SHEPHERDSTOWN – It’s been weeks since Shepherd University students returned for the spring semester, but there’s still time for retirees and others to sign up for classes in theater, literature, Shepherdstown’s history, the Civil War, environmental calamities, politics and myriad other subjects.
[cleeng_content id="t1" price="0.15" description="Read it now!"]The school’s Lifelong Learning program kicks off March 6.
Launched last fall, the program invites seniors and other members of the community to come to campus for a variety of stimulating classes. The cost ranges from $15 for a one-day course to $249 for a semester membership, which allows attendees to take an unlimited number of courses.
In all, 17 courses are in the Lifelong Learning lineup. Many of the courses meet weekly for six weeks – including classes on the 1950s, modern-day Africa, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Maryland campaign of 1862 and antiques – while Robbye Horowicz’s “Great Books: A Program of Reading and Discussion” begins March 7 and lasts for 16 weeks.
Five other classes are part of the Brown Bag Luncheon Series, which happens from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. That series starts next week and continues through April 11.
Attendees bring their own lunch, with drinks and desserts provided by the school. Topics to be covered include the BP oil spill disaster with Mark Madison from the National Conservation Training Center; “Tales from the PGA Tour” with Larry Ringer; “Danger of Every Turn: the Huaorani Tribe of the Amazon” with Alan Gibson; Edward Slonaker on retirement planning; and Shepherdstown’s early history with Horowicz.
A final Brown Bag session is a one-day tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, with the group leaving on a minibus at 7 a.m.
Karen M. Rice, formerly a trust officer with BB&T in Charleston and a member of the board of directors of Shepherdstown’s Contemporary American Theater Festival, serves as director of the program.
Rice said the idea for the program came from Jack Young, one of the organizers of Shepherdstown Area Independent Living, who sought to see Shepherd offer classes to retirees as is the case at other universities across the country.
With so many retirees attending Shepherd events and volunteering their time in support of the university, the school is an ideal place for a lifelong learning initiative, Rice said. She said a 2011 feasibility study found significant community interest.
Rice said the Lifelong Learning classes offer a fun avenue for engagement, and because they aren’t for credit, place no burden on Shepherd’s registrar, faculty or staff.
Feedback on the initial round of classes offered last fall – on topics ranging from Afghanistan, the Holocaust and abolitionist writers, West Virginia politics and poetry – was overwhelmingly positive, Rice said.
Want to Know More?
What: Shepherd University’s Lifelong Learning
Who: Open to retirees, other community members
When: Classes begin next week
How much: One-day classes cost $15; individual classes cost $99. A semester-long membership which allows members to enroll in an unlimited number of courses costs $249.
To know more: Call 304-876-5135, send an e-mail to director Karen Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to www.shepherd.edu/lifelonglearning.[/cleeng_content]