The Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning (BRCLL) was established at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock in 1990 as a place primarily for senior learners ages 50 and over, but is open to anyone wanting to take classes on a wide range of subjects, including local and Appalachian history, current affairs, nature and science, and US and international history. Topics for March and April classes include world art treasures, the 1920s, acupuncture, Hungary and Oedipus Rex.
“The goal of the center is to be a place where older adults can come together for fellowship, personal enrichment and intellectual stimulation,” says Steve Schleifer, chair of BRCLL’s outreach committee. “Benefits include keeping one’s mind active by continuing to learn, getting out of the house and the social aspect of meeting others in class.”
BRCLL’s approximately 850 members have paid a one-time membership fee that allows them to take classes at a reduced rate and receive the organization’s newsletter three times a year. Non-members may also enroll in classes at a higher rate.
Participants evaluate the classes they take and suggest future classes, which are then decided upon by a committee of volunteers. “A survey was done of the membership asking them which topics they preferred, so we try to hit those topics as much as we can,” Schleifer says. Instructors are local, coming mostly from Henderson, Transylvania and Buncombe counties. “Our three-county area has a wealth of educated, experienced and dedicated people who want to share their knowledge on a variety of subjects,” says Schleifer.
The Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning is located at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock. To learn more about the program and spring classes, visit brcll.com, or call 828.694.1740.