Tom Tresser’s Teaching Resources

This web site contains information about the classes Tom Tresser has taught and is teaching.

In 2017 Tom is teaching “Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations” and “Nonprofit Advocacy” for Adler University’s online Master’s Degree Program in Nonprofit Management. He also taught a class on leadership for the Master of Public Administration Program at Adler. He built a class on leadership for Adler’s online Master’s Degree Program in Media and Communications and will be teaching it in 2018.

He continues 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.”

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.”

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 Tom 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.

A note from the interns in Cohort 32 from i c stars. You're most welcome!

A note from the interns in Cohort 32 from i c stars. You’re most welcome!


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.

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