ESI College: Because Curiosity Never Retires!

Marion Werner joined the first ESI College course on Zoom.

Like other Elderly Services programs, ESI College, founded in 2004 and offering lifelong learning opportunities to independent adults 60 and over, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The courses, which had been meeting in person at ESI’s campus on Exchange Street in Middlebury, transitioned to online gatherings via Zoom beginning in the spring of 2020.

Marion Werner, an active senior who had been an ESI volunteer before the pandemic, was feeling the effects of social isolation when she joined the first ESI College online class. “I volunteered three days a week before the virus; now I hardly see anyone. It’s wonderful to see you all!” she exclaimed as she joined the group of eight for the first time.

For Marion and others, the Zoom courses offered a lifeline during the pandemic. We expect to continue offering some Zoom sessions, but we are now in the process of adding back some in-person classes, as well. Because we are reserving our center on Exchange Street for Project Independence, our adult day center, the in-person courses will meet at other locations.

In-person classes will begin with our April-June session. Here’s what you need to know:

  • We will continue to use our online registration process for all classes.
  • We intend to offer a mix of Zoom and in-person classes. They will be one or the other, rather than Zoom/in-person hybrids.
  • In-person classes will be off site. Our center is still reserved for the participants in Project Independence adult day program.
  • The most current COVID booster is required for in-person classes, out of concern for our community’s health and well-being.
  • Masking will be either required or strongly recommended for all in-person classes.

ESI College will continue to be an important part of the mission of Elderly Services. The courses require only a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity about our world. Participation gives you the chance to learn from highly qualified instructors whose expertise in a subject makes learning interesting and entertaining. There are no tests, papers or grades at ESI College. We do have lots of informed discussion and camaraderie!

If you’re interested in ESI College classes, in-person or via Zoom, contact us at college@elderlyservices.org and we’ll put you on our email list for notices of courses that are coming up.

Take a course. Teach a course.

Check out a full listing of our current offerings at ESI College. There, you’ll also find a link to our online registration page. For more information, call 802.388.3983 or email college@elderlyservices.org.

If you’re interested in offering a class, please contact Kristin Bolton (kristin@elderlyservices.org) at 802.388.3983.