“Learning for Life” Seeks to Educate Both College and Community
Ongoing lecture series at Corporate College West features experts in a variety of subjects
Ever since the opening of Cuyahoga Community College’s Westshore Campus in 2011, the faculty and staff have sought ways to broaden the educational impact of the campus throughout Cleveland’s western suburbs.
“Back in the fall of 2011, the faculty were interested in putting together a lecture series, and out of that came the ‘Year of the Brain,’ said Robert Searson, Westshore’s dean of learning and engagement. “It ended up being a two-year series. During each session, we replayed the ‘Brain Series’ from Charlie Rose’s PBS show and held lectures in tandem with the viewings, covering all different aspects of how the brain works.”
The Year of the Brain drew a large enough audience that Searson and Westshore faculty began to expand on the lecture series idea. It was the beginning of “Learning for Life,” a monthly speaker and panel discussion series covering a range of topics, often linked to current events.
Launched in 2014, Learning for Life seeks to include students and staff at the College as well as members of the communities served by the Westshore Campus. Organized and conducted by Tri-C faculty and guest speakers, events are either free or low-cost.
“We took the Year of the Brain idea and broadened it, tried to get more ambitious with it,” Searson said. “We wanted an ongoing series that would cover a range of topics that would be of interest to a large audience, including human trafficking, sustainability, health and wellness, and examining other cultures.”
Recent Learning for Life programs have included a panel discussion organized in partnership with the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking. Other programs have covered topics such as the national opioid addiction crisis and a look into the factors that make the city of Jerusalem one of the frequent hot spots in world affairs.
Over the course of the academic year, program coordinators aim to schedule a mixture of day and evening lectures — usually one per month during fall and spring semesters — at both the Westshore Campus and Corporate College West. However, due to the current renovation and expansion at Westshore, all Learning for Life events will take place at Corporate College West for the remainder of the 2018-2019 academic year.
“We’ve had an average attendance of between 30 and 50 people per event, and we’d love to see that go up,” Searson said. “For now, we’re in room 112 at Corporate College West, but once the expansion at Westshore is complete, we’ll likely have a brand-new room to hold these events.”
An expanded campus will offer the opportunity and resources to continue growing the Learning for Life program.
“This is our mission as an academic institution, to educate both the Tri-C community and the community at large,” Searson said. “The Learning for Life program is for them. This is a great opportunity to learn about topics of interest.”
For a list of scheduled Learning for Life events, visit the program page on Tri-C’s website.
October 10, 2018
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org