Menu button
Home » Campus & Community

NECC to Offer New Learning Experience for Area Seniors

Submitted by on March 1, 2011 – 11:31 am

Northern Essex Community College has something new for those over 50. This spring, the college will launch its College of Older Learners (CoOL) which features seminars led by seniors for seniors.

The four-week seminars will meet once a week on Wednesday afternoons, and topics will vary from an exploration of sacred geometry to living with hearing loss. The first series will begin March 23 with four topics to choose from.

On Wednesday, March 9, from 2 to 4 p.m., the public is invited to attend a Seminar Sampler event where they can sample the four sessions that will be offered in the first series, learn about the program, and enjoy refreshments. That event will be held in the ArtSpace in the college’s Bentley Library which is located at 100 Elliott St., Haverhill.

George Medelinskas, professor of Computer Science at Northern Essex, came up with the idea of creating a seminar-styled learning opportunity for seniors and worked closely with a group of area seniors as well as his colleagues at the college to make it happen.

“Our goal is learning for the joy of learning,” says Medelinskas. “Everyone, including the seminar leader, will approach the topic with a beginner’s mind. All seminars will engage in active learning”.

Peter Spellman of West Newbury, who has been involved in CoOL planning, has experience with seminar learning. “These things come together from the passion of the person who is teaching it.”

The following seminars will be offered beginning March 23:

Sacred Geometry

Led by George Medelinskas, this seminar will explore the use of geometry in designing cathedrals, mandalas, and yantras. Participants will visit the computer lab and create their own designs on the computer as well as other media.

In Search of Understanding

Kate Zehnter of Methuen, who teaches art at Northern Essex, will lead this discussion centered on ideas presented in the “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche.

Dynamic Aging

Richard Mullen of Georgetown will share how being an informed citizen can help seniors develop their quality of life.

Living with Hearing Loss

Ben Coughlin of Haverhill will focus on coping with diminished hearing, American Sign Language basics and learning about the Deaf culture and its history

There will be a $10 enrollment fee for each seminar. All seminars will be held in the Spurk Building or the Technology Center on the college’s Haverhill Campus. For more information about the seminars or the March 9 event, contact the College of Older Learners at or call 978 556-3110.