Professional Development Resources

We understand that the disruptions and uncertainty of this period make it difficult or even impossible to balance life with school and work obligations. We encourage and support you in prioritizing your own wellness and relationships at this time.

The resources and suggested activities below are provided for those who wish to dedicate some time to academic and professional development or who are seeking concrete ways to continue learning and growing while research or other developmental activities are suspended. 

Online Learning Platforms, Open Courseware, and MOOCs

hundreds of free courses taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies, on a wide range of academic, professional, and personal development topics. Free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. 

Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion, or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. 

Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free, online, at any subject level. Through our mission we are a catalyst for positive social change, creating opportunity, prosperity, and equality for everyone.

Basic coding lessons are free 

Online tutorials and courses on a wide selection of topics, including software products widely used on campus such as the Microsoft Office suite, Google Analytics, and Drupal, as well as topics to enhance key business skills such as project management, marketing, and collaboration. 

Learn (or practice) a language

Learn a language by translating webpages. Duolingo provides free language courses; you provide the web with translations while you learn.

BBC Languages offers courses, interactive videos, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and exercises. Listen to the BBC World Service news in 27 languages.

Created by the U.S. Institute of Language, Visual Link courses offers free language lessons, games, vocabulary, and cultural information.

Research and Writing Workshops

Visit the UMES Graduate Writing Center

Online Learning and Teaching Tools

Schedule a remote, one-on-one consultation with CITOL to get guidance on how to improve your virtual teaching and learning experience. 

Build Your Network 

  • LinkedIn. Update your profile and connect with Professionals in your field(s) of interest. 
  • Connect with us on social media (twitter and Facebook).

Improve Your IT Skills 

Many vendors are offering free training. Make Use of it and enroll yourself. Never stop learning!

  1. Microsoft – Azure certification
  2. AWS – All AWS technology
  3. IBM – All IBM technology
  4. Oracle University – Cloud Infrastructure and Autonomous Database
  5. Fortinet – NSE1 and NSE2
  6. Palo Alto – Networks
  7. Cisco – Cyber Security
  8. Qualysguard – Vulnerability management
  9. Nessus – Vulnerability management
  10. SAN’s – cyber security
  11. Homeland security – ICS Security
  12. Coursera – Cloud courses
  13. Pluralsight – All Training
  14. Sololearn – All Training


There are many established organizations seeking volunteers. Students are not required or encouraged to engage in any of these initiatives. These opportunities are completely voluntary. Please contact the sites directly to sign up or with any questions.

  • Give Blood 
    the American Red Cross has an ongoing critical need for blood product donations as uncertainties remain during this coronavirus pandemic. Giving blood is considered an essential community service. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate even in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.
  • Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
    Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help us make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible.
  • BookShare Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
    Book Share offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer you can scan books to be added to the collection, edit books that have been scanned and add text descriptions to images.
  • Be My Eyes 
    Be My Eyes is a free app that connects individuals with visual impairments with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
  • Translators without Borders (TWB)
    TWB is a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies, and other non-profit organizations on a global scale. If you are fluent in at least one language other than your native language you can help! TWB also utilizes volunteer support in graphic design and website design.
  • United Nations Online Volunteer Opportunities
    You can help with writing and editing, translation, technology services, research, and advocacy, to name a few, and there is a variety of short and longer-term opportunities.

Health and Wellness

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. Explore new parts of the Princess Anne or the Eastern Shore! Remember to wear a mask and stay 6 ft away when other people are around.

Online Fitness Classes

Feeling restless or missing your regular workouts? Try out these online fitness routines and streaming workouts you can do from home! 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mental Health and Coping Resources 


The Office of Student Engagement has also developed a HAWK Virtual Activities page to help keep the UMES Community active and connected to the world, and more!

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