Equipped with an arsenal of in-person guidelines, Zoom tutorials, trained facilitators and creative work-arounds, the Community Education programs on Yavapai College’s Prescott Campus offer a variety of class styles to get students safe, comfortable, and learning again when the Summer semester begins June 7.
Seniors balancing learning with COVID caution have a kindred spirit at OLLI. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s Prescott program is following member enthusiasm by offering 30% of its summer courses in person – with masks, social distancing and smaller class sizes – while 70% of instruction remains online. “OLLI members who engaged with online learning have really embraced it,” Prescott OLLI Director Tricia Berlowe explains. Eighty-one percent of OLLI members rated their online courses “excellent,” with another 98% “eager to return.”
OLLI’s split format includes in-person classes like Dots, Dots, Paper & Rocks, where students create beautiful mandala-painted rocks. “We also have a great lineup of speakers for our Munch & Learn series, which will continue on Zoom,” Berlowe said. “We have local history on the Prescott railroad with John Krizek; Dyann Kruse from the Heritage Park Zoo; Dr. Phillip Jones from Embry-Riddle on U.S./Chinese relations; Dr. Sam Browning on palliative care; and a visit from ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown,’ as portrayed by Janet Kalstrom. It’s a lineup that captures the amazing range of OLLI, from history to health to local interest to international relations.”
The Prescott Campus’s Community Ed and College 4 Kids programs will flip that formula, going mostly in-person, with Zoom classes sprinkled in. “Most parents want in-person classes for their children, and are very excited we’re back on campus,” Prescott CommEd Director Nancy Ostapuk explained. “Many of our seniors want to be in-person because they’re fully vaccinated and miss the socialization.”
In-person classes will follow YC’s mask and social distancing guidelines – and they are worth the fuss. “We’re offering Introduction to Billiards at Barefoot Bob’s Billiards in Prescott Valley on Saturdays,” Ostapuk said. Community Ed’s in-person classes also include four-legged (Canine Sports) and six-legged adventures (Equine Driving), a course in A Course in Miracles, as well as refresher courses for Nurses, through YC’s Nursing School.
The fun continues on Zoom. “We’re also excited to offer a new history class, Hopi Culture and Honoring the Earth. This will include cultural videos and an optional field trip to the Indigenous Prescott Museum.” Ostapuk said. Online instruction will also include Weight Watcher Yoga and Laughter Club Chair Yoga.
Variety rules at YC Prescott’s College 4 Kids, as well. Their in-person catalog reads like a travelogue for young folks of every taste and interest. Babysitter’s Bootcamp, Introduction to Blogging and Natural Cooking for the Soul may appeal to those looking to expand their skill set. C4K’s three drama classes – Comic Relief, Zany Improv and The Funny Bone Show – can stoke the creative fires of budding comedians. Armchair travelers can find the world at their fingertips in Earth’s Treasures, Edible Explorations and The Prescott Junior Audubon Nature Club. And a host of other courses open doors to painting, writing, animation and crafts.
Classes begin June 7, and registration is already open, with free Zoom tutorials available.
To learn more about YC Prescott’s OLLI program, please visit: www.yc.edu/prescottolli for YC Prescott’s Community Education courses, visit: www.yc.edu/commed; learn more about College 4 Kids at: www.yc.edu/collegeforkids or call: (928) 717-7755.