PLEASE NOTE: ESI’s in-person programs, including ESI College, are on hold for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But ESI College is continuing online. Read more here.
ESI College is an elder college offering classes taught by highly qualified professionals for independent adults over 60, to promote lifelong learning. There are no tests, no grades and, with the exception of book groups, no “homework.” ESI College is one of the many programs at Elderly Services Inc.
ESI College classes are held at Elderly Services. Our beautiful farmhouse-inspired campus, visible from Route 7, is located at 112 Exchange Street in Middlebury, between RK Miles lumberyard and Middlebury Self-storage facility.
ESI College students are active, vibrant members of the community; most live independently; many of them still drive; and their minds are clear and curious. They range in age from 60-95. Their life experiences are rich, and their backgrounds are diverse. They are interested in the intellectual stimulation of the classes and the chance to connect with other active seniors.
We seek out highly qualified individuals in their field who enjoy bringing their subject to life. Our instructors have included college professors and high school teachers, judges and lawyers, doctors and other medical professionals, counselors and chiefs of police, professional musicians and composers, environmental consultants and researchers, writers and historians, government and military officials, librarians and architects, movie producers and magicians, small business owners, chefs and artists.
ESI classes cover a range of topics including but not limited to: history, political science, literature, music, art, food, architecture, science, psychology, geography, and Vermont history, literature, science, politics and culture.
ESI College has four terms:
- Winter Term, from mid-January to mid-March
- Spring Term, April-May
- Summer Term, July-August, which is a weekly lecture series
- Fall Term, from mid-September to mid-November
We schedule classes about two to five months in advance. The brochure comes out one month prior to the start of the term.
We have two classrooms for ESI College. Our Solarium provides a seminar-style environment for book groups, discussion-based classes, and small lectures. It holds 12-14 people who can be seated around a large table. Our Garden Dining Room holds 35 or more people, and transforms into rows for lecture-style seating, or can be configured to use tables or create a larger open space. Light refreshments are included with classes at both locations.
In our Garden Dining Room, we have a large screen onto which we project from our portable projector, which can take input from our laptop, your laptop, or or your handheld device. We have a wireless Internet connection and speakers if you want to play music, a video or connect to the Internet. We have a podium, a tall chair, whiteboards, tables and other supports for teaching; just let us know what you need. With some advance notice, we can photocopy handouts for classes. We ask you to use our handheld or over-the-ear wireless microphone for the benefit of the students with hearing issues.
We mail out brochures about a month ahead of the start of our semester and have brochures available in the local area. The catalogue is also online: elderlyservices.org/esi-college-classes
This is primarily a volunteer opportunity, although we offer a small stipend as a token of our appreciation.
If you are interested in teaching an ESI College class, please contact Kristin Bolton or Dana Perzanoski at 802.388.3983 or via e-mail: kristin(at)elderlyservices(dot)org or dana(at)elderlyservices(dot)org.
Founded in 1981, Elderly Services’ original purpose was to offer elders and their families an adult day care center to help delay or prevent nursing home placement. Decades later, our award-winning adult day center — Project Independence — continues as our flagship program. We have added a wonderful array of services in pursuit of our mission: To provide creative, high-quality programs to help elders live safe and satisfying lives in their own homes and communities. Besides ESI College and Project Independence, these services include:
- Aging education and community outreach, offering talks to community groups and families on topics related to aging
- Geriatric evaluation and service planning for individuals needing help
- Counseling support for older individuals and couples facing the challenges of aging
- Advice and counseling for families, both local and long-distance
- Family caregiver assistance
Project Independence is an adult day care center providing a closely supervised daytime “home away from home” for seniors whose independence has lessened due to chronic illness, disability, or very advanced age. Our program is a nationally recognized model for other adult day care centers. If you are interested in volunteering at Project Independence, even for just an hour-long talk, please contact one of our activities staff: Kristin Bolton or Ken Schoen at 802.388.3983 or via e-mail: kristin(at)elderlyservices(dot)org; kschoen(at)elderlyservices(dot)org.