Collin College Seniors Active in Learning program feeds seniors’ hunger for continued knowledge


Each semester, hundreds of students go to Collin College campuses to learn about Mahjongg, aging gracefully, traveling abroad and the role of grandparents.

These students, however, are not typical college students. They are adults age 55 and older and are members of Collin College’s Seniors Active in Learning program. The educational program is designed for seniors who have a desire to continually learn, SAIL Program Manager Sherry Scamardo said.

“No one wants to stop learning when you get out of school; they want to continue on,” Scamardo said.

SAIL courses are non-credit and do not require a degree or prerequisites. Course topics include literature, history, art, music, social sciences and games, such as Mahjongg and Bridge.

SAIL instructors are a mix of volunteer professors and Collin College faculty members. The volunteer professors are often retired experts in their fields, Scamardo said.

Membership costs $100 for spring and fall semesters and $20 for summer semesters. Members can choose up to seven courses in the fall and spring and unlimited courses in the summer.

Members do not have to live within Collin College’s service area to take classes.

The SAIL program began in 1996 at Collin College’s Courtyard Center in Plano. Last year, the program began offering classes at the Collin Higher Education Center in McKinney and the Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco.

Before opening the program at the other two campuses, Scamardo said the interest was so high that prospective members were placed on a waiting list.

“We no longer have a wait list since we offer courses at the other campuses,” she said. “That has really helped SAIL members enroll in the program. … And we never close enrollment; it’s always open.”

Seniors Active in Learning
Collin Higher Education Center, 3452 Spur 399, McKinney

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Lindsey Juarez Monsivais
Lindsey has been involved in newspapers in some form since high school. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. While attending UTA, she worked for The Shorthorn, the university's award-winning student newspaper. She was hired as Community Impact Newspaper's first Frisco reporter in 2014. Less than a year later, she took over as the editor of the Frisco edition. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics and issues important to the community, including the city's affordable housing shortage, the state's controversial A-F school accountability system and the city's "Bury the Lines" efforts.
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