The Villages Voice - May 2011

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TVLLC Kicks Off Summer Fall Semester

by Staff

TVLLC Kicks Off Summer/Fall Semester

With about 2000 total course per year and over 18,000 students attending about 25,000 sessions, The Villages Lifelong Learning College (TVLLC) is the most participated in program the The Villages.  About one in four Villagers have been attending TVLLC each year.  The Lifelong Learning College was a concept of the developer intended to be positive contribution to The Villages Lifestyle experience.  TVLLC is indeed unique, as it is the only college of its type in the nation, with no outside funding, or affiliation with another college or university. 

TVLLC has four full time and four part time employees.  The remainder of the staffing consists of 45 volunteers – mostly consisting of residents who have enjoyed participating in the programs, which feature “No Grades, No tests, No Pressure - Just Fun” as a life-enriching complement to The Villages’ lifestyle.  About 200 course instructors range from retired professors to subject experts in the course of study.  About 98% of the instructors are drawn from the vast talent pool of residents of The Villages.  Outside field experts are occasionally contracted to teach specialty courses.  Since TVLLC does not issue certificates and degrees, accreditation is not required, but certain courses, such as yoga, require certified instructors.

Michelle Johnson is the Director of TVLLC and has been with the program since its inception at The Villages Recreation Department about 11 years ago.  She takes special pride in developing a catalog of courses, each having been requested and vetted by residents.  Before a class is approved and booked, sufficient interest and participation is solicited to guarantee its success.  Specialty classes range from 3 to 6 students, and large classes, such as ballroom dancing, number from 100 to 150 students.  Surveys for new courses appear regularly in The Daily Sun newspaper and about 50 new courses have already been added since the printing of the new Summer/Fall catalog to support Villager requests.

Fees per course vary due to the wide variety of course lengths, space and instructor requirements and materials involved.  Some courses/workshops are only a day (or evening) or two, or an educational trip, or outside speaker.  Additionally, some courses are offered for free as a community service, such as, GED, social security, and Medicare benefits.  Detailed information is available in any Villages Regional Recreation Center and online at www.TheVillagesLifelongCollege.com.