence and Myers Briggs Profile – two popular tools for measuring personality tendencies. Plus, we will discuss concepts featured in best-selling books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Energy Bus, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Through discussion and examples, participants will become more aware of their personal style, how it relates to communication style and how to handle conflict.  
Your instructor, Dennis Villeneuve, is an Associate Lecturer in Business at UW-Barron County. He has 36 years of teaching experience at area schools and colleges and has a Master’s Degree in Career Education. Dennis’ teaching style will stimulate and challenge students’ thinking on leadership topics.
Classes meet on Tuesdays, March 31, April 7, 14 and 21
7:30-9:00 PM 
UW-BC Student Center – Cedarside Room
Fee: $59 Includes Myers Briggs Profile test and interpretation.

Grammar Matters!

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In our fast-moving world - clear, concise communication is important regardless of whether you are writing an email to your boss, work instructions for a manufacturing process or recap notes from a meeting. Good grammar is vital to spoken communication too, and makes the speaker appear better prepared and more professional. 

This class will help you gain confidence in your ability to produce clean, grammatically correct documents. We will explore the common grammar problems that get in the way of clear communication such as subject/verb agreement, sentence fragments and run-on sentences. You will learn to quickly determine when to say “who” and when to say “whom”, or when to use “that” instead of “which”.  

The common stumbling blocks in punctuation will be knocked down too. Ever wonder whether a colon or semi-colon is most appropriate in a sentence? Or, when a dash can be used for maximum effect?  We’ll show you how to master their use.

Your instructor, Rhonda Dietrich, is a Senior Lecturer of English at UW-Barron County. She is a patient instructor who understands the common writing and grammar stumbling blocks that prevent effective communication. Through class discussion, vivid examples and interactive exercise, students will practice grammatically correct communication that can be immediately applied in their daily communication.

Classes meet Tuesdays, April 21 and April 28
6:30-8:30 PM
Ritzinger Hall Room 237

Fee: $39

Online Options

Courses and Certificates

Our online certificates and courses are provided by expert instructors. Participate anytime day or evening, from any computer.

Professional Development for Educators

UW-Barron County offers a variety of online courses for area educators.