Lifelong Learning program packs them in at Metroplex, online

By Tammara Fogle | August 31, 2022

The Lifelong Learning program at Wichita State University shows that a lot of people love that back-to-school experience.

The program, which is free for residents 60 years and older, started eight years ago with 68 people enrolled in one class. This fall, 10 courses are being offered, and enrollment totaled 1,364 through Aug. 17, according to Kim Moore, who heads WSU’s Workforce, Professional and Community Education program. Enrollment is free through Sept. 17, after which a small student fee is charged.

“The response has been tremendous,” Moore said. “Some in-person classes have filled up. They’re very popular to take at the Metropolitan Complex (at 5015 E. 29th St. N), but people do have the ability to access them online.”

And that is proving a popular option. For one class, 105 people  signed up to take it online.

The online option has also attracted students to enroll from Kansas City, Topeka, Hays, Salina and elsewhere.

The courses are two hours a week for four weeks. Three courses were offered throughout August. The remaining seven include: Wichita Architecture, starting Sept. 13; Kansas Politics 1922-2022: Looking at America Through a Century of Bob Dole, starting Sept. 14; A Republic of Laws: Examining the Presidents of the United States, starting Sept. 15; Cool Jazz: Beiderbecke to Brubeck and Beyond, starting Oct. 14; What is Light? Science, Art and Life, starting Oct. 19; The Geology of Kansas State Parks, starting Oct. 20; and The Rise of Autocracy in the World, starting Oct. 25.

Moore said the school tries to offer a different round of classes each spring and fall, in a variety of fields such as science, history, politics and fine arts. She believes the geology course is the only one in the current batch that has been held before. But, she noted, a course on Shakespeare proved so popular that it prompted two sequels.

“The students loved it so much that we had to offer Shakespeare 2, and they loved that so much that we offered Shakespeare 3.”

Residents can look for the spring 2023 lineup of classes to be posted in January. 

“This is a passion project of mine,” Moore said. “I love these classes. The teachers love to teach them. I can’t think of another project I’ve been more proud of in my 26 years at the university.”

For information about Lifelong Learning, call (316) 978-3731 or email