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About Canterbury ElderCollege

Who We Are

Canterbury ElderCollege is dedicated to the principle of lifelong learning by offering courses that are useful, sociable and entertaining to persons over the age of 55. ElderCollege was founded as a subsidiary of Canterbury College in 2011, and has since grown rapidly to offer nearly 100 courses each semester throughout Windsor, Essex, and Kent Counties. The program provides an opportunity for seniors to teach as well as to learn. The instructors are entirely voluntary, and the entire program is run mainly by volunteers. A key operating principle is that the courses are carried to where seniors live through 10 remote campuses in Windsor, Essex and Kent Counties. There are no exams, tests, or homework. People take the courses just for the fun of it to remain physically, socially and intellectually active. 

Our History

The initial inspiration for Canterbury ElderCollege came from a similar college established in Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C. That earlier version of ElderCollege is now in its 22nd year of offering ElderCollege programs for those over age 55. We have patterned our ElderCollege programme for Windsor, Essex County and West Kent County on that well developed Capilano University model.

But, we are adding something entirely unique and that is our Courses are offered in multiple locations in Windsor, Essex County, and Chatham-Kent.

This uniqueness was recognised in a Resolution unanimously approved in the Ontario Legislature on May 12th, 2011. The Resolution seeking Ontario Government support for development of Eldercollege programs in Ontario used Canterbury Eldercollege as its model.

We have developed Eldercollege under the auspices of Canterbury College, an affiliate College of the University of Windsor. In the long-term, we hope to be able to offer Eldercollege courses in the City of Windsor and all Municipalities throughout Essex County.

Logistics of Course Delivery

Courses are arranged or delivered by "Course Managers". A Course Manager can offer an entire Course; part of a Course; or arrange for others to deliver segments of a Course or even an entire Course. 

Courses can be as short as one half-day or as many as eight sessions over a one to four week period. Generally a course should be designed to attract a number of people. Some courses may require limited enrollments due to facilities or space limitations. 

Courses are always offered between approximately 9:30am until 4:30pm. Very few courses are offered on weekends or evenings. (We don't want members driving in rush hour or at night!)

Courses are offered in diverse and, we hope, convenient locations. For example, courses are scheduled in Public Libraries, Seniors Residential Centres; Churches; Community Centres - both Seniors' and Recreational; Wineries; Arts Centres and Clubs; or, wherever enough interested people can gather to offer viable and valuable courses.

Some Courses do require a small added Supplementary fee (eg. A Gourmet Food course held in restaurants). Some courses also may necessitate a small Honorarium for a special guest participant (eg. travel expenses). Normally, neither Course Managers nor Guest Participants are remunerated.

Diversity of Courses makes the Eldercollege concept so appealing. Some examples of courses offered at Canterbury Eldercollege in Spring 2015 include: The Underground Railroad - Realities and Misconceptions, Finessing Your Finances, Architectural Styles in Ontario, Forgotten Automakers of Essex County, World War II - Life Before, During, and After, Canoeing on Cedar Creek, Italian 'Tapas' and Wine, Meditation for Everyone, iPad: Getting Started, Shakespeare in Stratford, Social Media for the Beginner, Fitness for Life, Italian Renaissance to the Baroque and so many more!

Financing ElderCollege:

Eldercollege could not exist without money and donations-in-kind. Rarely, for example would any payment be offered for Managing a course–it is driven by volunteer work. But to sustain, Eldercollege requires funding. Funding can come from several sources. We have developed a full-time office at Canterbury College responsible for all aspects of the Eldercollege programme delivery including publications, advertising, course scheduling, liaison with the University of Windsor, liaison with Sponsors, finance and accounting, Course Registrations and much more.

  1. Any Person taking a Course or Courses pays a Course Fee. For example: Courses that are 2 hours or less are $25; Courses 3 to 4 Hours in length - $35; Courses 5-8 hours in length are $45 and courses 9 hours and longer – $55. There is also a "Buffet-Course Option" of $155 (where you can take up to 12 courses; does not include any Courses involving bus trips or our small technology courses). Some Courses have additional fees for supplies and materials and everybody pays the HST!
  2. Government Grants– We are pursuing financial support from the Province and we did receive a small "start-up" grant from the Provincial minister Responsible for Seniors. We also received "Bridging Finance" for 3 years. Grants from other Grant funding Agencies have been pursued.
  3. Sponsorships - Companies interested in supporting the ElderCollege concept, such as Retirement Centre management companies, will be invited to become durational lead sponsors (a duration is defined as three consecutive years). Sponsors may also donate in-kind including services, facilities and essential supplies (eg. cookies/coffee/tea).
  4. Donations - ElderCollege would benefit from individual donations, including Estate donations. Donations to ElderCollege will be administered in Trust by Canterbury College.