Below are some of the most common questions we hear. If your question isn't answered, please give us a call at 716.286.8185 or contact us so we can assist you.

Where are we? You can view a campus map.

Niagara University's Office of External Programs offers non-credit, non-degree classes. Courses are short-term, affordable, educational and designed for personal growth and professional development. The department remains committed to the mission of the university and the philosophy that inexpensive, community-based education enriches the life of the community, the university and the people who live here. Methods of instruction include online and on-campus classroom experiences. Established External Programs include:

  • Police Academy (NCLEA)
  • Military Online Courses (GEM)
  • EMT
  • Niagara University Senior Term Enrichment Program (NUSTEP)
  • High School on Campus Program

Unfortunately no. Please understand that we have to decide if we run a class based upon the enrollments we receive. You will receive a refund if the course cancels. We generally make a decision on holding a class 2 days before the class and you will be notified if it cancels.

Registered Office of External Programs students may park in any yellow spot on campus without a permit after 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and on weekends. Campus Safety, which can be reached at 716.286.8111, strongly encourages you to stop and pick up a visitor parking pass to help track your vehicle and locate you in case of any emergency.

Dwyer Arena and the parking lots near O’Shea building usually have the most open spaces. A campus map is available online.

Closing the university is only made by top-level administrators and will be communicated through media outlets (Local news TV stations and our website.) If day classes are canceled, then evening classes are canceled. When weather declines during a day when the university is open, a decision on canceling evening classes is usually made by 2 p.m. and is communicated on our website and by local TV stations.

Teaching for our department is a fabulous networking and marketing opportunity. The Office of External Programs does not require its instructors to have teaching degrees or certification, but they must show a thorough knowledge of their subject. Adults who have skills or knowledge that they would like to share are invited to submit a course proposal. All proposals are reviewed and if selected, the instructor is called in for an interview. Currently, only courses that offer specialized professional development will be considered. 

There are no benefits associated with being a temporary instructor through the Office of External Programs.

Instructors design the course and are responsible for content and learning objectives, though we can help you determine the length. In partnership, we can come up with programs that fill the needs of our students. Most courses are scheduled in the evening from 6-9 p.m. Courses can also be scheduled on a Saturday. You may schedule a class that meets several times, or design a program that is shorter. Keeping in mind that our population is mostly busy working professionals, we find that shorter courses are best. We prefer to offer courses that are held in one session for 3-4 hours or two sessions, 2-3 hours in length. 

Course proposals may be submitted at any time; however, the core purpose of the course must be rooted in professional development for the student.

The following guidelines will help you design a winning proposal. The best instructors are those who have thorough knowledge of their subject and a desire to share their expertise with others.   

The foundation of your proposal should be your course description. It should communicate clearly and concisely what you will be teaching. Good course descriptions will also interest more people in your course and increase enrollment. The course proposal is comprised of:

  • A title; description of what you will be teaching; instructor biography or list of qualifications
  • For editing purposes, your entire course proposal cannot exceed 100 words
  • Please attach your resume, references and include any copies of certifications.The first five words of a course description will often determine if the reader will go on or pass to another course description. Make them count!

        Next step:

  • Your proposal is reviewed by the Coordinator of External Programs. 
  • If accepted, an interview will be scheduled.

        During the interview, we will discuss:

  • Your proposal in greater detail, the pay scale and policies
  • Time of course and starting date
  • Logistics such as specific needs, limits, equipment

We list your biography on our website, therefore giving you "name recognition" that may lead to teaching opportunities in other Continuing Education/External Programs.

If you have your own business or are in a private professional service to the public, being an instructor offers you a new clientele resource. However, we do not allow “sales pitches” or in-class advertisements of your company or office.

There are no employee benefits associated with being an instructor.

Generally, students are required to be 18 years and older based upon the course. We consider a student as anyone who wants to take a class - regardless of any other distinction. Students take courses because they want to experience personal enrichment or for professional development reasons. Some are seeking networking opportunities. Whatever the reason for taking the class - all are welcome!