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Public open house set to announce fall lifelong learning classes

by Cheryl Roland

Aug. 11, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of lifelong learning class.
WMU Lifelong Learning Academy
KALAMAZOO--After a successful launch this spring and summer, Western Michigan University's Lifelong Learning Academy will offer a fall session of 24 courses beginning Sept. 15 and ending Nov. 17.

Area residents are invited to obtain more information, as well as register for fall classes, during an on-campus open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, in the Atrium of the Health and Human Services Building, located at 1240 Oakland Drive, near Cass Street. Attendees will hear about new classes and scheduled events, meet many of the instructors, and enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to meet other students.

This fall's classes range in length from two to eight sessions and will cover a wide variety of topics. Class titles and instructors include:

More than 160 people registered for the academy's inaugural spring 2011 session. The academy provides a diverse and evolving array of noncredit educational classes and activities as a way for older adults to stay intellectually active and socially engaged. Membership is open to anyone with a passion for learning. Courses are geared toward older adults and include a tuition fee ranging from $20 to $40. In some cases, there is an additional fee for materials or other costs. An optional membership fee of $35 per year provides a discount on class fees and other benefits.

Those participating in the inaugural session were uniformly positive and excited about their academy classes. "It introduced me to the language of computers and an understanding of just how gigantic and complex a world it is," one participant said. Other feedback included comments such as:

Along with that success, the academy was recently accepted into the Elderhostel Institute Network, an organization of lifelong learning institutes affiliated with Road Scholar Inc. (formerly known as Elderhostel). The network's conferences and newsletters, as well as its online advice, connect WMU's academy with hundreds of similar institutes around the country and world.

For more information about WMU's Lifelong Learning Academy, contact the Extended University Programs office at or (269) 387-4200.