Maine senior college programs offer virtual courses throughout the pandemic

There are 17 programs across the state that offer courses for seniors.
Penobscot Valley Senior College
Penobscot Valley Senior College(Penobscot Valley Senior College)
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST

ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Maine seniors who never went to college or would like to go back are getting that chance.

“I like to think, I like to think! We’re old enough to know that we’re young enough to learn,” said Judy Hakola, a teacher at Penobscot Valley Senior College.

80-year-old Judy Hakola is going back to school.

It’s part of the Penobscot Valley Senior College program.

“Our courses have no tests, no quizzes. They’re just purely for interest and for fun. It’s part of a lifelong learning process,” said President of Penobscot Valley Senior College Ann Torrey.

Hakola taught in the English Department at the University of Maine for several decades.

After retiring, she just couldn’t step away from teaching.

“The course I taught last fall was called, the Birds, the Bees, and All Those Trees: Maine poets write about the natural world. It’s important not just for the students, but for the instructors to keep their brains functioning,’ said Hakola.

Hakola says the senior college program offers courses about DNA and Supreme Court cases.

They typically meet in person, but the pandemic has shifted the classes to Zoom.

“The more isolated people are for their own safety, literally, the more important it is to see other faces, hear other voices, get other points of view.”

There are 17 programs across the state that offer courses for seniors.

Thanks to Zoom, folks can pay the registration fee and have access to all of them.

“As the pandemic wears on and the isolation becomes a drag on everybody, anything that creates connection is important, is crucial for our mental well being,” said Hakola.

Spring courses start March 22nd, and for more information you can visit their website.

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