The New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning program

The New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning program at Mesa Community College gives participants numerous opportunities for outdoor and indoor experiences, including hikes.

Retirees and other adults looking to expand their intellectual, cultural or social horizons will have a chance this Friday to check out an East Valleyorganization for just that and more.

New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning will hold its fall open house 1-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in Room 145 of the library on Mesa Community College’s main campus, Dobson Road and Southern Avenue, Mesa.

New Frontiers is a peer-led, self-directed organization of over 400 members operating under the sponsorship of Mesa Community College. 

It sponsors classes on a wide variety of subjects, meeting once for no more than two-and-a-half hours. Classes meet at various MCC campuses and other community locations.

“There are no tests, grades or credits to worry about,” a spokesman said.

The classes are often taught by members who have particular expertise in the subjects offered.

Such individuals also can be part of Lifelong Learning’s Speakers’ Bureau, which helps numerous organizations find speakers for luncheons, meetings and other occasions.

The program offers more than classes.

It sponsors social opportunities such as tours, lunches, traveling, concert, outdoor hiking and theatre production. 

The group also facilitates volunteer opportunities that benefit the program. 

“The life-blood of our organization is based on volunteers that give of their time, energies and skills,” Lifelong Learning states on its website, noting that 133 members volunteered over 7,600 hours last year to support the curriculum, membership, social, communications, volunteers and the NFLL Council.

Along with the volunteer opportunities within the organization, members assist in outreach programs within the community college’s community. 

“With our association to Mesa Community College, many volunteer hours are focused on the needs of the school,” its website says. “Members routinely volunteer with college programs such as Empty Bowls, Learning Across the Generations, Human Library and Connect for Success.”

The group also supports a scholarship program for needy students. The scholarship began years ago with modest awards of $250 to $500, but most recently it helped four students with $1,000 each.

A scholarship committee selects the recipients based on academic excellence, need and how well they express their educational goals.

 Members also receive an MCC student ID card providing discounts on campus and in the community.  

Fees are $80 a year or $60 for each semester. After enrolling at the open house, members can register for as many classes as they want.

Registration begins Sept. 24 at newfrontiers.mesacc.edu. People with questions can call 480-461-7497.

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