Letter from The Executive Director-Dave Rich
PILLAR 2.0—The Next Generation of Lifelong Learning
What does it mean? What does it look like? How does it affect me? What is my role? These are valid questions which deserve answers. So let me provide some clarity and explanation for why our organization has embarked on the road to making PILLAR 2.0 a reality.
One aspect of PILLAR 2.0 is to extend our target market to include a younger demographic, i.e. 50+ adults, without abandoning our current base of support. Expanding our pool of class participants and volunteers is critical to our success. You will begin to see more of our offerings in the evenings and on weekends as many of the “Boomers” are still working. You will begin to see more programs involving science and technology, current events and travel. And you will see more off-site presentations throughout the Pikes Peak area.
Another important element of PILLAR 2.0 is the need to partner with other organizations who subscribe to lifelong learning and its importance for their own members and constituents. Combining efforts with these partners will open up opportunities to expand the reach and impact of our organization and its mission.
Our PILLAR classroom is still located at 202 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. Suite I. Membership to PILLAR is still $60 a year per person, $100 a year per couple—a real bargain as we examine Lifelong Learning Institutes nationwide. You will notice that instead of offering classes for four quarters a year, our curriculum will now be divided into Trimesters—February through April (Spring Term), June through August (Summer Term) and September through November (Fall Term). This change allows our hard-working staff and volunteers a little breathing room between each session as well as allowing time for great fundraising opportunities and developing Partnerships.
PILLAR will still be offering individual classes, but now we will also give you the opportunity to take more comprehensive courses. Our courses will be offered the same day of the week for three consecutive weeks. So, in other words, a course will be on three Mondays in a row, or three Tuesdays in a row, or three Wednesdays in a row, etc. All courses will be marked with an @ throughout the catalog to help identify them. You can still take individual classes within a course. As a bonus, we will be offering our courses at several new locations in town—the YMCA-Briargate, the YMCA-Garden Ranch, Benet Hill Monastery, First United Methodist Church Downtown and The Fine Arts Center. This change is in response to the many requests we have received for more satellite sites. This is in addition to the retirement communities (Palisades, Village at Skyline, Inn at Garden Plaza and MacKenzie Place) and our PILLAR classroom.
If you are a PILLAR member you will continue to fill out the class registration form as usual, but you will not pay a Tuition Fee (a real membership benefit!!). If you are a non-member, you will be asked to pay a $25 Tuition Fee for that Trimester in addition to the fee for the classes/courses. For example, if you are a non-member signing up for 3 classes in our Spring Term, you would pay a $25 Tuition Fee plus the fee for each class/course. If you then decide to sign up for 2 classes and 2 courses in our Summer Term, you would pay a Tuition Fee for that Trimester plus the fees for those classes/courses. Due to our increased overhead costs, a Tuition Fee has become a necessary charge for each Trimester. Remember, as a PILLAR member, you do not pay a Tuition Fee.
Unlimited Courses/Classes Fee
We are also offering you, the PILLAR participant, Unlimited Courses/Classes for $100! So once your tuition fee or membership fee is paid, for $100 per Trimester, you can take as many PILLAR classes/courses as you would like during that Trimester. That’s right; you can take 5 classes, 15 classes, 50 classes!!! Just pay the $100.00 UCC Fee per Trimester and it’s your choice. Having paid the UCC Fee, you must still register for each class you wish to take (you can’t just walk in!!)
EVERYONE must register for a class/course one week in advance. From now on, there will be NO “walk-ins” allowed. This has become necessary for several reasons: the instructor’s need to know the class size in advance and the administrative logistical conflicts created by last minute registrations. You will also note that some of our classes/courses now have a minimum number of participants. If the minimum is not reached, the class will be cancelled, so the earlier you sign up for a class, the better for all of us.
Take a look at our new monthly e-newsletter (PILLAR 2 Post) which will keep you informed of upcoming courses and classes, highlight some of our outstanding volunteers and faculty as well as give you updates on important PILLAR activities. Check out our improved website (www.visitpillar.org) where you can find our PILLAR Preview and even become a member or make a donation on-line. You might even find us on Facebook.
There are many other improvements you will begin to see as 2013 unfolds and the positive impact PILLAR 2.0 has on our organization becomes evident. But what about you? What can you do to participate in the next generation of lifelong learning? Some of the transitions may not be to your liking. Habits and routines will need to change for many of our members and volunteers. New programs and procedures will need your support. Most of all, you need to be our most ardent ambassadors. Tell people about us and what it means for you to be involved with PILLAR. Invite your friends and acquaintances to try us out, to get involved and help us grow.
Specifically, become an active volunteer. Come to our monthly Curriculum and Travel Committee meetings. Join the new Friends of PILLAR group or volunteer to help with some of the behind the scenes office duties which require so many to get the job done. Finally—stick with us. Many volunteers and Board members have contributed to the formation, and now the implementation, of PILLAR 2.0. We need you to be patient with the process. Try out our new programs and be part of The Next Generation of Lifelong Learning!