A University of Maine at Presque Isle program that serves local residents over 50 and believes in “learning for life” will host its Fall Kick-Off event at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 in the Campus Center. For 19 years, Seniors Achieving Greater Education [SAGE] has brought short courses in arts, sciences, and specialty areas to the region’s senior community.
SAGE is one of 17 senior colleges in the Maine Senior College Network, and one of two senior colleges north of Bangor. The program welcomes intellectually curious adults, age 50 and older, who have a desire to learn in the company of people with both shared and different perspectives. SAGE brings members together in a relaxed atmosphere to discover new things about the world and about themselves.
At the Sept. 9 event, participants will have the opportunity to learn about upcoming SAGE classes and activities. Coffee will be served beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by brief presentations by instructors and facilitators leading this fall’s SAGE classes. New and current members will be able to register for classes and activities at the event. The new Share a Ride program will be featured and attendees will brainstorm future SAGE class topics. There will be a special presentation on the upcoming Senior Artist Gala Exhibition in UMPI’s Reed Art Gallery.
This fall, SAGE officials will offer 22 exciting courses, learning events, and excursions—on topics ranging from Aroostook military history, songwriting, and how to use a cell phone camera. Learning excursions include trips to Explore Trains and the Churchill Dam Museum and a Moose and Fall Foliage Ride.
Classes range in length from one day to four weeks and will be offered between Sept. 27 and Nov. 14. Classes generally meet once a week for approximately two hours and are led by volunteers, either SAGE members or guests. Course formats range from lectures and discussions to field trips and hands-on learning. SAGE has no entrance requirements, grades or tests, and no college background is needed. Learning is its own reward. Another benefit is that course facilitators are local people who have a deep love and knowledge of the subject they are presenting.
The cost that participants pay for the education and interaction they get is minimal. Membership in Seniors Achieving Greater Education is $17 per semester or $32 for the year (Sept. 1 to Aug. 31). Courses are free for members; some hands-on courses and field excursions have additional fees and some courses may require the purchase of a book. Full or partial scholarships to take part in the program are available through a simple, friendly, and confidential process. SAGE members also have free access to most events sponsored by UMPI’s Cultural Affairs and Student Activities Board by showing their membership cards.
For more information about SAGE, contact Penny Kern at 207-200-6311. There is no registration for the Fall Kick-Off, but all SAGE-aged community members are encouraged to attend and bring a friend. To view fall course offerings and a registration form, visit www.umpi.edu/sage.