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. 20 in the Campus Center. For 16 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.
At the Sept. 20 event, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members and learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. Refreshments 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.
This fall, SAGE officials are offering 16 courses and learning events and excursions – on topics ranging from Tennessee Williams and the Qur'an to winemaking and fracking. Learning excursions include a 3-hour historical tour of Presque Isle aboard Molly the Trolley and a trip to Took a Leap Farm in Houlton, which is a small goat farm (with about 30 Nigerian dwarf goats) and a state-licensed cheese-making facility.
Classes range in length from one day to four weeks and will be offered between Sept. 28 and Nov.8. 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 $15 per semester or $30 for the year. There are additional fees for field trips and some hands-on courses. 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 Campus Activities Board, the student-run activity committee, by showing their membership cards.
For more information, to register for a class, or to make a reservation for the Sept. 20 kick-off, contact Mary Lawrence at 768-9502. To view fall course offerings, visit www.umpi.edu/sage.