College Classics goes old school

Emphasis on gray-haired students is the direction of Midland College’s College Classics program. According to Associate Director Brenda Cordero, the program offers classes to people over the age of 50 to create a more diverse student population.

A few of the College Classics instructors are volunteers from the community however, the majority of College Classics instructors are MC professors that enjoy volunteering their time.

Because there is not any money in the budget for the program, MC relies on their volunteers to keep the program alive.
“Without the volunteer instructors, we probably wouldn’t be able to keep this program going,” Cordero said.

Due to the fact that the instructors are all volunteers, citizens over 50 only have to pay a $25 fee to enroll in College Classics courses. According to Cordero, as many classes as a senior’s heart desires can be taken— the fee is not charged per course, and there is no limit as to how many courses can be taken in a single session.

Most of the College Classic courses are offered in the afternoon to make it more convenient for those who have a hard time driving after dark, according to Cordero. The upcoming session of College Classic courses began the week of Jan. 26 and will run until the week of Feb. 18. There is no enrollment deadline for the College Classics courses, prospective students can join any time during the session after the $25 fee has been paid.

The relatively inexpensive fee and a desire to learn are what draws people to take these courses, according to Cordero. The courses being offered this session are World’s Greatest Churches taught by community volunteer Bill Bucy, Clogging taught by volunteer Tori Baca, Hinges of History taught by Dr. Will Morris, Microsoft Word taught by Heather Sanders and More “Lights, Camera, and Action!” taught by John Deats.

Instructor Terry Gilmour also teaches a Political Geology course at Manor Park for those who want to participate in the College Classics program but cannot make it out to MC. For more information on the courses go online to ce.midland.edu/cc/

Professor Dr. Morris had been with the College Classics program since its beginning in 1989 and has not missed a session. According to Morris, he talks with his students before sessions start to see what they want to learn in that particular session.
According to Morris, he currently has around 30 people in his class and over 20 of those students have taken his College Classics courses before. Every session, Morris goes over various aspects of history and changes out the books he uses often.

When the program first started, Morris offered a history class but did not expect a large turnout. He was surprised by the fact that 17 people had signed up and at the end of the session people wanted to come back to learn more.

Throughout the years that he has taught a College Classics course, Morris has covered world history, U.S. history, Islam, Christianity and has even taught a course over the United States Presidents that lasted for almost two years.

According to Morris, the class is like a social hour for those who take it. “We take a break during the middle and have refreshments and chat and then we come back and continue the lecture,” he said.

Morris says that teaching a College Classics course is different than teaching a regular class for credit because, often times, students who are taking a class just to earn a credit only show up because they have to whereas the people who take his College Classics course attend class because they enjoy going.