Our History

A century of continuum

From delivering correspondence courses by motorcycle to giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford it the chance to enroll in professional development opportunities, UW Continuum College has grown and evolved for more than 100 years, passing many milestones along the way. Explore Continuum’s decades of history and learn how we’ve become a bridge to education for our community. 

students register for evening classes 1940s

 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | 2020s | Next 


World War II Transforms and Expands Adult Education 

Before the onset of World War II and in the months preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, there were many requests for Extension faculty members to lecture on the international conflicts underway. During this time, home defense became a new topic addressed at lectures and proved to be popular, attracting more than 5,000 people. When the U.S. entered the war, the University Extension Services responded by providing classes to defense industry workers and correspondence courses to people serving in the armed forces, at home and abroad. 
Adult education was prominent among the UW’s postwar educational objectives in anticipation that veterans – especially married veterans – would want to continue their education while working full-time.