April 18, 2024 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

King’s is once again offering Liberal Arts 101, a no-cost, non-credit university experience for people who have an interest in learning but may have experienced barriers to a traditional university opportunity. Classes will begin on May 7, 2024, with a registration deadline of April 30.

Each of the six sessions, taking place on Tuesday evenings from 5 - 8 p.m., includes supper, a lecture on subjects ranging from business to thanatology to social work and social justice & peace, and a group discussion. There are no previous educational requirements and only a minimal level of English comprehension (the ability to read a newspaper, for example) is necessary to participate.

Doreen Vautour, Associate Dean of Students, has described Liberal Arts 101 as “education in its purest form – a group of people gather together in a love of learning. The community that develops among participants is inspiring.” Vautour and Dr. Alison Meek, Associate Professor in History, are the program coordinators.

Past participants have said they enjoyed learning in the university setting at King’s. The program has allowed participants to overcome any fear they might have about pursuing higher education. Access to child care and public transportation (including bus tickets) help to remove obstacles to the program.

Dr. Meek and Vautour have noticed that participants have increased confidence, a love of learning and a sense of accomplishment upon completing the program.

The Liberal Arts 101 program aligns closely with King’s mission to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community animated by a spirit of charity, mutual respect, and cultural dialogue. Students in the class have remarked how they enjoyed being with people from different cultures and walks of life.

Students who have a desire to learn, try something new and, in some cases, practice English, are encouraged by counsellors from various social service agencies to enrol in Liberal Arts 101. This, in turn, helps King’s give back to those agencies that provide our students with placements and learning opportunities.

While the Liberal Arts 101 program started in 2008, this is the first time it has been run since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberal Arts 101 program won the 2018 Pillar Award Community Innovation Award in the Community IMPACT category. The Pillar Nonprofit Network praised Liberal Arts 101 for speaking “to the inherent value we all share as lifelong learners who deserve the opportunity to engage and contribute to our communities in meaningful and empowering ways.”

Community agencies in London who have clients they believe would benefit from this program should contact Dr. Meek for registration information.