Check out the upcoming TALK courses at KPU

Most courses are offered online or at the Surrey, Richmond, and Langley campuses

KPU's Third Age Learning at Kwantlen (TALK) program is offering courses online and in-person until May. (Submitted)

KPU’s Third Age Learning at Kwantlen (TALK) program is offering courses online and in-person until May. (Submitted)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is offering fresh new courses online and in-person as part of its Third Age Learning at Kwantlen (TALK) program.  

The program is designed for people over the age of 50 and requires a yearly membership fee of $10 and a small admission fee for each course. KPU students of all ages can register for a TALK course for free. 

“TALK is a participatory learning experience with no quizzes, grades or prerequisites. The learning process is lively, full of discussion, controversy, humour, insight and wisdom,” according to KPU’s website

“You want to keep current with things, but maybe you do not want to work quite hard. The courses give you an overview of the topic,” says Jean Garnett, program chair of TALK. 

“Joanne Cunningham started TALK in 1998 and it has been going strong ever since. She used to be an instructor at KPU in the nursing department, and as she was nearing retirement, she realized there was nothing for adults in the community in terms of lifelong learning,” Garnett says.

When the program first began, many of the courses lasted at least four weeks. Now most courses are only one session on a specific topic. 

“Sometimes a presenter would come back for four sessions to give a course, but we’ve found over the years that that’s a big commitment for people to do on a volunteer basis,” Garnett says.

Upcoming events at the Surrey campus are learning the different causes of strokes and prevention on Feb. 21, Unlearning Racism on Feb. 28 to discuss modern racism in society, and Spain Through the Eyes of Artists on March 7, which discusses famous Spanish artists.  

Additionally, the Richmond campus will be hosting two sessions on Stars and Galaxies on March 3 and 10, and climate change related courses on March 22 and May 10. 

An online event titled “Journalism: Trust in the Age of Misinformation” will be presented by KPU journalism instructor Tracy Sherlock on Feb. 14 with a focus on misinformation and fact-checking. 

“Members of the committee often come up with ideas or they are suggested by members who take our courses,” Garnett says, adding that in-person events fill up quickly but online are unlimited. 

“KPU students are welcome to come to any of our in-person classes if there is free space available. If students want to come to an on-campus course, they have to check with the facilitator to make sure that there is space available in the room,” she says. 

These courses can lead to the positive benefits of learning without the stress and pressure around studying for tests and exams. 

“They help people stay engaged, keep their mind working and make connections. Mainly though, it just keeps your brain working by making lifelong learning,” she says. 

A full course list is available on the KPU TALK website