Lifelong Learning offers varied courses for community

Taylor Harrison

No matter what the subject may be, Lifelong Learning at WKU probably offers it in a class.

Courses that have already taken place this semester include Lawn Care on a Budget, Using Social Media for Marketing, Make Your Own: Rain Barrel and Repurposing: Used Pallets.

Sharon Woodward, program director of Lifelong Learning, said the courses offered center on topics she thinks would be of interest to people in the community.

The courses, offered through the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach, don’t count as credits.

“We would love to have had more students in those classes, but I think they were very successful because the people who participated in them were so excited to be learning more in each of those individual areas,” Woodward said.

Two of the courses, the rain barrel-making class and the repurposing class, were in partnership with the Office of Sustainability and Community Farmers Market.

“I really want to do a series of courses around sustainability,” she said. “I think people are willing to do more for the environment, and there are a lot of things that they may be doing already that they don’t realize are sustainability issues.”

Another partnership Lifelong Learning has is with the Confucius Institute.

Many Chinese courses have been offered — ranging from Chinese paper cutting to calligraphy.

Betty Yu, assistant director for Educational Outreach at the Confucius Institute, said the calligraphy class is the most popular so far.

She said those topics were chosen for the courses for a specific reason.

“Those are representations of Chinese culture,” she said. “And so, my teachers wanted to do something that is representative because it’s only a two hour block,” Yu said.

She said she was very excited to get the call from Woodward about a partnership, because it would help advertise the program to the public.

One course being offered this semester is an online class — Chess Playing Level 1: Apprentice. The course allows people to sign up at any time, but has to be finished by the end of the semester.

Tulsa, Ok., graduate student Samuel Hunt is the instructor for the course. He said whoever takes the course can help teach other beginners.

“Each lesson is basically designed so that a teacher or a player or a coach can go in and they can get the information and then they can take that back to their chess club,” Hunt said.

The next course is a Fresh Floral Thanksgiving Centerpiece course on Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.