The system works.
Back in August, ElderCollege moved all of its class registration online, and decided to nix its old system of having seniors wait in line to sign up for courses.
“We had phenomenal results,” says ElderCollege coordinator Leanndra Josephson. “Our students wanted this. They were ready for this probably quite a long time ago, and we had to catch up to them.”
Students were able to sign up for classes from all over. Online registrations came in throughout B.C., Canada, and as far away as Europe.
Whether the students register online themselves, or call in to ElderCollege for help, registration for any of the courses is all done online.
“If you call, the operator will register you online anyway. If you come in person, they will register you online. There’s no other way to do it,” said ElderCollege chair, Marlene Dance, back in August.
During their fall 2016 registration, half of it was done online by the students themselves, 42 per cent were call-ins, and eight per cent were walk-ins.
At 93 per cent full, nearly every class seat was sold in the fall.
By moving registration online, ElderCollege is saving time and money. Previously, it took an average of 80 volunteers on registration day, plus there were facility rental costs.
“It was an arduous process,” says Josephson. “Today’s older adults are very busy and they don’t have time to stand in line.”
It’s also easier for people with mobility issues to register from home. And when the weather is poor, seniors don’t have to worry about traversing through icy and snowy conditions to register.
“Even if the university was closed (due to weather), I could run the entire system from my kitchen counter,” says Josephson. “It provides a lot more opportunity for our organization.”
Registration for the ElderCollege spring 2017 classes begins on Monday, Jan. 16 at 9 a.m. Go online to chilliwackeldercollege.ca to sign up.
Although a couple of classes will fill up on the first day, the majority of them will still have seats open on Day 2, she says.
Some new courses this year include blogging, world dance, strength training and hearing loss.
Each course ranges in price from $30-60, plus there’s the annual membership fee of $12. Course payment options include credit card, Visa debit, and eCheck. Anyone needing help with registration can call 604-702-2611.