E-News June 2021

Senior College Is Coming Back

Letter from our President Nancy Perkins

Hello Senior College Members,

The lilacs have bloomed, peonies are opening their splendid buds, and summer is nearly here! Except for the recent unusually hot and humid days it is a joy to see the town in bloom!

Beginning July 1, Senior College will introduce a new registration system approved by the Board of Directors. The Board was impressed with the features and the ease of the registration process offered by CourseStorm, a Maine-based company. Other Senior Colleges in the state have been using it with great success. Treasurer, Brenda Smith, will describe CourseStorm and some of the features offered in the article below.

This is the first month in over a year that we have not received a contribution for the Corona Chronicles. We want to continue emailing the Chronicles as long as we receive photographs, original art, poetry, essays, and stories from the members. We have heard from many of you how much you have enjoyed reading the publication and hope you will consider contributing something for the next issue. Please send it to me (nanella133@gmail.com) or Janet Williams (williajanet@gmail.com). All of the past Chronicles are available on the website under the tab “What’s New.”

We are working with staff at the Hutchinson Center regarding rules and protocols of a return to face-to-face classes. We are happy to announce we will hold the first face-to-face class at the Hutchinson Center this summer. Information about the Summer Session will soon be posted on the website at www.seniorcollegebelfast.org. One class will be on campus at the Hutch with additional courses available via Zoom.

We hope that we can present a full schedule of classes this fall at the Hutch providing all who attend have been vaccinated and we receive the go ahead from the Hutchinson Center staff. I am more than ready to return to the campus and am looking forward to seeing all of you. Classes for fall will be posted on the website in July so plan on coming back-to-school at Senior College in September!

My best to all and happy summer!

Nancy Perkins

New Registration System Going Live for Summer Registrations

Senior College is implementing a new registration system powered by CourseStorm that is easy to use and offers members helpful new benefits. This new system is already in place at four other senior colleges and is getting rave reviews. We want to give you a brief overview of what to expect as we move forward with bringing the system on line in Belfast.

Our website will provide a link to our Belfast Senior College page within the new system powered by CourseStorm. The first time a member uses the new system it will ask them some basic questions (name, address, phone number and e-mail address). This information is used to establish the member’s own personal account in the system. These questions will only be asked the first time a member uses the system, though there is the option of updating any of this information at any time should it change.

From there it will ask if you want to become a member. You do not need to be a member to enroll in any summer 2021 course. However, all existing members will need to enter and pay their annual membership fee of $25 prior to being able to register for any fall 2021, winter 2022, or spring 2022 course. This membership is only paid once during the academic year. The system will remind you that you have already paid if you attempt to pay it a second time. Members who taught classes in the previous academic year or participants who have paid a membership at another senior college are exempt from paying a membership fee.

On the membership page a member will be asked three questions. (1) Please provide an emergency contact person and the contact’s phone number should an emergency situation arise while the member is attending senior college. (2) Write a brief description of a member’s areas of expertise that may be helpful to the senior college’s operations. (3) Lastly, the member will be asked to acknowledge they understand the senior college’s refund policy.

Once a member has paid for a membership, they may review the class listings and choose which classes they would like to attend. A member can enroll just themselves in a course, or themselves and another member in a class. This is useful when spouses, partners or friends wish to enroll in the same class together. The charges for memberships and courses are accumulated and the member will be presented with an online invoice when they are ready to check out. In the new system, a member will use a credit card to settle the amount they owe. (We will no longer be using PayPal). A member may also pay by check if they choose to register in person, once our office in the Hutchinson Center reopens.

Upon registering for a class, the member will automatically receive a confirmation e-mail of their enrollment. Two days before a class begins, the member will receive a reminder e-mail that their class will be starting soon. Each member will have access to their own personal account where they can see a history of all the classes they have registered for as well as any memberships they have paid for. One note here – registration and payment information in our old system will not be imported into the new system, so a member’s account history will start to accumulate with the transactions that they will be entering into the new system.

Inevitably, there may be some questions that members will encounter when using the new system for the first time. Please know that we are here to support our members and to provide assistance as we always have in the past. Please contact Al Arthur, our registrar, if you need any help at info@belfastseniorcollege.org.

Brenda Smith, Treasurer