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 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 18 in the Campus Center. For 18 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 provides an opportunity for lifelong learners to expand their knowledge in the company of people with both shared and different perspectives. SAGE brings members together in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere to discover new things about the world and about themselves.
At the Sept. 18 event, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members and learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. Coffee will be served at the start of the event, followed by brief presentations by the learning facilitators taking part in this fall’s SAGE classes, and then class registration. Following the Kick-Off, there will be a Volunteering YOUR Way! presentation that will provide details about ENCORE and RSVP and how attendees can make a real difference helping in ways that interest them when it fits in their schedules.
This fall, SAGE officials are offering 23 exciting courses, learning events and excursions—on topics ranging from opera and chess to plumbing, the elections, and timekeeping the Amish way. Learning excursions include trips to the Fort Fairfield Library and the North Maine Woods.
Classes range in length from one day to four weeks and will be offered between Sept. 25 and Nov.14. Individual classes generally meet once a week for approximately two hours and are led on a volunteer basis by SAGE members and 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. 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 Nancy Roe at 768-7271. To register for a class or to make a reservation for the Sept. 18 kick-off, contact Mary Lawrence at 768-9502. To view fall course offerings, visit www.umpi.edu/sage.