Nationally, many universities, especially those located in areas that attract older adults, offer opportunities for members of the community to engage in lifelong learning. As you know, the community of Shepherdstown hosts a significant population of retirees who attend Shepherd events and support the university with their volunteer efforts. Just over a year ago, Shepherd officials were contacted by a group called Shepherdstown Area Independent Living (S.A.I.L.) about offering a lifelong learning program similar to those in place at other universities across the country. We worked with S.A.I.L . and an advisory committee comprised of faculty, staff and members of the community to conduct a feasibility study that was widely reported on in local media this spring and summer. Not surprisingly, we found significant interest in the community for this type of program, which would offer up to eight classes over the course of six weeks in fall and six weeks in spring.
Based upon these expressions of interest, a small pilot program will be launched this fall in collaboration with Shepherd University. Geared towards retirees, eight non-credit classes will be offered as informal instruction on topics of interest to the community. Each class will meet once a week for six weeks and for approximately 1 1/2 hours for a total of nine hours engagement.
The Lifelong Learning classes provide a fun and engaging way for retirees to access extended learning and social opportunities. There will not be any quizzes or tests administered but perhaps some homework for added exposure to the topic and good discussions. Participants do not earn credit and will not place any burden on the registrar, faculty, or staff at Shepherd. No course credit will be reflected on transcripts or in any way be recognized by the university for any type of academic credential.
Karen M. Rice
Director of Lifelong Learning
Visit http://www.shepherd.edu/lifelonglearning/ for more information about Life Long Learning.