Seniors College of P.E.I. cancels spring term

·2 min read
The Seniors College of P.E.I. is hoping to offer in-person classes again next fall. In the past, outdoor activities such as this one were also part of the course offerings.
The Seniors College of P.E.I. is hoping to offer in-person classes again next fall. In the past, outdoor activities such as this one were also part of the course offerings.

(Seniors College of P.E.I. - image credit)

The Seniors College of P.E.I. has decided to cancel its spring term of classes due to ongoing public health restrictions.

The college, which offers a wide variety of courses for Islanders 50 and up, has been shut down since last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit P.E.I.

"We were hoping that … maybe most of us would be vaccinated by now," said Pat MacAulay, president of the college.

"But, you know, given the reality and the time it takes to do this, we realize that we cannot in all conscience hold classes face-to-face without everyone being vaccinated."

I know there will be a lot of smiles and a lot of laughing and a lot of stories shared when we do meet again. — Pat MacAulay, Seniors College of P.E.I.

MacAulay said she's heard from many seniors who are missing the classes.

"They're all saying what they miss most are their friends, being able to gather, and chat, and to share common interests in subjects," she said.

"You do become friends with people in your class because you share a common interest and you get to see them over the years."

Hoping for in-person classes next fall

The college is determined to hold in-person classes again in the fall, as long as it can be done safely.

"In the fall, we're coming back with a full menu of courses," said MacAulay.

There could be some changes depending on what the public health regulations are at that time.

"We may be restricted in terms of how many people we can have in a venue. We don't know yet what that will be. So that will impact some of our programming," she said.

Online sessions offered

Until then, the college is hoping to interest seniors in some online programming this spring.

"We're going to be offering a number of sessions through Zoom or through online that will give people a flavour of what seniors' college is all about," MacAulay said.

She also encouraged seniors to head to the college's website and look at last year's calendar for an idea of what kinds of courses will be offered in the future.

MacAulay said she understands it's been hard for some seniors to not have classes to attend.

"I've been a lifelong learner," she said. "Some people … are very isolated these days, especially seniors. And I know there will be a lot of smiles and a lot of laughing and a lot of stories shared when we do meet again."

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