Not too many individuals in Coles County and the surrounding area can claim to be both a retiree and an active college student. Eastern Illinois University hopes to change that.
"Our research has revealed a desire by the retired segment of the community for quality, short-term programs," said Will Hine, dean of the university's School of Continuing Education. "We propose to join the hundreds of universities across the nation that offer superior, inexpensive opportunities for learning to the valued retirees of our area."
The school plans a two-hour "kick-off" event from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 13, at Eastern's Neal Welcome Center, located at the intersection of Lincoln and Douglas in Charleston. Interested persons are invited to this open house where they can get detailed information about the new program and what's being planned for the near future. Admission is free, and no advanced registration is required.
While many opportunities will be offered to the public-at-large, additional advantages will be made available to those who join what is being labeled as the Academy of Lifetime Learning - the cornerstone of the program's development. A one-year membership is $75.
Membership privileges will include discounted registration costs for courses, and invitations to monthly brown-bag luncheons and other social gatherings in the fall and spring. Other benefits will become available as the program develops, Hine said.
Organizers hope membership in the academy and participation in the program in general will extend beyond those who are already affiliated with the university.
"Although we certainly invite those who have retired from Eastern to join us, we'd also like to see others who may never have ever set foot on this or any other campus participate, as well," Hine said. "We'd like as broad a background as possible represented."
One need not be formally admitted as a student at EIU to participate.
In order to see the program grow, organizers have enlisted well-known and respected individuals from the community and/or university to its advisory board. Members include Martha Brown (chair), EIU; Ken Baker, EIU; Dee Braden, Coles County Council on Aging; Betty Coffrin, Coles County clerk/recorder (retired); John Daum, Charleston High School band director (retired); Lillian Greathouse, EIU (retired); Sharon Kuhns, University of Illinois Coles County Extension; Godson Obia, EIU; Gene Scholes, EIU (retired); Jeanne Snyder, EIU; James Wallace, EIU; and Don Yost , local businessman/EIU Board of Trustees.
Although in its infancy stage, the program already has plans for five learning opportunities for the "more mature" student. All are scheduled to take place during the months of September or October.
For information about Eastern's new program for "retirees," its offerings and/or the Academy of Lifetime Learning , contact Susan Bulla, EIU School of Continuing Education, at 217-581-5114, email@example.com.