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Colorado State University Extension operates in partnership with the El Paso County Community Services Division to provide non-credit programming to local citizens.

Classes and Workshops   arrow

2024 El Paso County Extension Classes and Workshops

We offer a variety of classes and hands-on workshops in El Paso County throughout the year. They range from consumer education in home gardening, food preservation, and safety to backyard beekeeping. We also offer workforce certification courses in Cottage Foods, Landscaping and Agriculture business development. Check back often to find classes we are offering at locations throughout the county. 

CSU Extension El Paso County Office
17 N. Spruce Street
2nd Floor
Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Click on each class date to register

Pre-registration required on all classes.

Class Feature

Dining With Diabetes

What is Dining with Diabetes?

Dining with Diabetes is a Colorado State University Research and Extension health and wellness program that consist of a series of four in-person classes that includes general diabetes information, eating plans for diabetes and how to prepare healthy foods. The program’s focus is to help individuals learn strategies to lessen the health risks of diabetes.

The program is a series of four 2-hour classes that are held once a week. Classes consist of presentations on healthful food choices, tasty and healthy familiar foods, diabetic eating plans and cooking techniques using artificial sweeteners, reduced-fat foods, herbs, and spices.

You will receive

  • All class handouts and folder
  • Cooking utensils at every class
  • Taste a new recipe in every class
  • Diabetic Cookbook
  • Certificate

Program Objectives

  • Increase knowledge about healthy foods
  • Present healthy versions of familiar foods and taste testing of recipes
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques
  • Provide basic information regarding diabetes and nutrition
  • Provide opportunities for sharing and learning from one another

Who can participate?

The program is designed for people with diabetes and their family members, caregivers, and support persons.

4 Week Class Series

Dates: April 2, 9, 16, 23 at 9:00am to 11:00am (Classes held at the Colorado Springs Senior Center/Downtown YMCA)

Dining with Diabetes in partnership with the Colorado Springs Senior Center (click here to register)

Cottage Foods Food Safety Certification – online and in-person

Now offering online training to acquire a 3-year certification. Training provides information in:

  • Foods permissible in the Colorado Cottage Foods Act
  • Ingredient labeling requirements
  • Basic Food Safety
  • Temperature control for food preparation
  • Storage, transport and sales
  • Special considerations for food preparation at high altitude

February 26, 2024 at 10:30am-2:00pm – In-person

March 12, 2024 at 10:30am-2:00pmIn-person

April 4, 2024 at 10:30am – 2:00pm In-person

April 18, 2024 at 10:30am – 2:00pm – Online

May 30, 2024 at 12:00pm – 3:30pm In-person

June 10, 2024 at 10:00am – 1:30pm In-person

July 30, 2024 at 10:00am – 1:30pm In-person

September 3, 2024 at 10:00am – 1:30pm In-person

October 9, 2024 at 10:00am – 1:30pm In-person

Cost: $50.00 – 3-year certification

Click on the date to register for the class. No refunds.

Mediterranean Diet Workshop

Colorado State University Extension has created a workshop focusing on the Mediterranean diet. This workshop will answer questions about key characteristics of the Mediterranean lifestyle and how foods in the diet contribute to health. Plus, you will learn how to make fresh home-made hummus and try a delicious sample. After attending this workshop, you will have strategies to incorporate these foods and habits into your life.

January 30, 2024 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

February 8, 2024 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

March 14, 2024 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

April 11, 2024 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Pre-registration required. No refunds.

Introduction to Water Bath Canning

From preserving your garden harvest to putting up locally purchased produce, canning is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty. Unlike baking, home canning requires knowledge of the science behind food preservation. In this introductory class, participants will learn about the risk of botulism, an overview of proper techniques, and a review of the proper tools for canning.

After attending this class you will be able to safely can high acid foods such as fruit, salsa, pickles, tomatoes, jams, jellies and more. 

This is a hands-on class and you will take home a jar you make in class.

Date: April 30th at 1:00pm – 3:30pm

Date: May 6th at 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Date: July 1st at 12:00pm – 2:30pm

Date: July 23rd at 5:15pm – 7:30pm

Pre-registration required. No refunds.

Jam Technique Workshop and Water-Bath Process

Making fruit spreads such as jam is fun and enjoyable! In this workshop you will learn how to make and preserve flavorful fruit into sugar jam. You will learn tested and researched based techniques to safely process jams. Covers water-bath canning basics to ensure safe preservation.

Date: May 8th at 12:00pm-2:30pm

Date: May 29th at 1:00pm-3:30pm

Pre-registration required. No refunds.

Introduction to Pressure Canning

Learn the steps to safely and confidently pressure can low acid foods such as vegetables, meats, soups and much more.

Date: July 9th at 11:00am – 2:30pm

Date: August 6th at 11:00am – 2:30pm

Pre-registration required. No refunds.

Food Preservation Technique Class: Pickling

If you love pickled vegetables and summer relish, come learn how to make your own. You will learn how to safely water bath can pickles, relish, salsa and chutney.

Date: July 11th , 2024 at 11:00am to 1:30pm

Home Food Preservation: Salsa Class

From preserving your garden harvest to putting up locally purchased produce, canning is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty. Home canning requires knowledge of the science behind food preservation. In this introductory class, participants will learn about the risk of botulism, an overview of proper techniques, and a review of the proper tools for pressure canning foods.

Learn how to make salsa in our hands-on class and take a jar home! Salsa can be a fun and easy way to preserve tomatoes to enjoy all year. You will receive tested and reviewed salsa recipes that mix low acidic foods such as onions and peppers with acidic foods such as tomatoes. 

Date: March 20, 2024 at 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Date: August 29, 2024 at 12:00pm to 2:30pm

Food Safety Works Certification –
Online/Self-guided: Free

The Food Safety Works safe food handler certificate training teaches entry-level food workers how to safely handle, prepare and store food. This certification is taught online and is self-guided. Participants with a passing score receive a safe food handler certificate valid for two (2) years.

Benefits for Food Service Workers:

  • Increase in confidence and motivation to handle food safely.
  • Improve knowledge and awareness of ways to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Valued by employers.
  • Great incentives towards job promotions.
  • Benefits for your business.
  • Take pride in being proactive in preventing foodborne illness.
  • Increase consumer confidence – show that you value safety.
  • Increase employee pride and teamwork in serving food.
  • Increase likelihood of improved inspections.

Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite which will have the website address and password to access the Food Safety Works Certification materials. You can download presentation slides, watch training video, and access link to exam. Once exam is completed and scored you will receive an email with your certificate valid for 2 years.

Registration is on-going and class can be started and completed anytime for $5.00.

Date: Anytime

Pressure Canner Gauge Testing

Testing your pressure canner dial gauge annually is vital in keeping your pressure canned products safe. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing.

You can purchase your pressure canner gauge testing with or without The Complete Guide to Home Canning USDA Book.

Brands that can be tested: National, Magic Seal, Maid of Honor, and Presto

After you have purchased a ticket you will be contacted to schedule a time for testing at the El Paso County Extension Office located in Colorado Springs.

Date: Anytime

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.