Students studying outside the library

Lifelong Learning at Wofford College

New program offers on-campus courses for adult learners

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2015-08-27

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Eighteen- to 22-year-olds aren’t the only ones taking classes at Wofford College this fall. Adult learners – those beyond college age – now can enroll thanks to the new Lifelong Learning at Wofford program.

Led by Charlie Gray, Wofford director of continuing education, the program’s 19 fall semester classes offer a varied menu of educational options ranging from how to play guitar to learning more about the history of South Africa. Enrollment for the fall semester is still open with classes beginning on Sept. 21 and running through Nov. 20.

“If I could do it, I would take every one,” Gray says. As the leader of the project, he believes in the potential of the program and others like it, such as the Civil War and Revolutionary War roundtables, historical discussion groups that have been held at Wofford for the past few years.

The “no tests, no homework, just fun” philosophy is ingrained in every aspect of the program. Classes will feature hands-on learning activities, audiovisual presentations and small class sizes to create interactive, fun learning. “Lifelong Learning at Wofford wants to cater to the interests of adult students. If you want to get serious about how memory loss affects people around you, here’s your chance. If you want to enjoy some lighthearted card-playing, you can find that, too,” Gray says. “The program is intended to show people how much they can enjoy extracurricular learning without worrying about grades or diplomas.”

According to Gray, classes are created when potential students and teachers express an interest in taking or teaching the class and making it as fun as possible. In addition to high-interest topics, he points out that the teachers are the best parts of Lifelong Learning at Wofford.

“Every class is taught by an expert in the field, so even if students are taking something like yoga, they can expect the same high standard of instruction that they would in a regular Wofford course. It’s top-notch quality of teaching in an atmosphere of variety and culture,” he says.

When students aren’t on field trips, such as the “Tale of Four Spartanburgs” class tour of historic landmarks, courses will be held on Wofford’s campus alongside regular college classes, giving participants an experience centered on college life. The program is designed to make students feel as at home as possible.

Gray and his team of advisers and teachers already are planning classes for the winter or spring semesters.

“Our Lifelong Learning at Wofford students realize that education isn’t exclusively for people interested in degrees or people of a certain age,” Gray says. “It’s for anyone who enjoys thinking deeply about the world or maybe just wants an outlet for their curiosity.”

To take the classes, students must join Lifelong Learning at Wofford for a $50 annual fee (Sept. 1, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016); each course then is $40. If students wish to take multiple courses, packages are available for $225 for six courses per year and $315 for nine courses per year.

Join and register for classes online at wofford.edu/lifelonglearning or contact Charlie Gray at 864-597-5304 or graych@wofford.edu.

Here’s a listing of the courses being offered this fall:

Beginning Bridge
  • A Tale of Four Spartanburgs: Historic Overview
  • The Game is Afoot! Sherlock Holmes and his World
  • Insights into Memory Loss
  • Pen and Ink Drawings
  • Play Acoustic Guitars for Fun and Singing
  • Oil and Gas Exploration and its Impact on the Environment
  • Learn to Play Pinochle
  • A Walk through Colonial South Carolina
  • Comparative Religions
  • How We Got Our Bible
  • More than Mandela: A Brief History of South Africa
  • Naked Economics
  • 20th Century U.S. Military and Diplomatic History
  • Legendary Lives of Appalachian Women
  • Photography
  • Birds of the Carolinas
  • The Music and Culture of the 1960s
  • The Movement and Philosophy of Yoga

By Quinn Filler, contributing writer