FGCU Academy Lifelong Learning Courses in full swing
Typical FGCU Academy participants may be retired from their careers, but they are far from “retiring” – in the sense of being reluctant in class. Just ask Jeffrey Steinberg, who lectures on topics such as national security, geopolitics, law, and history for Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lifelong Learning Program.
FGCU Academy audiences have fascinating career paths and life experiences, and they are quick to share with their peers and course presenters, Steinberg noted.
“There’s a degree of extra motivation to attend a class on a topic you’re interested in when you’re not getting credit or other benefits — other than the sheer joy of learning,” Steinberg says. “It’s a very motivated group and they tend to ask very good questions. They bring a lot of experience to the table and have their own observations to make. This gives rise to heated discussions.
“It keeps the juices flowing,” adds the 40-year veteran of private sector national security research, analysis and education. It’s a sentiment that works both ways for FGCU Academy presenters and attendees.
The season for the academy, which offers hundreds of affordable, non-credit courses, is well underway. The public can tune in in person and online, with nine locations in Naples, two in Bonita Springs, two in Marco Island and two in Fort Myers. All sites are operational despite the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Ian.
“The academy has been severely impacted financially by the pandemic and now Ian,” said principal John Guerra. “We are autonomous and receive no funding from the university. Our course fees only cover a fraction of our running costs, and we rely on memberships and donations to survive – and these have never been more important than now.
To learn more about the programs – including the 2023 travel adventures in Japan, Alaska, Sicily, Spain, Israel and more – check out the program guide on the academy website. Participants can register and pay securely online by credit card.
Steinberg, whose consultancy reports on developments in Asia and the Middle East, has been lecturing for the FGCU Academy since 2019. Always active in his field, he finds it easy to talk about current events to his very audience. engaged and highly educated. Edward Grace, who lectures on technology and space exploration, retired in 2004 after a long career in engineering and the creation of several technology companies. But he is no less aware than Steinberg of developments in his field.
“We are at the start of a new space race,” says Grace. “China has become very active, setting up its own space station. We’re seeing the commercial industry really grow where we’re going in space. People like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are moving forward and moving much faster than the old government space companies like Boeing and Martin Marietta. This is generating a lot of interest.
While employed as an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Grace worked on NASA’s Apollo 13 mission in 1970. As part of the team that guided space crew safely back to Earth after had to abort a planned lunar landing, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The caliber of FGCU Academy presenters like Grace is matched by the diversity of course offerings. Upcoming topics include the great art heists in history, the French Revolution, the Italian Renaissance and Ellis Island. Participants can learn how to get the most out of their phone apps, take a crash course in Spanish, or improve their golf short game.
“Whether you’re a year-round resident or a snowbird, you can take advantage of FGCU Academy’s offerings online wherever you are,” says Guerra. “We also record our programs selectively so that we can make them available on demand for you to enjoy at your convenience.”
To consult the academy website for upcoming webinars, or sign up to receive weekly emails with the latest news and updates. Call 239-434-4737 for more information about the academy.
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