UNCW College Day returns

Joe Lowe | News Editor

UNC Wilmington will host its 13th annual College Day this Saturday, welcoming community residents to take courses in a variety of subjects.

The UNCW College of Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be offering Wilmington locals college courses encompassing all 24 academic programs within the College of Arts and Sciences department. Dr. Kathleen Berkeley, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is in charge of the organizing the event.

“The college considers this to be a showcase for the department to showcase it’s a liberal arts university and to let the community really understand what an education at UNCW is,” Berkeley said. “We want the community to understand how UNCW is pivotal in educating our local youth and adults.”

UNCW’s College Day began in 2002, when the previous associate dean, Raymond Burt, embraced the idea of offering a day community residents could get a preview of the college lifestyle.  

Participants can sign up for four classes—two in the morning and two in the afternoon—and will learn an array of subjects, from “TheFundamental Equation of Politics”to “What is Love?”.  Courses will be taught by UNCW professors of all disciplines who have volunteered their time to participate in the event.

“The faculty that want to do this love the idea of sharing their discipline with the community. Faculty from all 24 departments are represented,” Berkeley said. “I often have to tell professors they have to give another faculty member a turn that year.”

Several College Day students and UNCW professors have participated all 12 years the program has run. Berkeley says the courses are tailored to current events and happenings locally and nationwide. The classes taken most often are those dealing with present day issues.

“Over the 13 years [subject choice] has varied, but depending upon what is going on in the society has been a draw to certain courses, “Berkeley said.  “Also, some of the students prefer certain professors over others. If I don’t have some listed, I’ll get complaint phone calls.”

Most College Day participants have worked in some capacity with OLLI. The main goal of OLLI is to encourage the continuation of learning for adults older than your average UNCW student. According to the OLLI website, the organization, “focuses on adults aged 50 and older in the southeastern North Carolina region, through educational and experiential programming, connecting the adult and university communities.” As a result, College Day participants encompass a variety of ages from the early 30s to the late 50s.

“One of UNCW’s missions is to encourage our students and community members to see learning is not something you do between 18 and 21 but throughout your life. We see College Day as important for embracing learning,” Berkeley said.

Registration is coordinated through the OLLI website and is open to the public. The cost is $45 for the general public and $35 for OLLI members. The event includes up to four classes, lunch and dining entertainment.