Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning Expanding to Summer


For the first time, the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning (WC-ALL) will be offering summer programming, starting at the end of May. Organizers hope the new classes and simpler enrollment options will introduce the opportunities through WC-ALL to a broader audience.

Shane Brill sits at the front of a classroom with a collection of resources for a class he was teaching at the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Shane Brill sits at the front of a classroom with a collection of resources for a class he was teaching at the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning.

There are two courses, one in-person and one online, and a number of single session learning opportunities, all of them free for WC-ALL members, but with a new option for non-members to pay per course as a way to try out what WC-ALL offers.

The changes come as Washington College is making new efforts to expand WC-ALL and engage members of Chestertown and surrounding Eastern Shore communities with the College. In a simple but important step, one of the summer opportunities is a campus tour, free to both WC-ALL members and non-members. Shane Brill, the lifelong learning and communications coordinator running WC-ALL at Washington, will lead 90-minute tours of campus on three different dates during the summer. 

“We're hosting summer campus tours to introduce people to the College and invite them to return for fun learning experiences,” Brill said. “Then individuals can sample WC-ALL with affordable a la carte programs, and our streamlined fee structure makes the benefits of annual membership accessible.”

The two courses this summer are A Short Guide to Trees and Tree Identification (in-person in June) and Why We Meditate: The Science and Practice of Clarity and Compassion (online in July). There are also two lectures as part of the summer programming: WC-ALL Table Talks presents Fabulous Fearsome Fentanyl with retired cardiologist Ray Vergne and Learn@Lunch! Averting Armageddon on the Fourth of July: The story of the Kargil War in 1999 with former adviser to four U.S. presidents and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Bruce Riedel.

Vice Chair of the WC-ALL Council Jeff Coomer will be teaching the tree course and is working closely with Brill to increase WC-ALL engagement. Coomer is a Washington College alumnus, chairs the WC-ALL Curriculum Committee, and has taught a number of courses on Buddhism, Stoicism, and poetry.

“We're hoping this summer’s courses and talks will be just the beginning of a new range of offerings aimed at introducing more people to the joy of lifelong learning that’s at the heart of WC-ALL,” Coomer said. “I’ve designed the course I'll be teaching on trees to be both informative and fun for the people taking it.”

Register for WC-ALL summer courses here.

The potential for deeper engagement with WC-ALL extends beyond this summer, of course. WC-ALL courses are taught by experts from both the College and the community, like Coomer, and proposals for courses are being accepted through June 15.

“As WC-ALL expands its on-campus and virtual offerings, we’re searching for instructors to join our ranks,” Brill said. “We invite individuals with expertise and passion for a subject to consider submitting a course proposal for the fall semester.”

Fall will feature two six-week sessions, mostly with four to six classes meeting once per week at 4:15 p.m. Interested instructors can submit a course proposal at washcoll.edu/wc-all-proposal.

To learn more about the fall offerings once they are selected, potential students can attend WC-ALL’s Showcase of Fall Courses from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 20. Registration for the fall will open on that date.