Dear Collegium members,
We are proud to present an update on fall 2020 semester, our first all-remote program of Collegium classes.
It began as an idea after Westchester Community College closed due to the pandemic, cancelling our spring 2020 semester. It slowly developed into a pilot project over the summer and, building on that success (described in the previous update), evolved into a six-course, six-week semester that was received enthusiastically by our members. Collegium’s fall 2020 offerings included: The Red and the Blue: How Did Things Get So Bad; Zooming Through the Met; Our Amazing Brain: What? Why? And How?; Keeping Current on Business, Finance, and Economics; What’s Beyond the Breaking News; and All Stories Great and Quirky.
We (members, course leaders, board members, and WCC staff) all grew together through planned orientation about Zoom user tools and classroom etiquette. Training sessions enabled instructors to use PowerPoint, short films, and a variety of audio visuals to enhance their presentations. Board members, assisted by staff, learned to host electronic classes and to facilitate electronic interaction between participants and instructors. We learned to laugh through our mistakes and to adjust to this new remote environment, recapturing the collegial spirit we had experienced at pre-pandemic Knollwood Center. And at the end of many hours in front of computers, tablets, and cell phones, we were all sad to see the semester end, but were thrilled to have rekindled the Collegium resilience.
Bolstered by our success we are proud to announce the winter 2021 lineup of five 75-minute classes, three on Wednesdays and two on Fridays beginning on Wednesday, January 13 and Friday, January 15 for six weeks. (There will be no class on Inauguration Day, January 20.)
Since we offered two Zoom orientation classes in the fall, and since so many of us are using Zoom regularly, we will not require participants to attend a special Zoom orientation class, but will offer remediation as needed in the half-hour open classroom time before each class. As always, members who need assistance can call the Collegium office to ask for help, prior to classes beginning. Once again, a Collegium volunteer host and WCC co-host will be available in each Zoom room to assist whenever help is needed.
Beginning in December, emails will be sent with annotated directions for registration, course descriptions, and guidelines for the semester. Look for these Collegium emails about our winter 2021 semester. In the meantime, we will continue our work striving for improvement in both the quality and number of courses offered by Collegium.
Thank you for your continued support.
The Collegium Board November, 2020
COLLEGIUM for Lifelong Learning is a membership organization created in 2004 to combine serious study and social exchange. Each COLLEGIUM semester features a different array of courses in the arts and sciences, all led by exceptional volunteers with expertise in the subjects they teach. Participants are encouraged to engage in classroom discussion and the schedule allows for informal discussion between sessions and during breaks.
Knollwood Center, Valhalla Campus