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Snowbirds welcome to teach and join college classes

Pensacola State College:
To propose a class for next year, contact Frances Yeo at

Northwest Florida State College or call (850) 729-6085

Gulf Coast State College

By Louis Cooper

While many of the snowbirds who visit the Gulf Coast every year are retired, that doesn’t mean they have stopped using and expanding their intellect.

Colleges across the Gulf Coast welcome snowbirds as both students and instructions in the non-academic “leisure” or “enrichment” type classes they offer every winter. At Pensacola State College, those courses are offered through the Continuing Education Department.

 “Our communities, especially on Pensacola Beach, Navarre and Perdido Key, include visitors from other states and Canada for several months during our winters,” said Frances Yeo, coordinator for Recreation and Leisure in PSC’s Continuing Education Department. “We welcome their participation in our program and feel that whether they teach or take classes, everyone will benefit from this opportunity to enjoy our area.”

 Course offerings range from aquatics to foreign languages and art to the Internet, and much more.

 PSC has refocused its winter offerings with snowbirds in mind, Yeo said.

 “In years past the majority of our courses lasted 10 to 12 weeks,” she said. “We are now creating more workshops and courses that meet just one time or may last just a few weeks that should be more appealing to the Northern visitors that are just here a month or two.”

 Tuition for the classes vary depending on the hours the course meets and the supplies required. There is no difference for state residents or non-residents. Those who volunteer to teach are paid $18 per instruction hour.

 While PSC is open to snowbirds as instructors, the deadline to apply for that has passed. However, there are still courses that snowbirds may be interested in taking in March and April.

 At Northwest Florida State College, the program snowbirds might be most interested in is called “Prime – or Positive Retirement through Imaginative Education – Time.” These are recreation and leisure classes offered to senior citizens.

 “We offer this program in the fall and spring terms,” said Amanda Barker, manager of Professional and Continuing Education at Northwest Florida State College. “Our classes range from art, lunch-and-learns, computers, history, Just for Fun, food and entertainment.”

 Prime Time courses are offered at Northwest Florida State College’s campuses in Niceville, South Walton, DeFuniak Springs and Crestview. Fees for the classes vary, with most ranging from $25 to $40. The deadline to sign up for classes at Northwest Florida State College this year has passed.

Gulf Coast State College in Panama City also offers courses that may be of interest to snowbirds.


“Snowbirds may take Education Encore classes and Winter Enrichment Classes at the Beach,” said Jim Barr, coordinator for Community Education at Gulf Coast State College.

 “Encore classes are held on six consecutive Fridays, beginning the third Friday in January and concluding on the last Friday in February,” Barr said. “Winter Enrichment Classes at the Beach are offered during the month of February. These classes are non-credit personal enrichment classes.”

 Gulf Coast State College’s Education Encore courses range from linguistics to history and photography to computer competency. The cost for Education Encore classes range from $88 for courses taught at the Panama City campus to $66 for the offerings at the Gulf/Franklin campus.

 Gulf Coast State College Winter Enrichment classes include topics like jewelry making and using Facebook. Winter Enrichment classes are free, with students paying only for supplies.

 Gulf Coast State College is open to hiring snowbirds as instructions.

 “We welcome our winter guests to serve as an instructor in our Education Encore program,” Barr said. “To be considered, they would need to submit a class title and course description and a personal bio.”

 Faulkner State Community College in Baldwin County, Ala., also welcomes snowbirds as students and instructors. Those courses are offered through Faulkner’s Center for Professional Development.

 “The CPD offers a variety of classes between January and March that cater to snowbirds,” said Joli Jones, director of Continuing and Distance Education for Faulkner State Community College.

 “Previous classes include culinary classes, computer classes, and nutrition classes, all on the Gulf Shores Campus,” Jones said. “This winter our department offered Old Southern Favorites, Feta Cheese Workshop, Decorating Easter Cookies and Cupcakes, Valentine’s Chocolate Workshop, Mardi Gras cakes and more.”