Choose-Your-Own-Adventure: Continuing Education at Traill

Scott House, Traill College.

To take a Continuing Education course is to foster your curiosity and get right to the heart of what it means to get an education at Trent University. Some of the most popular courses taught in the past include Speculative Fiction, Beekeeping, and the recent addition of Saturday workshops that focus on developing more hands-on skills. These classes have been known to fill up fast, and for $20 a session with engaging graduate student and community instructors, it’s a no-brainer to see why.

Continuing Education at Trent University has its roots at Julian Blackburn College, which until 2011, was the affiliate college for part-time studies. Yes, the very same Blackburn Hall that is now home to many of Trent’s administrative departments! The program was discontinued in 2008 and revived four years later in 2012 at Traill College where it now thrives.

Picture being enrolled in a half-semester class with the three-month commitment that it requires. Now imagine getting to pick and choose which classes you actually want to attend. Continuing Education courses run for eight weeks at a time and each session can be taken as a stand-alone lecture or among a few selected classes.

Arthur sat down with Dr. Michael Eamon, the director of Traill College where Continuing Education is currently offered, to discuss how the program has changed since its expansion in 2014. He shared that the new structure of the program boasts graduate student instructors and experts from within the community as instructors. The opportunity is especially beneficial for the graduate students who get to try their hand at teaching through experience. Dr. Eamon elaborated that this method – called “experiential learning” – offers graduate students the chance to teach students that may be older than them or may not be academics. It encourages them to engage with their students, with their various backgrounds, in a way that suits their individual needs as well as the needs of the group.

When asked what course he’d personally like to see being taught in Continuing Education, he responded enthusiastically by suggesting “a course on the historical architecture of Peterborough.” He elaborated on the vast transformation of the city from its 20th century design until today. Bet you didn’t know the Charlotte Towers apartments downtown used to be a train station! Continuing Education courses are a chance for anyone in the community to take a course that delves into fascinating histories and narratives like that one and allow students from all walks of life to participate.

Continuing Education also offers the occasional free workshop or general lecture, such as the upcoming opening reception for Traill Artist-in-Residence – a Peterborough local! – Wendy Trusler. Her performance is titled, “Voices at Hand” and it will explore the sentiment behind why we keep letters. The event is being hosted on January 30 from 7 PM until 9 PM in the Senior Common Room of Scott House at Traill and is open to the general public. She will also be the same space from 12 PM to 4 PM and 6 PM to 8 PM with her exhibition all of next week!

And to anyone who’s on the fence about taking a course or two at Traill, here’s what Dr. Eamon has to say to you: “Continuing Education is about meeting new people and learning new things. With the new choose-your-own-adventure format, there’s nothing to lose!”