Academy of Lifelong Learning holding non-credit classes this school year

Brooke Schwartz, News Editor

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The Academy of Lifelong Learning is a department in the School of Extended Learning which hosts different non-credit classes throughout the school year and summer.

The classes, according to the academy’s website, are either free or of low cost and are open to any adult who is interested.

According to the academy’s 2018 fall program guide, its purpose is to “promote the voluntary pursuit of knowledge to enhance our capacity to navigate the changing world.”

Marita Metzke, the director of the academy, said the idea for the academy originated in 2007, and the first classes were held that following fall.

“(The academy has) seen tremendous growth since then,” Metzke said, with their highest registration number on record being 641 adults.

Debbie Meadows, the registration coordinator for the School of Extended Learning, said she loves how the academy allows for continued educational growth, especially for older community members.

“(The academy) enables (Charleston’s) adult community a place to get together and not only do they socialize, but they get to learn fun things,” Meadows said.

The current program the academy is putting on includes three informational sessions entitled ‘The Mafia and the Oval Office,’ all of which are led and directed by former Eastern professor Roger Whitlow.

Other types of programs happening this year include a class on memoir writing, a walking tour of Charleston, a class on meditation, a class on drones and many more.

The program guide can be found on the Academy’s website.

Meadows said she enjoys the different classes the Academy has.

“We offer a huge variety of classes, from arts and crafts to history to writing,” Meadows said.  “We’re always open to new ideas and new programs and always looking for people to present.”

Anyone with program ideas can reach out to Metzke at [email protected].

The academy, which used to be limited to community members 50 years and older, is now open to adults of any ages, Meadows said.

“They decided that the intergenerational (members) both learn from each other,” Meadows said.

Metzke said everyone should feel free to try a program sometime this year.

“Try a class of something that’s interesting to you or that you’ve always wondered about and join the fun,” Metzke said.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].