This web site contains information about the classes Tom Tresser has taught and is teaching.
In 2018 I am teaching workshops on civics for The POWER Institute and public forums on “Chicago Is Not Broke” and Tax Increment Financing around the city.
Dr. Leslie Starsoneck, the Program Director of the Adler University Nonprofit Management Program, had this to say:
“Tom routinely receives rave reviews from his graduate students in Adler University’s Nonprofit Management Program, educating and pushing them to be effective and persuasive advocates and activists. He “lights a fire” under them, showers them with resources and is generous and effective in his wisdom and guidance for how to activate communities for social change. “
Here’s a few words of endorsement from former Alderman and UIC Professor Dick Simpson:
” I have known Tom Tresser for many years and have had him speak to my Future of Chicago class at UIC on Tax Increment Finance Districts. Tom is an outstanding lecturer and I recommend him highly to teach courses or to do presentations not only about specific topics like TIFs but broader topics like community organizing and Chicago politics. Students and community members learn a lot from his presentation and are fired up to help to change the world afterwards.”
Here’s what one student from my Adler class, “Building & Leading Organizations” had to say:
“Congrats to everyone! It’s been great being able to spend another course with all of you! I definitely learned a lot, specifically through the group discussions. Those were by far the most enlightening part, and I would say that it was the most engaging course I’ve participated in because of them. The hardest part of this course was more of a personal note, transitioning through such an intensive course while adjusting to real life changes. I did enjoy the readings, even being able to share them with my bosses and coworkers since they not only related to the class lessons but also to what I’m working on in real life. I honestly would suggest to just keep up the good work, because I really feel that I have been better equipped for whatever job that I may have due to this course. Thank you, everyone, and thank you Professor Tresser!”
I continue to teach “Civics 101” for i c stars three times/year. He is also developing and facilitatinh a workshops on civics for the CivicLab’s POWER Institute (“Chicago 101,” “Grassroots organizing 101,” “Grassroots Campaigning 101,” “TI 101” and “Privatization 101”).
Here’ what a student from the Adler class on nonprofit advocacy had to say:
“I wanted to tell you how much I believe that you are a great teacher. In one assignment you have already affected the way I am an advocate in the real world. I am able to see your impact in the faces of the people that I influence in a positive way. It is such an awesome experience to see the look on their faces as they come to be a part of positive change. They actually have the tool they need to be a part of something big. The instant they feel it there is a small smile and a lightness that can be felt. The other lessons that you teach then reinforce what the person has learned and the person joining the group has something to hold onto and to share. Its like a chain reaction, fast and powerful.”
For 2016 I served up a new class on nonprofit advocacy for the Adler University Graduate Program in Nonprofit Management. I’m returning to UIC for “Public Policy Advocacy for Social Change.“I look forward to returning to my dear friends at i c stars to teach “Civics 101” to Cycle 35 of their amazing tech training program. I’m also starting to offer my own online webinars! Check out “TIF 101” and get Illuminated!
In 2015 I taught a new class on community organizing for Roosevelt University. I was on tap to teach a new class on urban policy in the summer for the Graham School of Continuing Studies. Also in 2015 was an online class on public policy advocacy for social change geared nonprofit managers offered via the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Continuing Studies and “Civics 101” for i c stars.
This is from a student who took the online class “Acting Up – Using Theater & Technology for Social Change” in Spring 2012:
I really enjoyed the class. It was very thought provoking and the use of the media (music, video, and web) was amazing…This is quite possibly the best put together class I have participated in. Great job!
This from a student from Fall 2011:
Every once in awhile I take a class that makes me really happy to have shared the time with my peers. The strongest teachers with the best content can only do so much for an individual student if they are unable to work collectively and be challenged by their peers as well. I consider this class to have displayed this element brilliantly. I found insight and inspiration in many of the discussion board posts that I had the pleasure of reading and contemplating. The teamwork that was assigned was some of the more pleasant experiences that I’ve had to date as well. Overall I looked forward to engaging with Mr. Tresser, my classmates and the content throughout the entire term – not a claim I can honestly make for all my courses and presentations.
This was from students who took the same class in 2010:
Thank you for teaching this class: in a world of sooooo much apathy and cynicism, it is refreshing to have a class dedicated to getting people involved. At first, I was a little scared of the class because I had no idea what to expect. I thought for sure I’d fail! You were a little intimidating at times, which is funny since the more you interacted, the nicer and more interesting you seemed. I loved the assignments, and I loved the discussions, and although at times I got stressed with having to kind of do additional mini-assignments in the discussions, I think it was helpful and showed that you really care that we learn. I think if it is possible, it would be wonderful if part of the class involved each person ACTUALLY getting involved in a real-world current cause. For this assignment, I think it would be important to provide step-by-step instructions on how to do this, but I think that would be extremely helpful. Thanks for everything; I really enjoyed the class, and I wish it was continuing. I’ll miss it, and I’ll miss each of the people involved. Thanks to all.