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The Worker Institute

Advancing worker rights and collective representation


Education & Training

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Online Credit Courses

The Cornell ILR Online Labor Studies Program provides busy union activists with an opportunity to take college credit courses without regard to their location or work schedules. While there is no physical classroom there is considerable student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction, making for lively discussions and group learning.

Courses advance students' knowledge about the issues that matter most to their day-to-day roles and include Collective Bargaining, Labor History, Labor/Employment Law, Contemporary Labor Issues and Contract Administration.

Participants can earn a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies.

Adjunct faculty are proud members of the Cornell Adjunct Faculty Alliance, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO.  Courses and credits earned in Extension Division programs are not automatically accepted as transfer credits or as a basis of admission to the resident Cornell-ILR programs in Ithaca.  Student applications and course transfers are evaluated by the ILR School on an individual basis.


A Certificate of Labor Studies can be earned by successfully completing six 3.0 credit course in the following areas

  • Law (Labor Law, Employment Law, or Labor Relations in the Public Sector)- one course
  • History (Labor History or Labor & Film)- one course
  • Bargaining (Collective Bargaining)- one course
  • Electives (Labor, Government and Politics, Contract Administration, Unions and Diversity, and others)- 3 courses

Additionally, an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies will be awarded to those who complete an additional four 3.0 credit courses offered in the program in any subject area. Each course carries 3 undergraduate college credits.

Our on-line credit classes are structured so that you can log-on at any particular time or day throughout the week.The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Each online credit course is $595.00

To register on-line, click on the course name below or contact Alice Torres at or 585-262-4440. You can also download the registration form and fax it to 585-262-3715.

Please view our flyer (pdf) for the 2013- 2014 course descriptions.

Spring 2014

Begins the week of March 31, 2014  – ends the week of June 9, 2014

LS200 - Collective Bargaining

There are no scheduled dates for this course at this time.

This course examines the principles of contract bargaining including bargaining environments and structures as well as standards used in negotiations. Students will learn to prepare bargaining demands, cost economic items, draft non-economic language, negotiate economic and non-economic issues, and resolve a bargaining impasse. Discussion will consider the impact of bargaining outcomes on workers, unions, employers, and the public.

LS255 - Labor History

There are no scheduled dates for this course at this time.

Labor History can be understood from the perspectives of both trade union history and the social, cultural, and political life of workers. To gain insights into labor’s past, it is useful to explore not only union organizing, collective bargaining, and labor legislation, but also what workers think, how they work and live, and the impact of workers on the larger society. This course will use both of these approaches in order to examine the major themes in American labor history from the 19th century to the present day.

3.0 credits