In the current job market, many professionals are finding they are falling behind because they lack technical skills that their jobs are beginning to utilize. Many of these skills are editing and writing skills.

Western’s Extended Education program is offering a professional editing program as a non-credit program. This means a person doesn’t need to be a student at Western to enroll in the class or go through the university’s admission process. Participants do not have to have a college degree; however some higher-level education is encouraged, according to the website.

The program has been useful for working professionals in the past, said Ariel Cleasby-Heaven, program manager.

“It’s been helpful for them in terms of searching for work and just being a better writer,” she said. Cleasby-Heaven said the program is directed at people who wish to self-edit. It focuses primarily on non-fiction writing, however it also addresses book editing and fiction writing.

The class provides formal training to prepare people for a variety of different kinds of editing, including print, online and books. It is meant to help people to prepare for editing in a business environment or who would like to pursue their own personal editing projects.

The program is a nine-month series of classes. The students will start with copy editing, move on to grammar and a design course, then complete the series with advanced editing. There is also an interim course about Adobe InDesign and how to use it.

Anyone can participate in the program. Registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the website.

Students must register separately for each quarter. Each class costs $395 plus the $22 Student Technology Fee. The cost of the class is less than for-credit classes offered on Western’s campus, and is similar to online classes or other training that is offered for working professionals, according to the website.

All classes are offered in the evening — this is intended to convenience working professionals who don’t have time to take the class during regular office hours.

The classes are intended to prepare students to edit, shape stories, write freelance pieces and introduce them to the editing process, according to the website. This is a non-credit program, and does not earn a degree, Cleasby-Heaven said.