Aimed at the 50-plus age group, the volunteer-run Third Age Learning at Kwantlen, or TALK, has been offered at the post-secondary institution for more than 20 years.
Created by former KPU faculty member Joanne Cunningham, TALK courses are meant for retirees who want to continue learning.
“Our summer survey results showed that most of our members and presenters want to proceed with online courses and Philosophers Corners this fall,” program chair Dr. Robin Heath says in a message posted to kpu.ca/talk.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, TALK courses were cancelled for Spring 2020 but now those courses will be online via the Zoom conference app for the upcoming semester.
“We are delighted that almost all of our fall presenters and over 75 per cent of our members were willing to try this new way of taking courses,” Heath said.
“There are many seniors facing shut-in realities and having an opportunity to stay connected with their community and to continue participating in relevant online courses will have a positive impact on their lives.”
This fall’s TALK course subjects include the Dark Web, Freedom of the Press, Tax Considerations for Seniors, The Arches of Chinatown and more.
Prior to the first class on Sept. 22, there will be two free Zoom webinar practice sessions on Sept. 15 and 16 to help participants learn to use the platform before delving into the courses.
TALK membership usually ranges up to 400 members. The annual membership is $10, and course fees are $15 to $30 depending if it’s one session, two sessions or three sessions per course. Most courses are one session.
Course fees are kept low through a program that invites KPU professors and community professionals to volunteer their time.
“TALK is a participatory learning experience with no quizzes, grades or prerequisites,” explains a message on the program website. “The learning process is lively, full of discussion, controversy, humour, insight and wisdom. In addition to participating in courses, you can become a TALK volunteer.”
This fall, the monthly Philosphers’ Corners sessions on Zoom will tackle subjects including “Are mass political protests effective activism?” (Oct. 1), “Has political correctness gone too far?” (Nov. 5) and “Is nuclear proliferation a risk to international peace and stability?” (Dec. 5). The sessions, held the first Thursday of the month at 11 a.m., will last up to 90 minutes.
For additional TALK program details, call 604-599-3077 or email TALK@kpu.ca.
• In other KPU news, the university is expanding international study opportunities for students by joining the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific Consortium (UMAP).
The consortium builds connections between 600 universities and colleges from 36 countries and territories across Asia and the Pacific Rim to support student exchanges, online joint classrooms and faculty connections.
“This will enhance our learning communities’ access to quality international experiences while advancing KPU towards its mission of thinking and acting together to transform lives and empower positive change,” said Carole St. Laurent, associate vice-president, international, at KPU.
By joining the consortium, “KPU has substantially expanded the number of exchange destinations in Asia and the Pacific Rim,” according to a news release posted to kpu.ca. “This year, there will be opportunities for two KPU students to visit any connected institution and for KPU to receive two students from UMAP institutions. These opportunities may expand in future years. The consortium also supports virtual exchanges, faculty research experiences, and scholarships in Japan and Taiwan for students.”