Registration starting for lifelong learning academy classes, trips

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of adult learners in class.

Registration is underway for the academy's poverty reduction seminar.

KALAMAZOO—Cuba today, dark humor, Spanish conversation, outdoor sculpture, the Republican Party and U.S. women in the 19th century are just a few of the topics that will be explored during the spring session of Western Michigan University's Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Twenty-nine courses are being offered this semester, the largest number since the academy was formed in 2011. Three special classes have been scheduled in collaboration with the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and a free five-week seminar on poverty reduction in Kalamazoo is being offered in cooperation with WMU's new University-Community Empowerment Center.

The academy also has planned several one-day excursions, including a day in Dowagiac, Mich., that includes participation in the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival and a trek to Grand Rapids, Mich., for music, food and a visit to a little-known museum.

Two extended excursions are on the docket, as well. Those interested may choose from a six-day trip to Minneapolis and a two-day golfing trip to Manistee, Mich.

Registration for most classes and trips began Jan. 6 for members of the Academy of Lifelong Learning. Registration for nonmembers opens Thursday, Jan. 23. However, nonmembers may register now for the poverty reduction seminar, titled Call to Action: Poverty Reduction in Kalamazoo.

Academy of Lifelong Learning

The academy, developed under the auspices of WMU's Extended University Programs, provides low-cost, short-term, non-credit learning experiences for adults in an informal and stimulating environment. There are no exams and no grades.

Classes take place on campus and at various off-campus locations. Academy faculty members are volunteers. Some are retired faculty while others are experts from the local community.

The spring course brochure is available at or by calling the Extended University Programs office at (269) 387-4200.

For more information about the poverty reduction seminar, visit