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Monday, March 2, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
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Class act

A few weeks ago I forewarned you of a coming transition period for Isthmus while our printer modified the presses to produce a different size paper. I said we would be unbound for a couple of weeks. Last week was the first such stapleless edition; this is the second. Next week we should be in the format we will retain for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your patience.

To compensate for the lack of stitching last week, we printed the League of Women Voters' Candidates' Answers on heavier stock to differentiate it from the regular paper. We do the same thing for the same reason this week, only this time the extra added attraction is our first continuing education supplement, intuitively called Get Smarter.

People go back to school for a lot of reasons - to get credit toward a degree, to learn a new skill or freshen old ones, to have fun - "It's all good," to quote the headline of Catherine Stover's article. That's the reply she gets when she asks the heads of the two largest continuing education institutions in Madison - Bettsey Barhorst, president of MATC, and David Wilson, chancellor of UW Extension - why one should consider going back to school. Lifelong learning is not only their job but also their passion.

Going back to school means fees and tuition. In "Show Me the Money," Candice Wagener investigates the sources of financial aid, which include the feds, the state, educational institutions and more. She gets her information from the experts - financial aid officers.

"Having Fun, Staying Sharp, Surviving Winter," by Kate Zurlo-Cuva, looks at six courses that demonstrate the range of oddball class topics available if you just want to learn something for your personal enjoyment. "Real Class," by Anna Palmer, takes the opposite tack. It looks at Extra Bold, a school devoted to one profession - advertising. It was started by a professional in the field who wished to throw open wide the doors of entry. It attempts to impart real-world experience in the classroom.

Finally, we have "The List! The Maps!" Here we list most of the local degree- and certificate-granting purveyors of continuing education, along with locator maps. We know that the decision to embark on further educational adventures requires some serious thought and planning. We hope we've helped you take a step in the direction of your future with Get Smarter.

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