Auto safety inspections. Blogging. Clinical massage. Adult education in Western North Carolina caters to a wide range of interests and industries. In fact, we bet we could find a program to cover every letter of the alphabet!
We believe that a commitment to lifelong learning is one of the best ways to Live the Life You Choose. But with so many options available, where should you begin? Luckily, our agents are committed to staying informed about both real estate and the world around them.
We asked them: Where are the best continuing education programs in WNC?
If you want to have tons of fun and tap into your creative side, then take a glass blowing class at the NC Glass Center in Asheville. You can take a short 30-minute class and make a paperweight, a mug, or in the fall, a pumpkin. But, if you feel the need to dive deeper into glass blowing, you can choose the eight-week class and make a variety of artistic pieces!
I took quite a few classes at OLLI at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, sometimes called the college for seniors. I took an architectural history of Asheville by a local Asheville High School professor, as well as numerous art classes by local artists—watercolor, acrylic, jewelry making, and more. One traditional Chinese ink painting class was given by the father of one of the UNC Asheville professors, and she translated her father’s instructions to us. I have also taken chi kung, yoga, fitness training, movement, meditation, and a course on the Indian philosopher Patanjali. The history of Chartres Cathedral and history of Audubon courses were taught by a local expert and collector who took us to his home to see his collection.
I took the reupholstery class at A-B Tech when my children were young and I needed a night to myself, and I absolutely loved it! Once a week, I would gather with a bunch of other folks who all wanted to learn the same thing. It was so fun. Plus, I left with two completely reupholstered chairs! I’m dying to take the stained glass class next.
I have taken numerous courses at A-B Tech, including three computer refresher courses on Microsoft Word, Excel, and Publisher. I also took cake decorating. I was no good at it, but I had lots of fun.
At age 60, I decided to go “back to class” and explore subjects the schedule didn’t allow back in the day at UNC-Chapel Hill. For the past year, I’ve enjoyed “Trains and the Transformation of Western N.C.” taught by former legislator and Mars Hill Mayor Ray Rapp, ecology from French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson, and wildflower biology along the Bartram Trail. Best of all, there are no tests! The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, commonly called OLLI, runs classes year round and is so popular I was unable to register for “Beginner’s Spanish,” alas. For those who can’t get in the regular four- or eight-week courses, there are free single-day offerings highlighting Asheville’s new symphony director, for instance, or explaining March Madness (we are in N.C.). There are bridge, hiking, and wine tasting groups, but I’ll have to wait for another significant birthday to do all that!