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Learning a lifelong adventure at Bethlehem HILL

Institute dedicated to providing college-level courses celebrates 20th anniversary

University at Albany professor Richard Fogarty taught “The French, and how they got that way” in the spring of 2013 at Bethlehem HILL. The program taps area colleges for their teachers.

University at Albany professor Richard Fogarty taught “The French, and how they got that way” in the spring of 2013 at Bethlehem HILL. The program taps area colleges for their teachers. Debra Renner

— Campbell, who said she is most interested in history and current events, found she has been drawn to courses such as the Britain Empire in India taught by a professor from Skidmore, and another course about the Supreme Court.

“A lot of times, I will do two or three,” she said. “The HILL committee does a phenomenal job year after year of coming up with interesting and different programs.”

Isenberg said the classes are focused more on discussion than note taking and tests, the way most would think of a college class.

“It’s good to go to a class where you don’t have to worry about tests or notes or homework,” Isenberg laughed.

The classes are kept relatively small and are held in both the fall and spring.

Isenberg said there is often a misconception that students must be over a certain age to attend a HILL class.

“Because our courses are held in the morning and afternoon, it’s pretty much retired people, but we do get some younger people depending on the subject matter,” he said.

However, Isenberg said if you are looking for a class in “how to” do something, HILL is not what you are looking for.

“We don’t do ‘how-to’ classes,” he said. “We have had photography but more about photography as art and the history of photography as art, but not how to take digital pictures.”

Isenberg said they leave that up to the continuing education programs at the school districts.

D’Alauro said being an active lifelong learner has been an enlightening experience for him.

“I wish my college experience was as rich as the one through HILL,” he said adding that the courses he has taken have allowed him to explore topics he never had a chance to do.

“It’s one thing to pick up a book, but it’s different to have a professor in the field presenting the subject,” he said.

“You have to wait until you get old to do that,” D’Alauro laughed.

The HILL fall semester begins Sept. 23 and each class meets six times for two hours. Courses being offered this semester are The Arab Spring, The Contemporary Novel, The Beatles, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity and the Presidency and Democracy in America. Registration deadline is Sept. 13. Walk-ins are welcome if there is space, but registration is preferred. For more information, visit bcsd.k12.ny.us/HILL or call 368-7029.

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