We are excited to announce the Center for Lifelong Learning, formed by the merger of the Academy for Lifelong Learning and the McGrath Computer Learning Center. The new Center will continue the affiliation with the University of South Carolina Aiken that the predecessor organizations had. The merger will be completed during the summer of 2021. The new Center will offer its first courses in September 2021. Visit aikenlearning.org often for updated information.
Below are questions (with answers, of course) that we anticipate the members and students of the predecessor organizations and the general public may have.
Why did the Academy and McGrath decide to merge?
The two organizations saw opportunities for increased outreach, improved efficiency of operations, and better use of resources to improve the variety of courses to offer to Aiken-area adults.
Will the same type of courses be taught by the new Center?
Yes. The Academy taught courses on history, art, well being, music, cooking, literature, and others. These will be continued as General Interest courses by the Center. McGrath taught courses in the use of personal technology such as computers and smartphones. These will be continued as Technology courses.
Will the fees to take a course change?
Yes. The Academy previously used a flat membership fee per semester and McGrath charged for each course. The new fee structure will combine those approaches. A membership fee of $35.00 will be charged to take any course. Each course will have a small additional fee based on the number of times the class meets.
Is the Center run by UofSC Aiken?
The day-to-day activities of the Center are run by a governing board staffed by volunteers. That board interfaces with the University to coordinate resources and find classrooms for the classes. The Center abides by all University policies and procedures, but it is self-supporting and self-governing.
What is the relationship between the Center and UofSC Aiken?
The University provides support, administrative services, and physical facilities to the Center. The Center interfaces directly with the UofSC Aiken Office of External Programs, Continuing Education, and Conferences.
Who is eligible to take classes at the Center?
Any adult who enjoys continuing to learn may take classes. Our students are mostly in the retirement-age group since our classes are all taught during the daytime hours.
When will the fall semester classes start?
Classes will start September 7. Registration/Open House will be August 17 at 9:00 AM in Room 134 of the Business & Education Building on campus. Online registration will also be open at that time.
When will the list of courses for the fall semester be available?
If you have recently taken classes at the Academy or McGrath, you will receive a catalog by mail in early August. If you’ve never taken classes at either organization, you may request a fall catalog by calling 803-641-3741 or by signing up online when the new website is active. The list of courses will also be on the website in early August.
How do I become a volunteer?
Just let us know! We are always looking for new volunteers interested in helping others to learn. You may let us know by emailing us. If you are registering for a course, there is also a place on the form to indicate you would like to volunteer.
Are the previous Academy and McGrath websites still available?
The Academy site will be available until June 29. Use this link: